2017 NBA Draft and Trade Grades

The criteria for the draft grades was based on what you could/should have done based on the pick and the available players. Obviously, a team like the 76ers got a more talented player (Fultz) than a team like Brooklyn (Jarett Allen), but that does not necessarily mean the 76ers will have a better grade. The grades only factor in players that were drafted and future picks that were exchanged. The trades involving players who are NOT in the 2017 draft class will be recapped and graded separately below the draft grades.
Boston: B
#3 Jayson Tatum SF FR Duke
#37 Semi Ojeleye SF/PF JR SMU
#53 Kadeem Allen PG/SG SR Arizona
#56 Jabari Bird SG SR Cal
The Celtics did a great job of adding players who will fit with the current roster. Tatum will be a great small ball four and Ojeleye and Allen could potentially fill reserve roles. It’s hard to give the Celtics a great grade after seeing the protections on the picks from the Fultz trade. The fact that Boston cannot get Sacramento’s pick if it is #1 in 2019 is a problem because they could end up with the pick from a 76ers playoff team, instead of a top five pick like they hoped for. This grade more than any other will need a true wait and see approach.
Brooklyn: B+
#22 Jarrett Allen C FR Texas
#57 Aleksander Vezenkov PF INTL
Brooklyn went for a high upside player at 22 with Jarrett Allen and that is exactly what they needed to do. Brooklyn just needs to add high upside talent and hope they find a hidden gem or two.
New York: B-
#8 Frank Ntilikina PG INTL
#44 Damyean Dotson SG/SF SR Houston
#58 Ognjen Jaramaz PG INTL
New York seemed to prefer Ntilikina, but Smith and Monk look like better prospects. Ntilikina will be a good starting PG, but he does not have Monk’s shooting ability or Smith’s upside. Dotson and Jaramaz were good value picks in the 2nd round.
Philadelphia: A
#1 Markelle Fultz PG FR Washington
#25 Anzejs Pasceniks C INTL
#36 Jonah Bolden PF INTL
#50 Mathias Lessort C INTL
The 76ers had an amazing draft. They completed their core by trading up for Markelle Fultz, a player who fits the team perfectly. The also added three stash guys who should have significant trade value. This gives them for assets and roster space to add some veterans. Lessort was a great value at 50.
Toronto: A-
#23 OG Anunoby SF/PF SO Indiana
Toronto was fortunate to have the super athletic Anunoby fall to 23. There are concerns over Anunoby’s offensive skill set and knee injury, but there is very little risk for a player with his upside at pick #23.
Chicago: B+
#7 Lauri Markkanen PF FR Arizona
Markkanen was the Bulls only option at 7 since they do not need any more guards. Markkanen is the best shooter in the draft and should be a better version of Nikola Mirotic for the Bulls. Very strong pick.
Cleveland: N/A
Detroit: B
#12 Luke Kennard SG SO Duke
The Pistons needed a scoring guard and Kennard was really the only option at 12. At the very least, Kennard should be a solid bench scorer.
Indiana: A
#18 TJ Leaf PF FR UCLA
#47 Ike Anigbogu C FR UCLA
#52 Edmond Sumner PG SO Xavier
Indiana might have had the most underrated draft performance this year. Their only building block is Myles Turner and they added a player (TJ Leaf) who compliments his skill set perfectly. The Pacers also got Ike Anigbogu, who has a very high upside and fell due to knee concerns. Sumner is also injured, but has significant potential. Anigbogu and Sumner were both worth the risk for a team that could lose Paul George very soon.
Milwaukee: B-
#17 DJ Wilson PF SO Michigan
#46 Sterling Brown SG SR SMU
DJ Wilson is a very nice prospect, but 17 was probably a little high for him. Wilson is not a very physical player which could limit who he is paired with in the frontcourt. Sterling Brown is a tough defender who should make the team. Other than reaching for Wilson, the Bucks had a solid draft. 
Atlanta: B
#19 John Collins PF/C SO Wake Forest
#41 Tyler Dorsey SG SO Oregon
#60 Alpha Kaba PF INTL
It was a solid draft for Atlanta. They didn’t reach for anyone and picked guys in their appropriate range. Collins should have an impact in the depleted frontcourt.
Charlotte: A-
#11 Malik Monk SG FR Kentucky
#40 Dwayne Bacon SG/SF SO Florida St
Charlotte had Monk fall right into their lap at #11. Monk fills the role of Marco Bellineli, but the long term backcourt of Monk and Kemba Walker does not have enough size to be effective defensively. Dwayne Bacon has 3 and D potential and is a good second round pick. The Hornets should be ecstatic to get Monk and will make the lineup work long term.
