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2011 NBA Draft Grades: Bucks, Wolves, Nets, Kings, Magic, Thunder

I am back with Part 2 of the 2010 NBA Draft review (Part 1 can be found here).  As you can see from going down the list, many teams did very well in what pundits wanted to coin a “weak” draft.  I think it is safe to say that almost all of the teams improved in some way, and I think you will see many of these second round picks not only make teams, but earn some serious minutes quickly.

Milwaukee BucksGrade: A-

1st Round – Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee (#19)

2nd Round – Jon Leuer, F, Wisconsin (#40)

Analysis – Harris may turn out to be the steal of the draft at #19. With a NBA-ready body and versatile scoring skills, at only 18 years old, he is far from reaching his potential. He should be able to provide minutes at either forward spot right away for the Bucks.

Leuer is a very good second round pick-up, having great size and the ability to score inside and outside.  He will need to improve his perimeter defense though if he hopes to log serious minutes.

Minnesota TimberwolvesGrade: B+

1st Round – Derrick Williams, F, Arizona (#2)

2nd Round – Malcom Lee, SG, UCLA (#43); Targuy Ngombo, SF, Qatar (#57)

Analysis – The Williams pick was a no-brainer at #2, whether they have Beasley or not. When a team is looking to build, options are never a bad thing.  I still think Williams will be a good small forward at the NBA level, but will also be effective spending minutes at the 4.  If he can learn how to create his own shot, he can possibly be an all-star caliber player.

Lee was a solid pick-up in the mid 2nd round, a solid combo guard who can provide depth at either backcourt spot.  He’s a good defender and is effective getting into the defense.  This grade would probably have been an A-, but seems that the TWolves traded for a pick to choose a guy not eligible.

New Jersey NetsGrade: B

1st Round – Marshon Brooks , SG, Providence (#25)

2nd Round – Bojan Bogdanovic, SF, Bosnia (#31); Jordan Williams, PF/C, Maryland (#36)

Analysis – The Brooks pick isn’t a bad one at #25.  He can score, we know that, but he is not a good defender, and isn’t really known for his team play.  But the Nets, definitely need a scorer and he can provide some pop off the bench.

Williams has the potential to be a solid 2nd round pick.  He has nice touch around the rim, moves his feet well and can defend the post.  He’s a little undersized for the center position, but is tough enough to give some quality minutes.  Bogdanovic is another scorer who could add some firepower if the Nets get him over here anytime soon.

New Orleans HornetsGrade: Inc.

1st Round – None

2nd Round - None

Analysis – No picks and now David West wants to opt-out.  Not a good week in NOLA,

New York KnicksGrade: B-

1st Round – Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech (#17)

2nd Round – Josh Harrellson, C, Kentucky (#45)

Analysis – Yes, Shumpert does add some much needed perimeter defense to the Knicks’ backcourt, but other than that, what does he bring. As a point guard, he’s not that great at running an offense or distributing the ball, and off the ball, he’s not much of a shooter.  Unless they got word that someone near them was also interested in Shumpert, why not try and move back and pick up another asset.

Harrellson isn’t much, but with the Knicks’ frontcourt, he may even make the team.

Oklahoma City ThunderGrade: B

1st Round – Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College (#24)

2nd Round – None

Analysis – Jackson has good size at the point, can run the floor and can get into the lane well.  He showed great improvement on his shot this past season, especially from long range.  However, he isn’t a great “point” and certainly isn’t good enough to supplant Eric Maynor from the back-up position.

Orlando MagicGrade: B+

1st Round – None

2nd Round – Justin Harper, SF, Richmond (#32); DeAndre Liggins, SG, Kentucky (#53)

Analysis –I think Harper is a great fit for the Magic, giving them a long body on the perimeter who can hit jumpers to stretch the defense and give Dwight Howard some more room to operate.  He’s not particularly great at anything else, but it works in this situation.

Liggins is a very good defender, and may have a shot to make the team off of this alone, but I would be surprised unless he can show a little something else.

