2011 NBA Draft Grades: Timberwolves Do A Whole Lotta Nothing, Wizards Get Slick

We present 2011 NBA Draft Grades for all 30 teams.

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NBA Draft Grades 2011: Clippers Add Dunk Expert Travis Leslie

The Los Angeles Clippers unfortunately traded what became the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers back in February in the Baron Davis-Mo Williams swap. No worries, the Clips still had the No. 47 pick to look forward to!

Gained: Travis Leslie, Trey Thompkins.

Gave up: Not a thing.

Synopsis: Leslie, a guard from the University of Georgia, is an athletic fellow, a guy known as much for his electric dunks than anything else. In other words, he's a perfect fit with reigning Dunk Champ Blake Griffin and beautiful leaper Eric Gordon and underrated hammerhead Chris Kaman and dude-who-dunked-once-in-a-crucial-playoff-game Mo Williams. 

The Clippers' backcourt is odd, with Williams, the excellent Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, Willie Warren and Randy Foye. Leslie might be able to crack the rotation, or might be wearing suits or a D-League uniform. But he could turn out to be decent. We'll see.

Thompkins is in a similar boat up front.

Grade: B.

For more on L.A., visit Clips Nation.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Hornets Trade Out, Pleasing Mark Cuban

The New Orleans Hornets had one second round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, but sold it to the New York Knicks, who picked up Kentucky's Josh Harrellson. The Hornets reportedly netted $750,000 in the deal, which was -- oddly enough -- exactly the amount the Hornets reportedly paid extra to take on Carl Landry in the midseason Marcus Thornton trade with the Sacramento Kings.

If you recall, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, ripped that trade on account of the Hornets being owned by the other 29 NBA franchise owners. Cuban bristled at the league taking extra salary and sending cash considerations to the Kings in the deal; most accurately saw it as sour grapes as a rival got better.

And now New Orleans sells a late pick for $750,000? I'm not a conspiracy theorist, and I don't think David Stern paid any mind to Cuban's objections. But it's worth noting.

Grade: Uh ...

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades: Hawks Pick Up Keith Benson, Leaving Us Wanting More

The Atlanta Hawks like to spit on their fans by making the NBA Draft boring, usually by trading their first-round picks. But last year, they chose a mysterious prospect named Pape Sy late in the second round. It was a highlight. Would Atlanta reward the faithful again?

Gained: Keith Benson.

Gave up: Nothing.

Synopsis: Hey, I've heard of Keith Benson! The skilled, versatile big man from Oakland (not California) draws the dreaded "soft" adjective from draft watchers and college fans, and the primary knock is that he's not strong or tough in the frontcourt. Sharing a front line with Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia? Toughness is accounted for. 

I'm just disappointed they didn't steal Targuy Ngombo from the Wolves. That would have been the proper Hawks/Rick Sund thing to do.

Grade: B.

For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Lakers' Draft Picks Range From Solid To 'Chu Chu'

The Los Angeles Lakers had a very ... interesting day in the shadow of the 2011 NBA Draft: they landed players named Metta World Peace and Chu Chu. A++.

Gained: Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock, Ater Majok, a future pick or something.

Gave up: The rights to Chu Chu Maduabaum. :-(

Synopsis: The Lakers came in with four second-round picks and a sense of humor. They landed two potential first-round guards, some LOLs and a 25-year-old to watch develop in Australia, the former Yugoslavia, Japan or somewhere. 

Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock might not get much time in the Lakers' rotation; Mike Brown is more amenable to youth than was Phil Jackson, but this is still a veteran roster with solid depth, even in the backcourt. Goudelock could plug in early on; Morris figures to land in the D-League for now.

Majok can't possibly ever be an NBA player. Chu Chu goes to Denver, and maybe back to the D-League.

Grade: B+.

For more on the Lakers, visit Silver Screen And Roll.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Grizzlies Roll Dice On Josh Selby

In the second round, you take chances. The risk is minimal; if you aren't gunning for a rotation player, why bother? Just sell the pick to some other team. The Memphis Grizzlies understood this heading into the 2011 NBA Draft, and may have ended up with the prospect with the most potential in the second round.

Gained: Josh Selby.

Gave up: Nothing.

Synopsis: Taking Selby at No. 49 is like finding a scratcher in a vacant parking lot. Selby was a McDonald's All-American who struggled first with academic eligibility and then an injury at Kansas. If there were no age minimum in the NBA, he likely would have been a lottery pick.