Miami: C+
#14 Bam Adebayo C FR Kentucky
Miami drafted a backup center, which is a waste of a lottery pick. The Heat already have Hassan Whiteside at center and neither Whiteside or Bam can stretch the floor. This means that they probably cannot play together and a prospect like TJ Leaf or John Collins would be a better fit.
Orlando: B
#6 Jon Isaac PF FR Florida St
#33 Wesley Iwundu SF SR Kansas St
Both players are very talented, but the fit is questionable. Isaac would be best used at PF, but Aaron Gordon is currently the team’s future PF. It will be interesting to see if Isaac and Gordon can play together. Iwundu is best utilized next to a scoring PG, which Orlando does not really have.
Washington: N/A
Denver: C
#24 Tyler Lydon PF SO Syracuse
#49 Vlatko Cancar PF INTL
#51 Monte Morris PG SR Iowa St
Very strange draft for Denver since they picked two stretch fours even though they already had two on the roster. Lydon was a bit of a reach at 24 and will be the third string PF at best. It seems like Denver would have been better off drafting for another position. Monte Morris was a great value at 51 and will be a steady backup PG for the Nuggets.
Minnesota: C
#16 Justin Patton C FR Creighton
Patton was a strange pick for Minnesota since they already have Towns, Dieng, and Aldrich who get minutes at the five. I really like Patton as a prospect, but there is no path to playing time and he will almost certainly be playing in the G-League next season.
Oklahoma City: B-
#21 Terrence Ferguson SG INTL
Ferguson is not ready to contribute and will mostly play in the G-League for a couple seasons. There were not many options if OKC had their mind set on a wing player.
Portland: B
#10 Zach Collins C FR Gonzaga
#26 Caleb Swanigan PF SO Purdue
Portland got two good players, but it will be interesting to see how they fit in the frontcourt. If Collins can play with Nurkic and be the PF of the future then this is a homerun draft for Portland. However, it is more likely that Collins is the backup center. Swanigan was a very productive college player and is worth taking a flier on.
Utah: B
#13 Donovan Mitchell SG SO Louisville
#28 Tony Bradley C FR UNC
#55 Nigel Williams-Goss PG JR Gonzaga
Utah traded up to get both Mitchell and Bradley. Both players make sense for the Jazz, but was it worth moving up for? Bradley seems like a bit of a reach at 28 especially with high upside guys like Anigbogu and Hartenstein still on the table. Williams-Goss is a solid player but has little to no shot of making the team.
Dallas: A-
#9 Dennis Smith PG FR NCST
Dallas was in a great position to take any top ten prospect who fell in the draft. Smith fills a need at PG and he is super talented. Hard to argue with this selection.
Houston: B+
#43 Isaiah Hartenstein C INTL
Hartenstein fell to 43, but is probably a draft and stash player. He has 1st round talent and we will see if he ever makes it over to the NBA.
Memphis: B+
#35 Ivan Rabb PF SO Cal
#45 Dillon Brooks SF JR Oregon
Memphis bought two picks. Rabb looks like a steal at 35, but I would be surprised if Brooks sticks in Memphis. Brooks could potentially be a 3 and D player, but there were players on the board who have a better chance of filling that role like Sterling Brown. Overall, a good draft for Memphis.
New Orleans: C-
#31 Frank Jackson SG FR Duke
New Orleans traded up to 31 to get Jackson, but that should be considered a reach. Jackson is more of a long term project and a team with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins should be trying to win now. The Pelicans roster needs a lot of help on the perimeter and there were a plethora of options still on the board. Semi Ojeleye, Jawun Evans, and Tyler Dorsey could potentially make an immediate impact and should have been picked before Jackson.
San Antonio: B+
#29 Derrick White PG SR Colorado
#59 Jarron Blossomgame SF SR Clemson
The Spurs got good value with both picks. Blossomgame could be the steal of the draft which would fit with the Spurs drafting track record. White should be able to contribute as a combo guard off the bench.
Golden State: A-
#38 Jordan Bell PF JR Oregon
The Warriors paid over 3 million dollars to add the athletic Jordan Bell. Bell will bring defensive versatility and athleticism to the frontcourt, but was he worth the price? GSW could have used that money to entice one or two veterans that are looking to get take less money to win a ring. Bell is a 1st round talent, but could the money have been allocated better?
LA Clippers: B
#39 Jawun Evans PG SO Oklahoma St
#48 Sindarius Thornwell SG SR South Carolina
The Clippers bought two second picks to add some of the more NBA ready players in the draft. Thornwell is an older prospect and should be a very good defender. Evans is great in the pick and roll and projects to be a good backup PG. Solid picks.
