Another NBA draft has come and gone as 60 players’ lives changed forever on Thursday night.
This year’s player pool was stacked with talent from top to bottom, which will make this NBA season one of the most anticipated in league history.
Here’s a look at the NBA draft board, a team-by-team list of grades and picks and a breakdown of the three teams who had the best draft nights.
NBA Draft Board
NBA Draft Grades and Picks
Atlanta Hawks (A)
Wake Forest power forward John Collins (19th), Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey (41th), Mega Bemax PF/C Alpha Kaba (60th)
Boston Celtics (A)
Duke forward Jayson Tatum (third), SMU forward Semi Ojeleye (37th), Arizona guard Kadeem Allen (53rd), Cal guard Jabari Bird (56th)
Brooklyn Nets (A)
Texas center Jarrett Allen (22th), FC Barcelona forward Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th)
Charlotte Hornets (B)
Kentucky shooting guard Malik Monk (11th), Florida State shooting guard Dwayne Bacon (40th)
Chicago Bulls (F)
Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen (seventh). Traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for shooting guard Zach LaVine, point guard Kris Dunn and the seventh pick.
Cleveland Cavaliers (n/a)
The Cavs did not have a pick in this draft.
Dallas Mavericks (C)
NC State point guard Dennis Smith (ninth)
Denver Nuggets (B)
Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon (24th), Mega Bemax power forward Vlatko Cancar (49th), Iowa State point guard Monte’ Morris (51st)
Detroit Pistons (A)
Duke shooting guard Luke Kennard (12th)
Golden State Warriors (A)
Oregon power forward Jordan Bell (38th)
Houston Rockets (A)
Zalgiris Kaunas PF Isaiah Hartenstein (43rd)
Indiana Pacers (B)
UCLA power forward T.J. Leaf (18th), UCLA center Ike Anigbogu (47th), Xavier guard Edmond Sumner (52nd)
Los Angeles Clippers (A)
Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans (39th), South Carolina forward Sindarius Thornwell (48th)
Los Angeles Lakers (A)
UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball (No. 2), Utah forward Kyle Kuzma (27th), Villanova guard Josh Hart (30th)
Memphis Grizzlies (A)
Cal forward Ivan Rabb (35th), forward Dillon Brooks (45th)
Miami Heat (A)
Kentucky forward Bam Adebayo (14th)
Milwaukee Bucks (B)
Michigan forward D.J. Wilson (17th), SMU guard Sterling Brown (46th)
Minnesota Timberwolves (A)
Creighton center Justin Patton (16th). Acquired Jimmy Butler and the 16th pick from the Chicago Bulls for shooting guard Zach LaVine, point guard Kris Dunn and the seventh pick.
New Orleans Pelicans (B)
Duke shooting guard Frank Jackson (31st)
New York Knicks (B)
SIG Strasbourg PG Frank Ntilikina (eighth), Houston shooting guard Damyean Dotson (44th), Mega Bemax guard Ognen Jaramaz (58th)
Oklahoma City Thunder (B)
Adelaide guard Terrance Ferguson (21st)
Orlando Magic (B)
Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac (sixth), Kansas State forward Wesley Iwundu (33rd)
Philadelphia 76ers (B)
Washington point guard Markelle Fultz (first), CB Gran Canaria center Anzejs Pasecniks (25th), FMP Beograd power forward Jonah Bolden (36th), Naterre 92 power forward Mathias Lessort (50th)
Phoenix Suns (A)
Kansas forward Josh Jackson (fourth), Miami guard Davon Reed (33rd), Valparaiso power forward Alec Peters (54th)
Portland Trail Blazers (A)
Gonzaga center Zach Collins (10th), Purdue power forward Caleb Swanigan (26th)
Sacramento Kings (A)
Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox (fifth), UNC forward Justin Jackson (15th), Duke forward Harry Giles (20th), Kansas point guard Frank Mason (34th)
San Antonio Spurs (A)
Colorado guard Derrick White (29th), Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame (59th)
Toronto Raptors (B)
Indiana forward OG Anunoby (23rd)
Utah Jazz (A)
Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell (13th), UNC forward/center Tony Bradley (28th), Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss (55th)
Washington Wizards (n/a)
The Wizards did not make a pick in this draft.
The Timberwolves acquired one of the NBA’s 15 best players, so that alone qualifies them as having one of the best draft nights. However, they also picked up a promising prospect in Creighton center Justin Patton, who should form a formidable backcourt trio with Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng.
Minnesota’s starting five will be dynamic next year with Butler in the mix. The team defense, which was among the worst in the NBA, should immediately improve with Butler on the wing.
Although the Timberwolves need to find a way to improve their depth, especially with guards Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn now in Chicago, Tom Thibodeau is notorious for riding his starters longer than any other NBA head coach.
That should work out for the T-Wolves during the regular season, but it could be an issue if they make the playoffs when season-long fatigue could settle in.
Boston’s first two picks earn them an A grade alone. Jayson Tatum is exactly the type of player the C’s need—a wing who can score. Boston’s offense sometimes stagnated last year, with Isaiah Thomas being asked to do too much scoring. With Tatum in the mix, it’ll help the offense flow much better, and those slumps will be fewer and further between.
As for the second pick, the Celtics have a combo guard in Marcus Smart who can do a little bit of everything (except shoot). Now they have a combo forward in Semi Ojeleye who can do a little bit of everything (he can shoot).
Smart is a vital piece to the Celtics’ success, as he can fill in for Isaiah Thomas or Avery Bradley at a moment’s notice. Likewise, the 6’7″, 235-pound Ojeleye should be able to play small forward and could even moonlight as a stretch power forward as well.
Tatum and Ojeleye should help the Celtics become one of the deepest teams in the league, and that’s not even counting a foray into free agency yet.
The Kings, in one draft, got their point guard and franchise cornerstone of the future (De’Aaron Fox), a solid scorer who was the best player on the Division I men’s basketball national championship team (Justin Jackson) and a forward who would have been a top-five pick in this year’s draft if not for injuries (Harry Giles).
That’s one hell of a haul. If all three of those players pan out (Giles should take some time initially as he works his way back from knee injuries), the Kings could have three-fifths of a starting lineup set for a decade.
Fox, in particular, shows the most promise. He checks off every single box a team would want in a point guard except for his shooting. But Fox won’t even turn 20 years old until December 20. He has plenty of time to develop a jumper, and the rest of his game is advanced for someone his age already.
We could be talking about De’Aaron Fox vs. Lonzo Ball as the next big rivalry soon enough.
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