That would have been a bad, risky lottery pick, in retrospect. He's small, not might not have the court vision to play point guard at this level and many have questioned his attitude and work ethic. Those are problems in the lottery, and in the first round. At Pick No. 49? Nuh uh. Roll them dice.

Grade: A.

For more on the Grizzlies, visit Straight Outta Vancouver.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Magic Trade For Justin Harper, Hear Crickets

The Orlando Magic are always in play for a major trade; with Dwight Howard threatening to leave, the tension has never been higher. Something tells me the Magic's 2011 NBA Draft trade doesn't change a thing.

Gained: Justin Harper, Deandre Liggins.

Gave up: Two future second round picks. 

Synopsis: Harper is a solid prospect, a stretch big man who fits the Magic's system and could find himself in the mix at power forward, depending on what other trades Orlando pulls. It remains to be seen whether Harper can go all the way out to three-point range like Rashard Lewis or if he'll be limited to 18-footers like Brandon Bass; either should help in some way.

Liggins will compete with former teammate Daniel Orton for playing time/D-League assignments. That should be fun.

Grade: B. Can't fault them for a lack of major action.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Miami Heat Successfully Replace Mike Bibby With Norris Cole

The Miami Heat had to meet one of two goals with the No. 31 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft: replace Mike Bibby, or replace Erick Dampier/Jamaal Magloire/Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Mission accomplished.

Gained: Norris Cole.

Gave up: Rights to Bogan Bogdanovic, future second-round pick, cash.

Synopsis: Cole might have been one of the better point guards in the whole draft ... and Miami picked him up for a pittance. He's probably not better than Mario Chalmers, and point guard will still be the Heat's worst or second-worst position on the floor at any given time. But if it means not one more second of Bibby in uniform, it's an upgrade for Miami.

The one issue that keeps this from being an 'A' is that by moving up into the first round, Cole's on a guaranteed contract. Miami used their second-round picks to great effect last year; Cole will be locked in for at least two years, and up to four.

Grade: B+.

For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Spurs Trade George Hill, Not Tony Parker, Still Get 'Lottery Pick'

The San Antonio Spurs had been rumored to be ready to trade Tony Parker, a 29-year-old three-time All-Star, for a lottery pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Instead, they traded zero-time All-Star George Hill and landed a player that should have gone in the lottery. Unfair, you guys.

Gained: Kawhi Leonard, Davis Bertans.

Gave up: George Hill.

Synopsis: Hill's pretty good, but he's not exactly a good starter. He can be a starter, and might be in Indiana. But if he were to become the starter in San Antonio, that'd be a position of relative weakness. Parker is one of the best in the NBA. George Hill will never be.

Leonard? We'll see. He's got potential and he's dirt cheap for a few years. He fits the San Antonio mold -- tough, defensive-minded -- and won't get in the way of Manu Ginobili or Parker too much. Bertans, meanwhile, was expected to go in the first round, and as such, is absolutely gravy in this deal. In a few years, the Spurs could have netted two promising, rising forwards. The Pacers will have netted George Hill.

Grade: A+.

For more on the Spurs, visit Pounding The Rock.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Bulls Can Do No Wrong, Land Nikola Mirotic And Jimmy Butler

All hail the Chicago Bulls, America's team! That time they got smoked by the Miami Heat in the NBA Playoffs seems like so long ago. In the 2011 NBA Draft, the Bulls reclaimed their throne as the good cowboys of the league.

(I'm not really sure how this happened, but I think Kyle Korver has something to do with it.)

Gained: Nikola Mirotic, Jimmy Butler.

Gave up: The rights to Norris Cole and Malcolm Lee.

Synopsis: The Bulls traded the No. 28 and No. 43 picks (Cole and Lee) to the Timberwolves for No. 23, which became Mirotic, considered one of the very best Europeans in the draft but someone a couple years away from getting out of his contract. Chicago also had the No. 30 pick, and used it on Butler, a versatile wing who fits the Chicago mold.

There's not a ton of help here for next year; Butler could replace Keith Bogans in the rotation, in theory, but you can't expect too much offense out of him right away. Like, he's not going to outplay Ronnie Brewer or Kyle Korver.

But at No. 30 in an iffy draft, can you expect much more?

Grade: B+.

For more on Chicago, visit Blog A Bull.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Nets Flutter About, Pick Up MarShon Brooks

The New Jersey Nets couldn't have been expected to pick up impact player with the No. 27 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, but thanks to some slippage for a touted prospect, the team came out looking pretty smooth.

