The Prospect Post: NBA Draft Winners and Losers

The Prospect Post: NBA Draft Winners and Losers

This article is part of our The Prospect Post series.

If the NBA Draft is about the future, then it's kind of difficult to judge how well each team fared until some time passes. Common sense, at least, would say that's the case. Does 20 hours count as enough time to make a proper evaluation? No? Well, here are your winners and losers from Thursday night's draft anyway:


Atlanta Hawks
Round 1:Lucas Nogueira (16), Dennis Schroeder (17)
Round 2:Mike Muscala (44), Raul Neto (47)

The Hawks are turning into the Spurs East with former Spur exec Danny Ferry running the team and former Spurs coach Mike Budenholzer now manning the sidelines. And these picks have S-P-U-R-S written all over them. Schroeder could develop into a good point guard and Nogueira has the ability to become a dominant defender if only because offensive players won't be able to see over his hair. Muscala, a good offensive big man, was also a steal at No. 44.

Brooklyn Nets
Round 1:Mason Plumlee (22)
Round 2: N/A

The Nets being a winner doesn't have as much to do with Plumlee as it does with them acquiring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. That's a trade that puts Brooklyn over the top and makes them an immediate contender in the East. Yes, the Heat are still a step ahead of every other team (Brooklyn, Indiana, Chicago, New York), but the Nets are now just one Miami injury away from having a legitimate chance to win the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland Cavaliers
Round 1:Anthony Bennett (1), Sergey Karasev (19)
Round 2:Carrick Felix (33)

Cleveland just barely squeaks in as a winner. While taking Anthony Bennett at No. 1 overall might have been a reach, the bigger problem for the Cavaliers may have been that they drafted two impact small forwards. Bennett will have to move there with Tristan Thompson blocking him at power forward. Now, you have a logjam with your two first-round picks fighting for the same position. It seems counterproductive.

Dallas Mavericks
Round 1: Shane Larkin (18)
Round 2:Ricky Ledo (43)

The Mavericks got their point guard, and they snagged a steal in the second round. Larkin is a quick, athletic guard, who can intelligently run an offense. The issue is that he's small. The Mavs have to find a way around that. Meanwhile, Ledo was the No. 6 recruit in the class of 2012 according to the Rivals150 and fell after sitting out his freshman season at Providence. If he can live up to his recruit ranking, Dallas got a first-round talent with pick 43.

Denver Nuggets
Round 1: N/A
Round 2:Erick Green (46), Joffrey Lauvergne (55)

The Nuggets had a chance to have Rudy Gobert and traded him away, but we won't know for sure how good of a decision that was until we see what Gobert develops into. No one seems to really know what he's going to be. Denver is here because of that 46th pick. Green led the ACC in scoring this past season and is an efficient, strong guard that gets to the line frequently. He might be able to be a good bench scorer in the NBA.

Detroit Pistons
Round 1:Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (8)
Round 2:Tony Mitchell (37), Peyton Siva (56)

The Pistons got a scoring shooting guard and a (hopefully) defensive-minded forward to go with Peyton Siva. Mitchell is an athletic shot blocker with the ability to become a really good player, but there are questions about his motor and basketball IQ. Meanwhile, Caldwell-Pope is a good scorer, but does his presence in Detroit insure that Brandon Knight is a point guard once again?

Golden State Warriors
Round 1:Nemanja Nedovic (30)
Round 2: N/A

The Warriors needed a backup guard and they got one. There's a chance that Jarrett Jack leaves this offseason, and if he does, Golden State actually got decent insurance. There are NBA scouts out there that think that Nedovic deserved to be picked higher than just 30th overall. He's a good athlete and will come over to play in the NBA right away.

Houston Rockets
Round 1: N/A
Round 2:Isaiah Canaan (34)

Even though Houston didn't have a first-round pick, it still managed to find a contributor. In fact, Canaan is someone who could've gone in the late first round, but he didn't hear his name called until pick 34. He is a great shooter with tons of range and has great confidence in his jump shot. Canaan's issue is that he's a super small guard, but if he can score off the bench, that's great value at 34.

Los Angeles Clippers
Round 1:Reggie Bullock (25)
Round 2: N/A

The Clippers got exactly what they needed: a great shooter to play for Doc Rivers. Bullock can play the offensive role that Jason Terry and Ray Allen have played for Doc in the past. He runs off screens pretty well and is one of the best shooters in this year's draft. He's not so much a steal as he is a good fit for this roster.

Memphis Grizzlies
Round 1: N/A
Round 2:Jamaal Franklin (41), Janis Timma (60)

Memphis is becoming one of the more intelligently-run organizations in the NBA and the Grizzlies showed that off Thursday night. Grit-and-grind got another grit-and-grind player in Jamaal Franklin from San Diego State. Franklin is another guy who is a first-round talent that simply fell to the second round. He's a strong defender and a pretty good slasher. He's also one of the best rebounding guards (if not the best rebounding guard) in the nation.