LA Lakers: B+
#2 Lonzo Ball PG FR UCLA
#27 Kyle Kuzma PF JR Utah
#30 Josh Hart SG/SF SR Villanova
#42 Thomas Bryant C SO Indiana
Ball is a good pick for LA if they add a playmaking wing like they are expected to. Ball could struggle if he is the primary creator, but his value would skyrocket next to Paul George. LA also reached for Kyle Kuzma since he is more of a second round prospect and there were better guys on the board like Jordan Bell and Wesley Iwundu. Hart and Bryant are both solid picks. Overall, a good draft for LA.
Phoenix: A
#4 Josh Jackson SF FR Kansas
#32 Davon Reed SG/SF SR Miami
#54 Alec Peters PF SR Valparasio
Phoenix addressed their need for an athletic wing when Josh Jackson fell to 4. A few weeks ago, Jackson seemed to be a top 3 lock so Suns fans should be thrilled with this pick. In the second round, they added a potential 3 and D guy with Reed and a potential stretch four with Peters. Peters is a great value and would have been picked higher if he were healthy.
Sacramento: A
#5 De’Aaron Fox PG FR Kentucky
#15 Justin Jackson SF JR UNC
#20 Harry Giles PF/C FR Duke
#34 Frank Mason PG SR Kansas
It  is hard to complain with the King’s draft this season. Unlike last year when the Kings inexplicably reached for Papagiannis with the 13th pick, Sacramento found great value throughout the draft. The Kings got the guy they wanted, De’Aaron Fox, without having to trade up. They added an extra pick to take a shot on Harry Giles, which was a great move for the Kings who need to accumulate talent and can afford to take risks. Jackson and Mason were appropriately drafted. Great Draft!
Lakers Receive: 27th Pick (Kyle Kuzma), Brook Lopez. Grade B-
Nets Receive: D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov. Grade A
The Lakers only receive a B minus for this trade because while they are clearing cap space to make a splash in free agency, they are just digging themselves out of a self-inflicted hole. Even with the inflated salary cap, everyone, besides the Lakers front office, knew that the Mozgov contract was atrocious and the only way for the Lakers to move it was to attach one of their promising young players. That bad contract cost them a valuable asset in D’Angelo Russell which needs to be considered even if they end up with Paul George. Brook Lopez is an upgrade at center, but he is on an expiring deal. This trade was a home run for the Nets who took on a bad contract to gain an asset. The Nets had no assets and suddenly grabbed a future building block without a high draft pick.
Wizards Receive: Tim Frazier. Grade A
Pelicans Receive: 52nd Pick (Edmond Sumner). Grade B-
Great deal for the Wizards. The probability of the 52nd pick being a valuable player is very slim and they took the sure thing by adding Frazier to be their backup PG. The Pelicans moved the 52nd pick during the draft for a little cap space, which means they probably thought that they could find a comparable replacement at backup PG. Trade did not really benefit New Orleans that much and the Wizards took Frazier for basically nothing.
Timberwolves Receive: Jimmy Butler, 16th pick (Justin Patton). Grade A
Bulls Receive: Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, 7th pick (Lauri Markkanen) Grade B+
This was the biggest trade of the draft. The Wolves add a star in Jimmy Butler to make a playoff push and improve their defense. The Bulls started their rebuild and got three starting caliber pieces, but will it make up for the loss of Butler? Probably not, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Jazz Receive: 13th pick (Donovan Mitchell). Grade B
Nuggets Receive: Trey Lyles, 24th pick (Tyler Lydon). Grade B-
This was a rather unexpected trade, mostly because the Jazz are moving on from Trey Lyles after just two seasons. Lyles had a promising rookie season, but regressed in year two. The Nuggets apparently felt he was worth the risk despite already having a stretch four in Juan Hernangomez. In another puzzling move, the Nuggets drafted two additional stretch fours with Lydon and Cancar. It will be interesting to see what Denver plans to do with their new found PF depth. As for the Jazz, was it really worth giving up on Lyles just to move up 11 spots in the draft? Donovan Mitchell should be a solid player, but there is no guarantee that he will be as productive as Lyles.
Hawks Receive: Miles Plumlee, Marco Bellineli, 41st pick (Tyler Dorsey). Grade C+
Hornets Receive: Dwight Howard, 31st pick (Frank Jackson). Grade B+
This trade was surprising for two main reasons. One, the Hawks gave up on the Dwight Howard homecoming after just one season. And two, Dwight Howard was worth hardly anything on the trade market. The Hawks only received a backup center, backup wing, and second round pick for the former franchise player and they even had to add a pick of their own for Charlotte to take Howard. You would think the Hawks would have just kept Howard if they were to get such a small return. Howard is worth the risk for Charlotte since he brings skills that the current frontcourt players lack. The Hornets also filled Bellineli’s role by drafting Malik Monk 11th overall.