Gained: MarShon Brooks, Bogan Bogadanovic, Jordan Williams.

Gave up: Future second-round pick, cash.

Synopsis: Brooks was widely expected to be off of the board at No. 15 to the Pacers, but Indiana had Kawhi Leonard available and worked out a deal with the San Antonio Spurs for George Hill. That began Brooks' freefall into the 20s; the Nets saw him at No. 25, offered up a future second-round pick to the Boston Celtics to move up a couple picks and nailed it. Well done.

I'm not sure Brooks ever belonged all the way up at No. 15 -- he's a volume scorer, and I can get those at the dollar store -- but at No. 27? That'll work just fine.

The Nets bought Bogdanovic; he'll apparently remain in Turkey for one season and then jump to the Brooklyn Nets. (Some are skeptical he'll come over that soon.) Williams so vexed Maryland coach Gary Williams that the legend resigned. So he's ... something.

Grade: B+.

For more on New Jersey, visit NetsDaily.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Mavericks Trade For Rudy Fernandez, Adding To Smarm Factor

The Dallas Mavericks leveraged the No. 26 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft to land a proven veteran with a penchant for shooting. Unfortunately, that proven veteran happens to be Rudy Fernandez.

Gained: Rudy Fernandez, rights to Petteri Koponen.

Gave up: Rights to Jordan Hamilton.

Synopsis: Hamilton actually seemed like a good pick-up, a lottery talent at a position of need going forward for Dallas. Fernandez? In theory, it sounds good. A shooter who can, like seemingly every other Mavs guard not named Jason Kidd, provide some "instant offense" (just add possessions!). The problem is that Fernandez has been awful off the bench for most of his NBA career, and his shooting has gotten worse and worse every year. The Mavericks don't play a whole lot more up-tempo than the Blazers, and he's not likely to get many more minutes. The chances of this working out really well seem to be rather less than Rudy not helping, and Hamilton being a good young player for the Nuggets.

All the NBA's a prediction, and mine is that this is not great for Dallas. If Koponen, a Finnish point guard, actually comes over? Burn this post.

Grade: C-.

For more on Dallas, visit Mavs Moneyball.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Celtics Are Big Fans Of Purdue Basketball, Apparently

The 2011 NBA Draft featured two Purdue Boilermakers. The Boston Celtics landed them both. Worth a high draft grade? Let's assess.

Gained: JaJuan Johnson, E'Twuan Moore, a 2014 second-rounder.

Gave up: The rights to Marshon Brooks.

Synopsis: The New Jersey Nets wanted Brooks but didn't think he'd last to No. 27 -- two picks after Boston's spot -- so they worked out a little deal that netted the Celtics the guy they wanted in Johnson and a minor future asset. (That the trade also resulted in the ESPN crew talking about how Brooks fits the style and culture of the Celtics for a solid three minutes is just a bonus!) Johnson is a big man, which should help the Celtics, who desperately need more big men. (Analysis!)

In the second round, Moore was the pick. The Celtics like it. I'll take their word on it.

Grade: B, I guess.

For more on Boston, visit CelticsBlog.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Thunder Wear The Black Hat, Take Reggie Jackson

Going into the 2011 NBA Draft, one of the great mysteries among draftniks was what team had promised to take Boston College point guard Reggie Jackson in the first round.

Mystery solved!

Gained: Reggie Jackson.

Gave up: Innocence.

Synopsis: Jackson, in case you missed it, hid from basically every NBA team during the run-up to the draft. He no-showed the combine, canceled workouts left and right, refused to even meet with teams and was a general nuisance for anyone thinking about drafting him.

Why? Because the Thunder told him to. OKC wanted him at No. 24. Now they'll try to peddle solid back-up point guard Eric Maynor for a reserve big man or wing and get cheaper and younger in the process. The age of innocence in Oklahoma City ended when Russell Westbrook made himself a national villain in the playoffs. Now Sam Presti has lost his halo, too.

Grade: B.

For more on Thunder, visit Welcome To Loud City.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Nuggets Come Up Aces With Jordan Hamilton, Andre Miller Trade

The Denver Nuggets didn't exactly seem primed to make big moves heading into the 2011 NBA Draft, but the team ended up flipping their No. 2 point guard for a cheaper No. 2 point guard of equal talent, and gained a potential lottery pick in Jordan Hamilton in the process. Spoiler alert!: that's a pretty good draft.