Philadelphia 76ersGrade: B-

1st Round – Nikola Vucevic, C, USC (#16)

2nd Round – Lavoy Allen, PF, Temple (#50)

Analysis – Vucevic technically fits the 76ers’ need for a big body in the middle, but the strong parts to his game are hardly what they need.  He does a good job working away from the lane and is very good in the high post.  He is a good rebounder, and that should at least help the Sixers right away.

Allen is a decent defender, but I would be surprised if he makes the team.

Phoenix SunsGrade: B

1st Round – Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas (#13)

2nd Round – None

Analysis – Morris will give the Suns exactly what they needed, an interior presence who can defend the post and rebound.  I think he is underrated as an offensive player and certainly think he has room to develop in this area.  The only issue is whether taking him in the lottery was a stretch.  I’m not sure anyone else in this range fit the same need, so I think it’s a good move

Portland Trail BlazersGrade: B

1st Round – Nolan Smith, PG, Duke (#21)

2nd Round – Jon Diebler, SG, Ohio State (#51)

Analysis – I may be one of the few, but I think the Trail Blazers did a great job with this pick.  A versatile guard who is a proven winner, can distribute, score, defend and be a leader, I think it was a smart, solid pick.

Diebler is a fantastic long-range shooter and should be able to make the team based off of this.  He may be underrated as a perimeter defender and has good size to be disruptive.

Sacramento KingsGrade: A-

1st Round – Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU (#10)

2nd Round – Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA (#35); Isaiah Thomas, PG, Washington (#60)

Analysis – I don’t buy the premise that Fredette was the best fit from a basketball standpoint; a shoot-first guard with limited point skills and mediocre defensive skills will not make the team better.  But I do understand that Fredette will sell tickets and we know that Sacramento certainly needs the revenue boost.  They will get that, but not much else.

Honeycutt will provide some athleticism on the wing, but he definitely needs to get stronger and work on improving his shooting consistency.  Thomas was a solid pick-up with the last pick of the draft. An explosive scorer who showed his point skills this year, 2 inches taller and he may have been near the top of the 2nd round.

San Antonio SpursGrade: A

1st Round – Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State (#15); Cory Joseph, PG, Texas (#29)

2nd Round – Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia (#42); Adam Hanga, SG, Hungary (#59)

Analysis – The Spurs may have gotten a steal with Leonard at #15.  He can provide scoring in the lane and is a very good defender and rebounder, but he is still developing as a perimeter player.  Joseph may be a stretch in the first round, but he is a skilled point guard who will have time to develop as a defender and scorer.

Bertans is a great shooter, but needs time to develop.  If he eventually comes over, he could be a solid role player.  Hanga is also a decent wing scorer, but I would be surprised if he develops into a NBA quality player.

Toronto RaptorsGrade: B

1st Round – Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania (#5)

2nd Round – None

Analysis – Valanciunas is skilled, but lacks strength and still won’t be over at least for another year.  For a team that needed upgrades in many areas, this probably wasn’t the best they could do at #5.

Utah JazzGrade: A-

1st Round – Enes Kanter, C, Turkey (#3); Alec Burks, SG, Colorado (#12)

2nd Round – None

Analysis –  This grade is dependent on Kanter living up to the hype after not playing competitively in over a year.  With a strong body and versatile skill-set, Kanter can be a difference maker in the post for the Jazz.  Burks can add some scoring punch on the wing, but really needs to become a better shooter and defender.

Washington WizardsGrade: A

1st Round – Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic (#6); Chris Singleton, SF, Florida St. (#18)

2nd Round – Shelvin Mack, PG, Butler (#34)

Analysis – Vesely should be able to contribute immediately and fit in perfectly with the current Wizards’ squad.  An athletic big man who can run the court, finish strong, and with the ability to shoot from the perimeter will be a major asset.  He still needs to improve as a defender and I question his toughness.  Singleton will be a huge defensive boost to the team, with the ability to guard multiple positions on the perimeter or post.

Mack was a solid 2nd round pick and should be a solid back-up and change of pace to John Wall at the point guard position.

That wraps up the 2011 Draft.  Thank you for reading and make sure to check back next week as we start the road towards the 2012 Draft.  Make sure to follow on Twitter - @NBADraftBlog for all updates through the summer.


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