Miami Heat
Round 1: N/A
Round 2:James Ennis (50)

Ennis is someone that could stick on an NBA roster. He is long, quick, and has been one of the better defenders in the country for the past two seasons. He ran Long Beach State's defense and could turn into some sort of defensive specialist that can guard 2s and 3s on the perimeter.

New Orleans Pelicans
Round 1: N/A
Round 2:Pierre Jackson (42)

Jackson is a fine pick, but the Pelicans being in this category has more to do with the trade they pulled off for Jrue Holiday. Think about this: If Anthony Davis makes "the leap" next year, a supreme possibility, and Eric Gordon stays healthy at least for 60 games, the Pelicans potentially have three All-Star caliber players. We're writing off New Orleans now, but that's a team that could make a potential playoff push in the West next year – and we still don't even know what they're going to get for Greivis Vasquez if and when they do trade him.

Oklahoma City Thunder
Round 1:Steven Adams (12), Andre Roberson (26)
Round 2:Alex Abrines (32), Grant Jerrett (40)

The Thunder are just here by a force of habit. Consistently in the draft, they come out winners and Thursday was no different. Oklahoma City got their guy at No. 12. Adams is an athletic, high-character big man with a high ceiling. Meanwhile, though Roberson wasn't considered the most effective collegiate player, the advanced stats would say otherwise. Jerrett is also a nice pick a No. 40. He was a top-20 recruit in his class when he headed to Arizona last fall.

Orlando Magic
Round 1:Victor Oladipo (2)
Round 2:Romero Osby (51)

I actually had Oladipo ranked as my No. 4 prospect, but I'm fine with him going second in the draft. There was no one in the draft this year that had a higher floor than Oladipo. Worse-case scenario, he's a great defender on the perimeter that can at the very least knock down an open shot. That's basically Tony Allen with better shooting. There's a pretty small chance – barring injuries – that anyone will look back on this draft in 10 years and proclaim Oladipo a bust.

Portland Trail Blazers
Round 1: C.J. McCollum (10)
Round 2:Allen Crabbe (31), Jeff Withey (39), Marko Todorovic (45)

Portland is going to have one of the more fun backcourts in the league next season with Lillard and McCollum. Both guys have incredible scoring instincts and play very little defense on the other end. That could lead to some fun moments. Allen Crabbe and Jeff Withey are also steals in the second round. Portland got a little bit of everything: some shooting, some scoring, some defense, some shot blocking. Good job by Neil Olshey.

Sacramento Kings
Round 1:Ben McLemore (7)
Round 2:Ray McCallum (36)

If Tyreke Evans leaves in restricted free agency this summer, the Kings found his replacement in Ben McLemore. McLemore is a good scorer, but the knock on him is his mentality. Can he continue to be an assassin for 82 games? McCallum, meanwhile, is a scoring point guard with a high basketball IQ that has been playing for his father for the past few years at Detroit Mercy. If the Kings get a couple of ball-handling scorers that can get the ball to DeMarcus Cousins out of this draft, that should surely be considered a win.

Utah Jazz
Round 1:Trey Burke (9), Rudy Gobert (27)
Round 2: N/A

The Jazz got its point guard, which is nice because that means that free agent Mo Williams is no longer in Utah. Burke is a smart point guard with loads of range on his shot and is highly capable in a pick-and-roll offense. That works well with Derek Favors, especially. Gobert, meanwhile, has a 7-foot-9 wingspan and a 9-foot-7 standing reach. He's the definition of a project, but at No. 27, someone with a ceiling like his is worth a risk.

Washington Wizards
Round 1:Otto Porter (3)
Round 2:Glen Rice Jr. (35)

Washington got a ball handling forward, who can also play off the ball, in Porter and a quality scorer in Rice. If Rice were a first-round pick, I wouldn't be for it. Giving a guaranteed contract to someone who was kicked out of Georgia Tech and has a reputation of being a disruptive teammate wouldn't be the best idea. But snagging Rice in the second round and letting him fight for a spot on your roster is a smart move and Washington will look quite smart if it pays off.


Boston Celtics
Round 1:Kelly Olynyk (13)
Round 2:Colton Iverson (53)

Kelly Olynyk at 13 is a reach, but that's not even why the Celtics are here. If you're going to rebuild, then why are you taking on Gerald Wallace's contract? If you want draft picks, why are you targeting ones that will (most likely) be late in the first round? Boston keeps accumulating these late-round picks that seem to be more helpful for a team that's contending than one that's trying to become a contender again and it might not all work out in the end.

Charlotte Bobcats
Round 1:Cody Zeller (4)
Round 2: N/A

That's great if you like Cody Zeller, but there's no need to take him at No. 4, especially when Alex Len and Nerlens Noel are still on the board. But let's say Zeller was the highest player on the Bobcats' board and that they were thrilled when he fell to them at pick 4. Why don't you trade down? You know that – at least for a couple more picks – no one will take Zeller. Why not maximize the value of the pick and get a future first rounder out of it so you can still take Zeller seventh or eighth? It doesn't make much sense.

