• Jeffrey Bendel

2015 NBA Draft Grades Part 2


*Photo via Indy Star

Part 1

Indiana Pacers

Round 1: Myles Turner (11)

Round 2: Joseph Young (43)

Grade: B+

I really like the Pacers selecting Turner here, not only does he have tremendous upside but it also gives Indiana the ability to move Roy Hibbert.(which they did) It’s quite easy to point out Turner’s awkward way of running but on the other hand he has real potential as a rim protector and even shows off a nice stroke on offense. Indiana wanted Willie Cauley-Stein here, but I believe Turner is a fine consolation prize.

Joseph Young is a first round talent, so picking him up at 43 is a great find by Larry Bird. Young can really light it up; averaging 18+ plus points per game over his last three seasons at Oregon.

Utah Jazz

Round 1: Trey Lyles (12)

Round 2: Olivier Hanlan (42)

Grade: B

The Jazz continue to draft really solid players, but still lack that superstar they need to get out of the lottery. Lyles is another guy fitting that mold, with the ability to play either forward position and both fairly well. Hanlan is another scoring guard that the Jazz hope could supplant Trey Burke as their “point guard until Dante Exum is ready”.

Phoenix Suns

Round 1: Devin Booker (13)

Round 2: Andrew Harrison (44)*

Grade: B+

Booker is the correct pick here, Phoenix needed shooting and Booker is likely the best shooter in the draft. While his percentages dipped during the second half of Kentucky’s season, he still shows huge promise. Some believe he will be strictly a shooter, but Booker has a smooth game and I think he could be very good.

* Harrison was traded to Memphis soon after.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Round 1: Cameron Payne (14)

Round 2: Dakari Johnson (48)

Grade: B-

I don’t really know what to make of these selections by the Thunder; while Payne has shown translatable skills, Johnson has not. Payne will gain playing time fairly early, but Johnson still doesn’t quite look ready. That’s fine, considering the Thunder (when healthy) are already competing for a title.

The clock is running out for Sam Presti, the window to win is now, especially if Durant is serious about leaving. So I understand there’s no rush to find star potential here, but I’m just not certain these were the best prospects available.

Atlanta Hawks

Round 1: N/A

Round 2: Marcus Eriksson (50), Dimitrios Agravanis (59)

Grade: D

The Hawks essentially did nothing to better themselves on draft night, except trading to acquire Tim Hardaway Jr. and I’m not sure that moves the needle much. While Hardaway is a nice shooter, he just isn’t quite the package Kelly Oubre could be. I understand why they aren’t looking for a project, but still there were a variety of quality prospects on the board.

Eriksson and Agravanis are likely to just be draft-and-stash guys; it’s hard to believe either will come over.

Boston Celtics

Round 1: Terry Rozier (16), R.J. Hunter (28)

Round 2: Jordan Mickey (33), Marcus Thornton (45)

Grade: B

I felt the Rozier selection was a little ambitious at 16 especially since they already have Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and needs at every other position. He’s a good prospect, but I find it hard to believe his ceiling is higher than Smart’s on either end of the ball.

Meanwhile snagging R.J. Hunter with the 28th pick was a definite steal. Not only was Hunter the best available but he also brings wing depth to run with James Young and Jae Crowder.

Mickey will provide some decent rim protection but he’ll also be another LSU project big, like many before him. Thornton can score the ball in an array of ways, but this Celtics team is stacked with guards ahead of him.

Milwaukee Bucks

Round 1: Rashad Vaughn (17)

Round 2: N/A

Grade: A-

Vaughn is a very solid selection here; he can score in a multitude of ways and play either guard spot. His numbers at UNLV were stout, especially for a freshman (nearly 18 points per game and 5 rebounds per game), so I don’t mind Milwaukee passing on really good guys like Sam Dekker or Bobby Portis. It’s hard to believe Vaughn will be a big project, but rather he will grow into their third guard.

Houston Rockets

Round 1: Sam Dekker (18)

Round 2: Montrezl Harrell (32)

Grade: A

I absolutely loved both of these picks from a strict basketball standpoint. Dekker and Harrell can come in and contribute from day one; Dekker with his Corey Brewer-like versatility and length, while Harrell is a glass eater and will provide a huge motor. Houston picked up two guys that should play regular minutes this season.

In addition, these selections give Daryl Morey the ability to explore trades for Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer, Terrence Jones, Joey Dorsey and even Donatas Motiejunas if he feels the need. Somehow Morey continues to stockpile assets and stay relevant enough to be a title contender, amazing.

Washington Wizards

Round 1: Kelly Oubre (15, via Atlanta)

Round 2: Aaron White (49)

Grade: A

The Wizards did a fantastic job netting Oubre by trading their 19th pick and two future seconds. This guy can play; he has the body and the potential to become special, maybe the best wing in this draft. Playing with John Wall will help his game grow, and once Oubre gains the knowledge for the game he will be a force.

Toronto Raptors

Round 1: Delon Wright (20)

Round 2: Norman Powell (46, via Milwaukee)

Grade: C+

After trading away Greivis Vasquez, the Delon Wright pick makes sense here. Although he may not have been the best available with Bobby Portis still on the board, he gives Toronto 75 percent of what Vasquez provides on a much cheaper contract. Powell is a tough defender with a growing offensive game, but if he can hit shots there might be some minutes behind DeMarre Carroll, Demar Derozan, and James Johnson.

Part 3

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