Grading the NBA Draft (Part 3)

Continuing on….

Los Angeles Clippers:

In: Brice Johnson (#25), David Michineau (#39), Diamond Stone (#40)
Out: Cheick Diallo (#33)

The Clippers need to add depth in general to their roster, once their starting five leave the floor so too does their game.

Brice Johnson is the best pickup they got here, he should be able to play at the same time as either Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers won’t lose too much from that perspective. He’s a good rebounder and an athletic player who can (inconsistently) knock down a mid range jumper.

The other two picks are head scratchers at best. Michineau didn’t set the world on fire for his French team last season and Diamond Stone is a player destined to plod away in the D-League.

Doc Rivers isn’t known for playing too many younger players, so it will be interesting to see if Brice Johnson gets much court time next season. Of the Clippers draft picks, he’s the only one where an NBA future can be seen.

Grade: C

Los Angeles Lakers:

In: Brandon Ingram (#2), Ivica Zubac (#32)

The Lakers were taking either Ingram or Simmons, whichever wasn’t taken #1, so Ingram it is. He will come in as the new face of the franchise, a quality scorer and someone who can attack opposing defense and guard multiple positions on his own teams defense. He will be a focal point from day one.

Zubac is another good pick by the Lakers, he could come in right away and be the low post scorer that the Lakers are currently lacking (since Roy Hibbert is failing).

The Lakers were simply going for the best available player with their #2 pick and did that, they then filled a need with the drafting of Zubac; a good day for the Lakers.

Grade: A

Memphis Grizzlies:

In: Wade Baldwin IV (#17), Deyonta Davis (#31), Rade Zagorac (#35), Wang Zhelin (#57)
Out: 2019 lottery protected first round pick

With Mike Conley potentially on the way out the Grizzlies have drafted a player in Wade Baldwin IV that can either play with him or for him in the upcoming season. He’s a good defender like Conley and has good court vision so should be able to run the team.

Deyonta Davis was one of the big, if not the biggest, sliders through the Draft. Many expected him to go in the top ten, he instead slid down to 31st. Davis is a player who can knock down mid range shots and is extremely physically gifted when it comes to blocking shots and rebounding.

Zagorac and Weng Zhelin won’t be seen in the NBA for a while, they’ll keep plying their trade overseas.

The Grizzlies picked up two lottery/borderline lottery talents and that makes it two players who will be able to come into the team next season and gain court time.

Grade: A

Miami Heat:

Nothing.

Milwaukee Bucks:

In: Thon Maker (#10), Malcolm Brogdon (#36), Cash
Out: Patrick McCaw (#38)

Wow…just wow! I’m an Aussie and I am ecstatic that Maker went this high but also extremely shocked that it happened.

The Bucks are going for length with their bigs (think John Henson, Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo) and Maker certainly adds more there. A 7’1″ PF who can knock down a three point shot and handle the ball.
There’s just one fairly large problem, he is as skinny as they come and is no chance of banging with the big men of the NBA in the paint. It will be very interesting to see if the Bucks have him on their main roster or send him to the D-League to develop some more.

Brogdon is a good shooter on one end and a good defender on the other end, if Jason Kidd allows him court time next season he could be talked about as that steal in the second round that appears in every Draft.

The Bucks have taken a huge gamble with Maker at #10, only time will tell how that one pays off.

Grade: C+

Minnesota Timberwolves:

In: Kris Dunn (#5)

Dunn doesn’t quite fit on the Timberwolves right now with Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine but there have been constant talks about one of those players being on the move.

A good defender and a player with good scoring prowess, he will see minutes either way with the Timberwolves but if Rubio/LaVine stays then it would be on the second unit rather than leading the team. Like Rubio he is an excellent assist man with great basketball IQ and court vision, so playing alongside the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns will be exciting to watch.

To see just how good this pick can be we have to wait to see what other moves the Timberwolves make with their roster.

Grade: B+

New Orleans Pelicans:

In: Buddy Hield (#6), Cheick Diallo (#33)
Out: David Michineau (#39), Diamond Stone (#40)

The Pelicans have got themselves a shooter to put alongside Anthony Davis in Buddy Hield. He shot the ball at 50.1% from the field and 45.7% from deep last season and managed to put in 25ppg. A perfect fit for the Pelicans team who relies too much on Davis on the offensive end.

In Diallo they’ve picked up a big that isn’t dissimilar to Omer Asik, a good defensive player but a fairly limited offensive player. Some great backup on the wings or another guard (with the constant injuries to Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday).

Grade: B-

New York Knicks:

Nothing.

About Mark Vallance 364 Articles
The Owner/Manager along with Daniel, Mark is the lead NBA and NBL contributor to TBL Daily. Writing mostly about basketball, Mark can and will dabble in just about every sport. When he isn't doing something on TBL Daily Mark works in a sports governing body within Australia, concentrating on the development, marketing, promotion, events and operations of the sport.