Chicago Bulls
Round 1:Tony Snell (20)
Round 2:Erik Murphy (49)

This one is tough because I'm not the biggest Snell fan out there, but at the same time, I think he is somewhat perfect for Thibs' scheme. If the knock on Snell is that he doesn't play hard and doesn't have much of a motor, Thibs can probably change that. He seems to have done that with so many other players out there. If Snell does actually play hard, he could end up being a force on the defensive end.

Indiana Pacers
Round 1:Solomon Hill (23)
Round 2: N/A

This pick was the shocker of the draft. No one had Hill going anywhere close to the first round, but Indiana did it anyway. The criticism here is similar to the one of Charlotte with its Zeller pick: If you love Solomon Hill, but no one else does, why are you taking him at your allotted draft spot. Indiana could have probably traded out of the first round and still ended up with Hill – except it could've had a couple extra picks in its back pocket, as well.

Los Angeles Lakers
Round 1: N/A
Round 2:Ryan Kelly (48)

I get the Kelly pick. Mike D'Antoni likes doing Mike D'Antoni things and one of those includes acquiring a good stretch 4 to play on the perimeter in his offense. Kelly was that for the Lakers, but was he even the best stretch 4 left on the board. Some would argue that Florida's Erik Murphy, who went on a couple of picks later, might have been the better choice for D'Antoni's system.

Minnesota Timberwolves
Round 1:Shabazz Muhammad (14), Gorgui Dieng (21)
Round 2:Lorenzo Brown (52), Bojan Dubljevic (59)

The Wolves didn't necessarily do poorly in the draft . They got a good spot-up shooter, something the team that finished dead last in three-point percentage this past season desperately needed, and they got a quality big man that can work out of the high post. The reason that Minnesota is sitting in the losers column is because it really wanted Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but missed out on the Georgia product. Instead, the Wolves were forced to select a couple of players who could be quality NBA rotation players, but ones who also don't have particularly high NBA ceilings.

New York Knicks
Round 1:Tim Hardaway Jr.
Round 2: N/A

It's not that Hardaway Jr. is a bad player. It's more that he may not have been the best player on the board. Hardaway doesn't blow anyone away with his talent, but he could end up as a nice D and three player. He can hit shots from the outside and has good size for a shooting guard on the defensive end. But Hardaway probably wasn't even the best D and three guy left on the board. One pick after the Knicks, the Clippers selected UNC product Reggie Bullock, who is a longer player than Hardaway and also a better shooter. Bullock's ceiling is probably higher than Hardaway's, which means the Knicks potentially missed out on an impact player.

Phoenix Suns
Round 1:Alex Len (5), Archie Goodwin (29)
Round 2:Alex Oriakhi (57)

This hurts me because of my affection for Alex Oriakhi's game, but Archie Goodwin is what sends Phoenix into the "Losers" section. Goodwin is a super long shooting guard with good talent, but he's not someone that deserved a guaranteed, first-round contract. He was a total letdown in his only season at Kentucky and is clearly still learning how to play the game.


Philadelphia 76ers
Round 1:Nerlens Noel (6), Michael Carter-Williams (11)
Round 2:Arsalan Kazemi (54)

Let's see how this goes before we make any judgments. The 76ers are clearly in tanking mode for 2013-14 and in retrospect, we probably should've known that they weren't going to keep Jrue Holiday, who is heavy on the midrange game, something that new general manager Sam Hinkie doesn't greatly appreciate. Noel should become a good player, but it will be tough for him to score with a rookie point guard trying to get him the ball. Meanwhile, Michael Carter-Williams is going to need to develop some semblance of a jumper in order to help Philadelphia's offensive spacing.

Milwaukee Bucks
Round 1:Giannis Antetokounmpo (15)
Round 2:Nate Wolters (38)

Antetokounmpo is so unknown that we didn't even know the proper spelling of his name until draft day. The 18 year old is a lanky small forward that handles the ball and has a good basketball IQ, but he won't be ready to play in the NBA for a little while. Supposedly, there is a good chance that the Bucks don't stash him somewhere in Europe. We might see Giannis in the NBA next season, but the chances that he makes an impact at his age and his skill level are miniscule.

San Antonio Spurs
Round 1:Livio Jean-Charles (28)
Round 2:Deshaun Thomas (58)

We can't yet evaluate the Spurs partly because they're the Spurs. They've outsmarted the public one too many times for us to fall for their tricks once again. Jean-Charles is someone we also have to wait to evaluate. He might not make an impact in the NBA for some time. Thomas, though, is a good shooter that fell because he isn't the best athlete in the world. If the Spurs can work their magic and turn him into one of those Spurs-like perimeter shooters that can contribute off the bench, then that's great value at No. 58.

Toronto Raptors
Round 1: N/A
Round 2: N/A

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Fred Katz
Fred Katz averaged almost one point per game in 5th grade, but he maintains that his per 36 minutes numbers were astonishing. Find more of his work at or on ESPN's TrueHoop Network. Follow him on Twitter at @FredKatz.
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