Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:19 am

NBA Draft Grades

Atlanta Hawks

Round 1: None
Round 2: Keith Benson (48)
Grade: B

The Hawks only had one 2<sup>nd</sup> round pick and used it to grab this lanky center. 

Boston Celtics

Round 1: JaJuan Johnson (27)
Round 2: E'Twaun Moore (55)
Grade: B+

I mocked Johnson going to the Celtics and it makes perfect sense.  The Celtics probably have one good run left in them.  Why not grab an accomplished college senior who can fit in right away?

Charlotte Bobcats

Round 1: Bismack Biyombo (7); Kemba Walker (9)
Round 2: None
Grade: D

The Bobcats were busy on draft night.  The Bucks clearly won that 3 team trade.  The Bobcats moved up 10 slots in the draft while keeping their 7<sup>th</sup> pick.  They got Corey Maggette and his terrible contract.  Stephen Jackson was a much better and cheaper option.  Biyombo adds toughness in the interior, but it’s similar to Tyrus Thomas in that regard, which leads them to minimal frontcourt scoring. 

Kemba - I don’t understand since DJ Augustin is clearly a part of their core.  Unless they want to have dual PGs in the back court, I don’t get it.  I won’t give them an F because clearly they are imploding this team and will probably have a top 3 selection next year.

Chicago Bulls

Round 1: Nikola Mirotic (23); Jimmy Butler (30)
Round 2: None

Grade: C+

Mirotic is a good prospect, but will probably spend some time overseas.  I’m confident the Bulls will address their meager SG situation via free agency.


Cleveland Cavaliers

Round 1: Kyrie Irving (1); Tristan Thompson (4)
Round 2: Milan Macvan (54)
 Grade: C

I thought Derrick Williams would be the better selection.  He probably has the greatest star ability in this weak class.  He is a very versatile offensive player and is an efficient shooter and rebounder for his size.  He is the immediate player that can help turn this team around.  I have a lot of quarrels about Irving, but he can be a good pro. 

They definitely panicked to me when Kanter was taken 3<sup>rd</sup>.  Thompson was easily the biggest shocker of the draft.  The young Canadian brings a lot of toughness, but he is an offensive liability.  They will be extremely small if they play Thompson along with Hickson.  

I would have taken a Williams – Knight pairing over an Irving – Thompson, but we’ll see.


Dallas Mavericks

Round 1: None
Round 2: None
Grade: B

What the Mavs did was trade their late 1<sup>st</sup> round pick to acquire Rudy Fernandez.  Great move since he is a proven NBA veteran who can help out off the bench and was better than any player on the board.

Denver Nuggets

Round 1: Kenneth Faried (22); Jordan Hamilton (26)
Round 2: Chukwudiebere Maduabum (56)
Grade: A

The Nuggets were busy on draft night.   They traded away Raymond Felton for solid veteran Andre Miller.  Miller will play reserve Lawson and will be an effective man off the bench.  Felton was never in their long term plays anyway.  They also got Jordan Hamilton at the end of the first who was another player who slipped too far.

I mocked Faried to the Nuggets and they were wise in picking him.  Kenyon Martin is no longer useful, and Faried is a committed defender and was one of the best rebounders in NCAA history.




Detroit Pistons

Round 1: Brandon Knight (8)
Round 2: Kyle Singler (33); Vernon Macklin (52)

Grade: B+

Brandon Knight was probably the 2<sup>nd</sup> best Point in this class.  Getting him at 8 was a gift.  If Stuckey stays in town, the Pistons have some decent guard depth along with Ben Gordon.  Kyle Singler probably regrets not declaring a year earlier, but he can help this team out off the bench.

Golden State Warriors

Round 1: Klay Thompson (11)
Round 2: Jeremy Tyler (39); Charles Jenkins (44)
Grade: B

Mark Jackson did a good job in finding a replacement for Monta Ellis – whom will likely be traded at some point.   Thompson’s father was a former #1 pick.  Also they got 2 players in the 2<sup>nd</sup> round that could be serviceable off the bench in the foreseeable future.


Houston Rockets

Round 1: Marcus Morris (14); Donatas Motiejunas (20)
Round 2: Chandler Parsons (38)
Grade: B

The Rockets added a lot of size in the draft.  Morris was a nice selection as he a versatile forward who has a nice inside/outside game.  There is some intrigue in Donatas as he slid further than I thought.  Parsons could be a decent bench player.

Indiana Pacers

Round 1: None
Round 2: None
Grade: B+

Larry Bird didn’t think this draft was worthy of any selection, which is why he traded the 15<sup>th</sup> pick for George Hill.  Not a bad move, since he gives them some much needed depth in the back court.

