• Dylan Jackson

2018 NBA Draft Grades


Photo Credit: Fox/ Dallas

Atlanta Hawks

Grade: B+

Incoming: Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Omari Spellman, 2019 Mavericks First Round Pick 1-5 protected

Outgoing: Luka Doncic, Devonte' Graham

The Atlanta Hawks added a lot of shooting in this draft. Trae Young was arguably the best point guard in this class and Kevin Huerter's talent cannot be denied. Omari Spellman should be able to stretch the floor in some senses and may be able to contribute right away on the defensive side of the ball. All in all, the Hawks moved down and still got the player they originally wanted, adding another pick.

Boston Celtics

Grade: A

Incoming: Robert Williams, Two Future Detroit Second Round Picks

Outgoing: Khyri Thomas

The Celtics lucked out when Robert Williams, a player projected to go in the lottery, fell all the way to the Celtics' pick at 27 overall. I do feel as if the Celtics should have held on to Khyri Thomas, especially with the value of him in the second round. But two-second rounders is certainly better than nothing.

Brooklyn Nets

Grade: B+

Incoming: Dzanan Musa, Rodions Kurucs

Outgoing: N/A

Sean Marks has done an outstanding job building the Brooklyn Nets over the past few years. In this draft, he gets two developmental pieces. Dzanan Musa, if developed correctly, could be a great 3&D player moving forward. Rodions Kurucs could also be a nice draft-and-stash player moving forward.

Charlotte Hornets

Grade: C

Incoming: Miles Bridges, Devonte' Graham, Arnoldas Kulboka, 2020 Second Round Pick, 2021 Second Round Pick, Unknown Return for Hamidou Diallo

Outgoing: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 2019 Second Round Pick, 2023 Second Round Pick, Hamidou Diallo

As a Hornets fan, I'm pretty disappointed in this draft class, especially the Gilgeous-Alexander/Bridges swap. It just goes to show the Hornets will continue to neglect the rotational guard need. Although I will say that Devonte' Graham is an instant upgrade over Michael Carter-Williams, the better pick would have been De'Anthony Melton or even Shake Milton.

Chicago Bulls

Grade: A-

Incoming: Wendell Carter, Chandler Hutchison

Outgoing: N/A

The Bulls grab the third best player in this draft with the seventh overall pick, so I guess you could say they had a pretty nice draft. Pairing Carter with Markkanen should be a stellar frontcourt duo for the Bulls moving forward. Hutchison should also be a solid rotational wing.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Grade: C

Incoming: Collin Sexton

Outgoing: N/A

I really did think the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to trade this pick for a player like Kemba Walker, but I'm not surprised they kept it. Collin Sexton is a score-first point guard who is a hound on-ball defending.

Dallas Mavericks

Grade: A

Incoming: Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson

Outgoing: Trae Young, 2019 First Round Pick 1-5 Protected

The Dallas Mavericks may have given up a future first-round pick, but they landed the best player in this draft in Luka Doncic. Therefore, they easily win this draft, especially considering the possible duo between Dennis Smith and Luka Doncic. Jalen Brunson is also a great rotational pickup for the Mavs.

Denver Nuggets

Grade: B+

Incoming: Michael Porter, Jarred Vanderbilt, Thomas Welsch

Outgoing: Justin Jackson, Future Second Round Pick

The Denver Nuggets took a risk 12 other teams weren't willing to take, when they selected Michael Porter. The Nuggets also gained some rebounding when they selected Jarred Vanderbilt of Kentucky, who is another high risk, high reward player. They traded Justin Jackson and a second-round pick to obtain Vanderbilt, so we will see who gets the better of that trade in the end.

Detroit Pistons

Grade: A

Incoming: Khyri Thomas, Bruce Brown

Outgoing: Two Future Second Round Picks

The Detroit Pistons may have gotten two first-round worthy players for a very low price. Khyri Thomas was ranked on my big board as a top-20 prospect, so the fact that the Pistons got him for two second round picks is amazing. Thomas should be a nice 3&D player moving forward. Brown also should have a rotational defensive impact.

Golden State Warriors

Grade: C

Incoming: Jacob Evans

Outgoing: N/A

The Golden State Warriors added a defensively versatile player in Jacob Evans. They attempted to trade for another second round pick but were unsuccessful. I'm not high on Evans but I can definitely see the appeal.

Houston Rockets

Grade: A+

Incoming: De'Anthony Melton

Outgoing: N/A

The Rockets needed to come out of this draft with another point guard. They got their guy in De'Anthony Melton. This is the only team that I have awarded an A+ grade due to them getting an all-around prospect in Melton, who was my 12th ranked player and the Rockets managed to snag him at 46 overall.

Indiana Pacers

Grade: C

Incoming: Aaron Holiday, Alize Johnson

Outgoing: N/A

I simply didn't like the Indiana Pacers draft class. I view Aaron Holiday as a bucket-getter off the bench and the Pacers would have been better off selecting a player like Keita Bates-Diop, especially if they plan on letting Bojan Bogdanovic walk. Alize Johnson was a nice flyer in the second round though.

LA Clippers

Grade: B

Incoming: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson

Outgoing: Two Future Second Round Picks

I absolutely adore the trade to acquire Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from the Charlotte Hornets but am also a bit concerned about the reach of Jerome Robinson. The Clippers probably would have been better served to take a player like Robert Williams or Troy Brown.

