2017 NBA Draft Grades Round 1

6/23/17
#
Team
Player
Pos
Ht
From Analysis Comp
G
1
76ers
Markelle Fultz PG 6-5 Washington There couldn't be a better fit for the Sixers than the versatile and dynamic Markelle Fultz and they did the right thing to move up to get him. Fultz has elite tools and uncanny ability and could develop into the next great lead guard in the NBA. Even as the #1 overall pick he could be underrated as a prospect (just ask Ainge). More
Westbrook
A+
2
Lakers Lonzo Ball PG 6-6 UCLA The Lakers are building a special back court with Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. They're both dynamic but unselfish players who should compliment each other well and help make the team better. Trading Russell and turning the franchise over to Ball should payoff, thanks to his elite play-making ability and win-first mentality. More
Jason Kidd
A
3
Celtics
Jayson Tatum SF 6-8 Duke This is a solid and safe pick for a franchise that needed to improve but didn't need to swing for the fences. Tatum will be able to score in the League but it remains to be seen if he can impact all facets of the game. He's young, talented and has a great opportunity to play for a winning team while developing his game. More
Paul Pierce
B+
4
Suns Josh Jackson SF 6-8 Kansas At some point the talented young Suns need to convert that talent into winning games, and a player like Jackson should help make that happen. He brings great defensive instincts and competitive fire while fitting in perfectly between Booker and the young bigs. He's an underrated play-maker on offense and should benefit greatly from playing next to a pure scorer like Booker. Congrats to all the Suns fans who were clamoring for this pick since before the lottery. More
T-Mac - Drexler
A
5
Kings
De'Aaron Fox PG 6-3 Kentucky Things are looking up for Kings thanks to the Cousins trade and the emergence of a new young core. Fox is the perfect compliment to this group as a pass-first point guard who is a heart-and-soul type of player, who changes the dynamic of the team with his leadership, passion and play-making ability. More
Rondo/Wall
A
6
Magic
Jonathan Isaac PF 6-10 Florida State Isaac is a solid fit for the Magic, who have a few pieces in place but really need an influx of talent on the roster. He's a two-way player who has a chance to be really good on both sides of the ball. He probably doesn't move the needle in terms of wins/loses this year but he's a solid combo forward to build around. More
Tim Thomas
B+
7
Bulls
7-0 Arizona I don't hate the Butler trade like most people do. The Bulls knew he was on his way out and they got some decent value for him while they could. Markkanen has some boom/bust potential but has a chance to become an elite three point shooter at 7 feet tall. He should at least be a Ryan Anderson type player and has a chance to be much more. More
Ryan Anderson
B
8
Knicks
Frank Ntilikina PG 6-6 Belgium The Knicks are a mess. Jackson should be fired. But with that said I like this selection, both for the fit in NY and for the upside that Ntilikina has. His length and all around game should translate well and he's super young, just scratching the surface of his potential. More
Dante Exum
B+
9
Mavs
Dennis Smith Jr. PG 6-2 NC State A really nice value at this point in the draft, Smith is a truly explosive player who will bring a lot of excitement to Dallas. He's more of a pure scorer than a pure point guard but he goes to a good organization with good coaching that should maximize his potential. More
Steve Francis/ Eric Bledsoe
B
10
Blazers
Zach Collins C 7-0 Gonzaga The Trailblazers were aggressive in moving up to get their man. Only problem is that Collins is still unproven and has some bust potential. I like the fit in Portland where he'll have time to develop but seeing the players that were available at #15 and #20, I'd rather have those two picks than Collins. More
better Channing Frye
C+
11
Hornets Malik Monk SG 6-3 Kentucky The depth of this draft was on full display as a player like Monk fell out of the top 10. His scoring ability and insane athleticism will translate well, despite his lack of ideal size. Monk brings a new level of firepower to the Hornets offense and should be a bucket-getter from day one. More
Bradley Beal/LaVine
A
12
Pistons
6-6 Duke This pick reminds me of Stauskas, Jimmer, Shawn Respert etc... players who can light it up in college but might not have the same success in the NBA. He's a great shooter with good intangibles but might not have the overall ability to be a starter at the next level. With so much talent in this draft, picking Kennard at 12 doesn't make sense. More
Wesley Mathews
C-
13
Jazz
6-3 Louisville Mitchell brings a lot to the table for the Jazz, but also has a long way to go to put all his skills and ability together. His length and defensive potential should help him be an impact player from day one and he's got some upside on offense, both as a driver and someone who can space the floor. More
Marcus Smart
B
14
Heat
Bam Adebayo PF 6-10 Kentucky The Heat did well adding Bam to play next to/behind Whiteside. He has some bust potential but his upside and athletic ability are too much to pass at this point in the draft. He showed an expanding shooting range in workouts and seems to be a player with a lot of improvements still to come. More
Antonio McDyess
B+
15
Kings
6-8 UNC The Kings continue to shift the culture of their team, and Jackson is another high character guy who plays the game the right way. He doesn't project as a high level starter but he's a really solid player who can contribute right away and fills a position of need. There were players with more upside available but the Kings did well to add the solid (if unspectacular) Jackson. More
a nice Matt Barnes
B
16
T-Wolves
Justin Patton C 7-0 Creighton This is a swing for the fences pick. Patton has a chance to develop into a really good player, thanks to his great height/speed combination and high skill level. He'll get to learn behind Towns, which will benefit his development. There's also some serious bust potential here but at this point in the draft Patton is a risk worth taking. More
poor man's KAT
A-
17
Bucks
D.J. Wilson PF 6-10 Michigan I'm not as high on Wilson as some people but I love the fit for the Bucks, who add a ton more length and open court ability with this pick. He'll get some easy buckets playing next to Giannis and has a chance to fill the void left by Parker's injuries.