Los Angeles Clippers

Round 1: None
Round 2: Trey Thompkins (37); Travis Leslie (47)
Grade: C+

I’m giving the Clipps a low grade because they could have had the number one pick this year! No, but in all honestly, they didn’t do much with what they had in this one.  Plus they could have had the number one pick.

Los Angeles Lakers

Round 1: None
Round 2: Darius Morris (41); Andrew Goudelock (46); Ater Majok (58)
Grade: B

The Lakers haven’t done anything relevant in the draft since they traded for Kobe it seems.  They got good value with Morris in the 2<sup>nd</sup> round in case Shannon Brown departs.

Memphis Grizzlies

Round 1: None
Round 2: Josh Selby (49)
Grade: B

Probably took the best available player with the 49<sup>th</sup> pick.  Not a bad pick as Selby could use some seasoning in the D League.

Miami Heat

Round 1: Norris Cole (28)
Round 2: None
Grade: B

Nice move by the Heat snagging Cole in the 1<sup>st</sup> round.  He gives them a much needed upgrade in the back court.  Mike Bibby and Eddie House are likely out of town for good reason.



Milwaukee Bucks

Round 1: Tobias Harris (19)
Round 2: Jon Leuer (40)
Grade: A

The Bucks were big winners as GM John Hammond continues to show why he’s one of the leagues best.  They dumped their 2 worst salaries in John Salmons and Corey Maggette and acquired 2 better players in Stephen Jackson and Beno Udrih for less money.  Instead of the 10<sup>th</sup>, they got Tobias with the 19<sup>th</sup>.  He was the youngest player in this year’s class, but was a very nice selection.  If the deer can remain healthy they will be back in the playoffs.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Round 1: Derrick Williams (2)
Round 2: Malcolm Lee (43); Targuy Ngombo (57)
Grade: B

They took the best player available at 2 which was a wise move.  They were unsuccessful in trying to trade this selection for a veteran.  It seems the Wolves traded back too many times as they could have gotten a decent big man in the 1<sup>st</sup> round.

New Jersey Nets

Round 1: MarShon Brooks (25)
Round 2: Bojan Bogdanovic (31); Jordan Williams (36)
Grade: B

I really don’t know what the Nets are doing.  I doubt Deron Williams is going to stick around, if Dwight goes to LA and CP3 on a greater landscape as well.  Give them credit for trying.  Brooks can be a good 6<sup>th</sup> man in the NBA who can score the basketball.

New Orleans Hornets

Round 1: None
Round 2: None
Grade: None

New York Knicks

Round 1: Iman Shumpert (17)
Round 2: Josh Harrellson (45)

Grade: D
The one thing I miss about Isaiah was his ability to find gems in the draft – Nate Robinson, Wilson Chandler, and David Lee.  These guys were snagged at the end of the first round. 

Iman Shumpert is known for his defense, but the Knicks need to address size.  Getting a player like Singleton could have made the Knight immediately tougher.  He would have been a huge upgrade in the Jared Jeffries role. 

There is a nice spot on the end of the bench with Harrellsons name on it.
Grade: D

Oklahoma City Thunder

Round 1: Reggie Jackson (24)
Round 2: None
Grade: B

The Thunder got a nice player for their backcourt in Jackson.  OKC committed to him from the beginning.

Orlando Magic

Round 1: None
Round 2: Justin Harper (32); DeAndre Liggins (53)

Grade: B-
Harper can be a good fit as he is a hybrid of Ryan Anderson and Jason Thompson

Philadelphia 76ers

Round 1: Nikola Vucevic (16)
Round 2: Lavoy Allen (50)
Grade: B+

I like the Vucevic pick.  The Sixers needed size and got one of the few 7 footers in this draft class. Lavoy Allen can be a good player when he wants to be.

Phoenix Suns

Round 1: Markieff Morris (13)
Round 2: None

Grade: B
The Suns needed size and got a nice player in Morris. 

Portland Trail Blazers

Round 1: Nolan Smith (21)
Round 2: Jon Diebler (51)

Grade: C+
Nolan Smith is probably a poor mans Chris Duhon.  Diebler is a poor mans JJ Redick.
Would have like to seen them go after a big man.

Sacramento Kings

Round 1: Jimmer Fredette (10)
Round 2: Tyler Honeycutt (35); Isaiah Thomas (60)
Grade: C+

Jimmer is good, but I think he will be a more effective bench player in the NBA.  I would have loved to have seen the Kings address their meager wing position.  Kawhi Leonard would have been the right pick here.  I also don’t understand the trade they made.  Yes they got their man in Jimmer, but they get John Salmons who is similar to Francisco Garcia, both are not very good and are due a lot of money.