LA Lakers

Grade: C

Incoming: Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Svi Mykhailiuk

Outgoing: N/A

Well, the Los Angeles Lakers didn't trade for Kawhi Leonard, and that's exactly what I think about when I view this draft class. I think the Lakers reached for every player that they picked, and settled for value instead of trading down to grab players. Wagner might be a nice stretch-four moving forward, but Bonga and Svi just remind me of typical second-round players who won't make the roster.

Memphis Grizzlies

Grade: B+

Incoming: Jaren Jackson, Jevon Carter

Outgoing: N/A

The Grizzlies had a pretty plain draft class. Jaren Jackson is a great developmental piece and Jevon Carter is an instant upgrade over Mario Chalmers. Jaren Jackson is a modern NBA big and the Grizzlies should be ecstatic they decided to stay put in the draft.

Miami Heat

Grade: N/A

Incoming: N/A

Outgoing: N/A

Milwaukee Bucks

Grade: C-

Incoming: Donte DiVincenzo

Outgoing: N/A

The Bucks reached for a player that was overhyped due to his stellar tournament run. DiVincenzo isn't a bad player but he is nowhere near the 17th overall pick price the Bucks paid. Milwaukee would be much better served to take a player like Lonnie Walker or Keita Bates-Diop.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Grade: A

Incoming: Josh Okogie, Keita Bates-Diop

Outgoing: N/A

The Minnesota Timberwolves grabbed a talented pair of wings in this draft. Josh Okogie is an underrated athlete who can make defensive switches with ease. Bates-Diop is one of the most NBA-ready players as well and has a very nice all-around game. The Timberwolves grab a solid pair of contributors.

New Orleans Pelicans

Grade: B

Incoming: Tony Carr

Outgoing: N/A

The Pelicans

The Pelicans traded up to pick a point guard in last year's draft early in the second round. This year, they stay put and pick another developmental point guard in Tony Carr. Carr will likely be a G-Leaguer who the Pelicans hope develop into a rotational piece one day.

New York Knicks

Grade: B

Incoming: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson

Outgoing: N/A

Death. Taxes. And the Knicks' fans booing the player that they select in the first round. While Knox may have been a bit of a reach at nine overall, the Mitchell Robinson pick in the second round was excellent value for the Knicks. Knox also has a lot of developmental traits and could be deadly next to Porzingis.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Grade: C+

Incoming: Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Hervey, Devon Hall

Outgoing: Unknown (Sent to Charlotte for Hamidou Diallo)

The OKC Thunder have a trio of second-round picks here, so they're bound to have at least one pan out. Hervey is my favorite pick of theirs, but Diallo is an athletic freak who should dominate the G-League if relegated.

Orlando Magic

Grade: A

Incoming: Mohamed Bamba, Melvin Frazier, Justin Jackson

Outgoing: Jarred Vanderbilt

The Orlando Magic selected my second-ranked player with the sixth overall pick, so I guess you could say they are one of this draft's winners. Mohamed Bamba is an intelligent player and person with the upside on defense to be a Rudy Gobert-esque player.

Philadelphia 76ers

Grade: A

Incoming: Zhaire Smith, Landry Shamet, Shake Milton, Kostas Antetokounmpo, 2021 Heat First Round Pick

Outgoing: Mikal Bridges

The 76ers traded for Zhaire Smith and added some rotational pieces in Landry Shamet and Shake Milton. While all of these three guys are considered boom-or-bust players, if the 76ers hit on one or two, Brett Brown will look like a genius.

Phoenix Suns

Grade: A

Incoming: DeAndre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo, George King

Outgoing: Zhaire Smith, 2021 Heat First Round Pick

The Phoenix Suns needed a makeover. Ayton, Bridges, and Okobo could all be starters for the Suns and pretty good ones too. The Ayton selection was pretty much a given but Bridges adds quality depth and Okobo likely would have been a lottery pick if he played college ball.

Portland Trail Blazers

Grade: B

Incoming: Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent

Outgoing: Two Future Second Round Picks

The Trail Blazers added two very different types of guards in this draft. With Simons, Portland adds a raw talent with the offensive upside to be a 15 PPG scorer. With Trent, the Trail Blazers add an instant impact wing.

Sacramento Kings:

Grade: F

Incoming: Marvin Bagley, Two Future Second Round Picks

Outgoing: Gary Trent

The Kings passed on the best European prospect ever with the second overall pick. This pick is simply a what-could-have-been, just like the majority of the Kings selections in the Vlade Divac era. Bagley has a lot of offensive upside but passing on a talent like Doncic takes a whole lot of ignorance.

San Antonio Spurs

Grade: B-

Incoming: Lonnie Walker IV, Chimezie Metu

Outgoing: N/A

The Spurs will probably turn Lonnie Walker into the best two-guard in the league while many teams wonder how on Earth they do it... but Walker has the two-way potential and athleticism to be an all-star caliber guard. The main problem is his consistency and off-ball defense.

Toronto Raptors

Grade: N/A

Incoming: N/A

Outgoing: N/A

Utah Jazz

Grade: D

Incoming: Grayson Allen, Vince Edwards

Outgoing: N/A

The Utah Jazz needed another playmaker with their pick. While Allen certainly does fit that mold, he certainly wasn't the best player available.

Washington Wizards

Grade: B-

Incoming: Troy Brown, Issuf Sanon

Outgoing: N/A

The Wizards did a good job finding a player that fits their current team. Troy Brown is a team-first player who can come off the bench for Bradley Beal or Otto Porter. If the Wizards wanted a contributor, they certainly got one.

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