-
B+
18
Pacers
6-10
UCLA TJ is a nice fit next to Turner for the Pacers but it remains to be seen if his game translates into being a starter at the next level. At the very least he'll provide shooting off the bench. He's got a nice feel for the game and plays the right way. More
Tom Gugliotta
B-
19
Hawks
John Collins PF 6-10 Wake Forest The Hawks needed to address the front court and they get a good PF prospect in Collins. I don't think he moves the needle for the team but he fills a need and could develop into a decent starter in time. More
almost Chriss
B
20
Kings
Harry Giles PF 6-10 Duke I love this pick. The Kings have depth up front, which will allow them to bring Giles along slowly. He has a chance to regain much of his ability after the injuries and be a high level starter in the League. And if he's a bust or gets injured again, well, at least the Kings went down swinging. He's a great kid, hard worker and high character guy, which seems to be the theme for Kings. More
Rasheed Wallace/Bobby Portis
A
21
Thunder
Terrance Ferguson SG 6-7 USA This is a really good fit for Ferguson. He'll get to space the floor and get some open looks from 3, while not being asked to do too much with the ball in his hands. With that said, he's a bit of a reach here, especially considering the Thunder are a playoff team that could've used an instant impact player.  More
taller J.R. Smith
B-
22
Nets
Jarrett Allen
C
6-11 Texas Allen is a vastly underrated player who has a chance to develop into a long-term starter at the center position. He might take a few years to develop but with his crazy length and fundamentally sound game the wait will be worth it. The Nets did well to net Allen at this point in the draft. More
Joakim Noah
A
23
Raptors OG Anunoby SF 6-8 Indiana This is a good value pick, getting a player who has lottery potential and tremendous upside as a defender. If/when healthy OG will give the Raptors versatility, length and nice upside. More
Stacey Augmon
A-
24
Nuggets
Tyler Lydon SF 6-9 Syracuse I don't see the intrigue with Lydon. He's a good shooter with limited athleticism and a one dimensional game. With that said, he goes to a good situation in Denver where he can space the floor and take advantage of the open looks provided by Jokic et al. The Nuggets reached for a second rounder at #24 but he could stick in the League and carve out a role for himself. More
-
C+
25
76ers
Anzejs Pasecniks
C
7-1 Latvia The Sixers trade up (reverse process) and hit a home run with this pick. Pasecniks will likely stay overseas for a year or two and develop his game. If he can reach his potential the Sixers will have a high level prospect to back-up Embiid, or to use as trade bait. They paid a small price to move into this spot and got a huge center with great mobility and an advanced offensive game. On the other hand, the Magic whiffed big time, showing why they remain in the basement of the Eastern Conference.
-
A+
26
Blazers Caleb Swanigan PF 6-8 Purdue Swanigan is a gamer who seems like a sure bet to stick in the League. He doesn't have great upside but has shown a vastly expanded game and is much more than just a rebounder and back to the basket player. He's got a chance to become a high level back-up or possible starter. Nice value and good fit for the Blazers. More
Brandon Bass
A-
27
Lakers Kyle Kuzma PF 6-9 Utah Kuzma is a bit redundant with Nance Jr. and Randle but one of them could be moved and Kuzma brings more depth to the 4 position. He's a solid, if unspectacular player who fits nicely in Luke Walton's system.
-
B
28
Jazz
6-10
UNC Bradley is a hit or miss kind of prospect who has a lot of length and does a great job on the offensive boards but has a long way to go to be NBA ready. His upside makes him a great pick this late in the first round and he gets to develop behind a great mentor in Gobert. More
Festus
A-
29
Spurs Derrick White PG 6-5 Colorado A prototypical Spurs selection, White brings a steady, heady game to a system that calls for high BBIQ and fundamentally sound play. He forms a nice pair with last year's selection Murray, representing a changing of the guards in San Antonio.
-
A-
30
Lakers
6-5 Villanova From D. Russell to Josh Hart, the Lakers get a major change of culture and influx of maturity with this pick. Hart is a gamer who plays with great energy and makes the right basketball play. He'll be a nice off-the-bench guard for the developing Lakers squad. More
Marcus Thornton
B+