Also not a fan of their 2<sup>nd</sup> round picks.

San Antonio Spurs

Round 1: Kawhi Leonard (15); Cory Joseph (29)
Round 2: Davis Bertans (42); Adam Hanga (59)
Grade: B+

I’m just going to give the Spurs a good grade because they always know what they are doing in the draft.  Kawhi Leonard slid way too far down to 15, and the Spurs did the right thing by trading George Hill to get him. 

Bertans and Hanga were 2 international players who had first round potential – that’s okay because they won’t be needed in a few years.

Toronto Raptors:

Jonas Valanciunas.

Grade: B+

Not a bad move, considering the impeding doom of the lockout.  The Raptors aren’t going to be relevant either way, so they will bring in Jonas with whatever top 5 talent they get next season.

Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter, Alec Burks.

Grade: C

I don’t really know what the Jazz are doing, when they already have a nice stable of big men with Jefferson, Millsap, and Favors.  2 are owed a lot of money, and Favors cost them their franchise player.  One of these men will be moved for probably another prospect.  The Jazz have pretty much imploded their franchise since Deron leaving and Sloan resigning. 

Washington Wizards: Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton.

Grade: A+.

The Wizards get the only A+ this year because they are clearly one of the bad teams going in the right direction.  Vesely is an athletic player and will be a nice compliment with John Wall.  Singleton is the best defender in the draft.   

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 17, 2008 6:59 am

My First Live Draft Experience

So it's mid October and I am in complete foreign obsolete territory. In some swanky upscale apartment in the City and my buddy invited me to join his Fantasy Hockey League. I am both excited and nervous. Excited in which I could delve my personal experience of Fantasy domination to complete strangers, Nervous because there is 200 dollars riding on this and the winner will walk away with about 2 Grand and change.

Upon meeting everyone I've noticed that their are different species of fantasy players. They are as follows:

The Master - someone like me who religiously will check up on their stats and probably do more than the average number of waiver transactions throughout the course of the season (i'm up to 68 this season). someone who brought their own draft cheat sheets and hockey magazines with them. also sporting the jersey of their favorite team (NY Rangers - Brian Leetch throwback). 

The Noobie - this person is completely impervious to fantasy sports, even hockey in general. he just sought it as a good time to hang out and drink beers.  he is often asking for guidance about who to select next, which players are good, who are the hot rookies, when he should draft a goalie, etc. etc. his questioning gets progressively worse with each Heineken he engulfs through the ongoing rounds.

The Jerk - this guys talks louder than his this fantasy team will project him to be. after every pick he moans "aw man what a steal", or "aw man i can't believe you guys didn't see him". needless to say his team is flirting in the middle of the table, and since we are in a points league he will religiously complain about the settings.

The Casual Fan - these are the worst. they promptly show up to the draft, anticipating a new fresh start for fantasy salvation. after a week into the season it was like he was never there at the live draft. his team remains unchanged and red bold text of IR is everywhere on his teams page. Either he forgot he put his hard earned money into it, forgot his ID and PW for Yahoo!, or just simply jumped off a cliff remains a mystery. But you can thank him for collecting his money at the end.

Needless to say after a dozen beers and hours later the battle is over with. I am content with my team and am in shock of some of the moves made (Chris Drury taken SECOND overall?!) So in conclusion if you are a diehard fantasy fan and want to have a good time while you draft instead of sitting in your dark room with  the light of the tv glowing in your face, listening to depressing music while drinking warm beer, I highly recommend live drafting with your buddies. Just bring ample Beer and Pretzels with you and have a good time!
Category: General
Posted on: January 17, 2008 6:42 am

Sports This Time of the Year

I think this is one of the best times to be a sports fan, which goes for all genres of sport.

Tennis season is back in effect with the Australian Open. If you're an insomniac like me you'll have no trouble catching up all the exciting action in the wee hours of the morning. Don't say tennis isn't exciting to watch because it is.

College Basketball begins conference play, which is good because just like any other sport this is exciting at first and you may tend to falter in your lax fan hood throughout the rest of the season until March Madness rolls around.

The middle of the NBA and NHL seasons are always exciting as teams push for playoff spots and trade rumors start to swirl about. Plus trash talking to your buddies is at its peak hours during this time of year.

NFL Playoffs! This goes easily without saying much, especially sine my Packers are poised for the Lombardi trophy in over a decade!

And best of all.. NO NASCAR! I'm sick of ESPN hoarding analysis and wasting time on people who make left handed turns.
Category: General
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or