Gained: Andre Miller, Jordan Hamilton, Kenneth Faried.

Gave up: Raymond Felton.

Synopsis: Faried's a lovely pick-up at No. 22 -- most mocks (ours included) had the Blazers picking up the legendary Morehead State rebounder and defender. Faried could very well start at power forward on opening night for Denver. And he could very well be a plus player from the start.

Miller, if he's retained and not flipped for another big man or waived to free up cash to re-sign Nene, isn't at all a drop-off from Felton, who goes to Portland. To pick up Hamilton in the deal because Portland also sent Rudy Fernadez to the Mavericks? BIG OL' BONUS.

Grade: A+.

For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Blazers Get Mystical, Trade Andre Miller For Younger Version Of Andre Miller

The Portland Trail Blazers were exceptionally active on the day of the 2011 NBA Draft, and might actually have improved the team for next season. We think. We're pretty sure. Maybe.

Here's how we grade the scrum.

Gained: Raymond Felton, Nolan Smith, Jon Diebler (apparently).

Gave up: Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez, the rights to Petteri Koponen (no!).

Synopsis: Is Felton an upgrade on Miller? This could be the great question of our times. Felton isn't a great deep shooter but can fill it up a bit, here and there. He did well in the Charlotte Bobcats' slowdown attack for five years. He's a nice defender and distributor. He's like the definition of "OK." Raymond "OK" Felton, NBA point guard.

Miller, at this point, is about the same: a middling shooter, a distributor of some note, a decent defender, an "OK" point guard. Both of the players are on one-year contracts. Neither is expensive or cheap. The Denver Nuggets have Ty Lawson, a legit good point guard, as a starter. The Blazers don't. So if both teams tried to tread water with the deal, Denver can afford to. Portland can't.

That Portland also had to give up Fernandez and the rights to Koponen (who had grown tired of the Blazers' unwillingness to bring him over -- he's a promising point guard, by the way) is further madness. As Blazer's Edge's Dave notes, this is the big shake-up to get this team on track? Really?

Grade: D-.

For more on Portland, visit Blazer's Edge.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: New York Knicks Begin Rebellion With Iman Shumpert

The New York Knicks could have added another scorer in the 2011 NBA Draft, pleasing Mike D'Antoni. Or another big man, pleasing Amar'e Stoudemire. Or a defensive-minded point guard who might be the next Rajon Rondo or the next Orien Greene, pleasing a very small subset of crazy and possibly psychotic Knicks fans.

In his final decision at the helm of the Knicks, Donnie Walsh played to those crazy and possibly psychotic Knicks fans.

Gained: Iman Shumpert.

Gave up: Nothing.

Synopsis: Iman Shumpert is, I have quickly learned, one of the most controversial men in America. As a Georgia Tech guard, I assumed he was awful. The world built Derrick Favors' case in 2010 partly based on the fact that Georgia Tech has awful guards. I assumed the world would not lie to me.

But hark! Shumpert is said to be a great defender -- that's not just Paul Hewitt smoke and mirrors -- and a playmaker. He just can't shoot. (Good thing the Knicks don't ask their guards to take a ton of threes.) It sounds like Rondo, but we'll understand if the New York crowds need to be convinced.

And if he's not? That's a nice kick in the pants from Walsh to the organization.

Grade: Uh ... C? OK, C.

For more on the Knicks, visit Posting And Toasting.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Sixers Add Nikola Vucevic, A World Yawns

The Philadelphia 76ers picked up big man Nikola Vucevic in the 2011 NBA Draft. You expect a good grade, don't you? Think again!

Gained: Nikola Vucevic, Lavoy Allen.

Gave up: Nothing.

Synopsis: Most mocks had Vucevic here for the past couple weeks; even SBNation.com's pathetic mock drafter, Tom Ziller, got it right! But that doesn't make it a good pick. Not at all. 

You've gotta beware these workout wonders. Before the NBA Draft Combine, where Vucevic measured as the biggest player in the draft, he was a borderline first-round pick. He played at USC for three years. He's a well-known entity by the people who play closest attention, and he was a borderline first-round pick until everyone realized he was tall. That's not good!

Fit has to be balanced with talent. The Sixers needed a big man and can probably give Vucevic more early minutes than they could a wing. But guys like Chris Singleton looked like such better prospects, it's hard to cheer such an uninspiring punt.

Grade: C-.

For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Pacers Add To Coterie Of Backup Point Guards With George Hill

The Indiana Pacers were in the fortuitous spot of having a No. 15 in the 2011 NBA Draft in which a number of prized talents slipped out of the lottery. The Pacers struck gold with ... George Hill. Did I say gold? I meant, uh, George Hill? They struck George Hill.

Gained: George Hill!

Gave up: Rights to Kawhi Leonard, rights to Davis Bertans.

Synopsis: With Paul George and Danny Granger on the wings, maybe neither Leonard or Chris Singleton were deemed necessary. But they each have to be more valuable than George Hill, right? Especially when you consider that the Pacers conceded a second-round pick that became so-called first-round talent Bertans.

The Pacers now have Darren Collison, Hill and A.J. Price under contract. Am I missing something? Is Indiana planning on merging Collison and Hill in a grand science experiment?

Grade: D.

For more on the Pacers, visit Indy Cornrows.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades: Rockets Collect Critiques With Marcus Morris, Donatas Motiejunas

The Houston Rockets picked up another scoring power forward and a like-the-clouds-above shooting big man in the 2011 NBA Draft. Is that enough to sink their draft grades? Let's find out!

Gained: Marcus Morris, Donatas Motiejunas, Jonny Flynn.

Gave up: Rights of Nikola Mirotic, 2013 first-round pick, Brad Miller.

Synopsis: The Rockets end up taking on about $2 million over two years by taking Flynn for Miller (who may never play again thanks to offseason microfracture surgery); Houston's 2011-12 payroll actually shrinks about $2 million, but Flynn's 2012-13 salary makes up for it. Mirotic wasn't coming over any time soon and ends up in the Chicago Bulls' pipeline; Motiejunas should make the leap more quickly.

But Morris is the prize here, and the Rockets have been convinced by the Jayhawk's camp that Marcus is a small forward. He might not have a deep jumper, but his face-up skills are polished and no one will accuse him of not being a tough hombre. This isn't your classic "I'm afraid of contact so I'll be a small forward" situation. Morris can bang.

The question is whether a scoring small forward is even needed, given the presence of Kevin Martin (a brilliant scorer) at shooting guard. A defender like Chris Singleton or Kawhi Leonard might have been a better match.

A flyer on a young point guard who is leaving the worst organization in pro basketball (non-Clippers division) ain't so bad either.

Grade: B.

For more on the Rockets, visit The Dream Shake.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Suns Confuse Markieff Morris' Family, Get Tougher

After all the jokes, all the mocks, all the mocking jokes ... Markieff Morris did get taken ahead of his brother Marcus in the 2011 NBA Draft. And not just that, but the marshmallow Phoenix Suns are the team that took the brawny forward. Was the No. 13 pick a cruel dream?

Gained: Markieff Morris.

Gave up: Nothing.

Synopsis: Morris immediately becomes Phoenix's toughest power forward. I'm really going out on a ledge here, considering that Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye are the competition. But still. The Suns now have two brawlers in the frontcourt (Morris, Marcin Gortat), and the team's famously bad rebounding should improve, provided that Alvin Gentry gives Morris lots of early minutes.

Chris Singleton or Kawhi Leonard would have been better value picks and also met the defense/toughness need. But that's more a quibble than a demerit. A for effort, C for execution, which averages out to ...

Grade: B.

For more on the Suns, visit Bright Side Of The Sun.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Warriors Laugh In The Face Of Defense, Take Klay Thompson

The Golden State Warriors have bleated on and on and on about defense this and defense that. And they picked ... shooter Klay Thompson in the 2011 NBA Draft, leaving Kawhi Leonard and Chris Singleton on the board. More like the "Self-Deluded State Warriors"! How do they grade out?

Gained: Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler, Charles Jenkins.

Gave up: Cash considerations.

Synopsis: Thompson will add some shooting to a team that finished middle of the pack in three-point efficiency. That's cool! Unfortunately, offense is not really Golden State's problem: the team finished No. 12 in offensive efficiency ... and No. 26 on defense. Thompson is currently a minus defender, and if he's playing next to Stephen Curry in a post-Monta Ellis reality, that's an awful porous backcourt.

This wouldn't be such a big deal if the Warriors didn't have a small hole at small forward -- Dorell Wright and Reggie Williams are there -- and if Leonard and Singleton weren't staring them in the face. Leonard dropping was like a gift from the Defense Gods to Mark Jackson and the gang, and Golden State turned up its nose. The San Antonio Spurs will reap the benefits.

Jenkins is a nice player -- Black Jimmer, according to some -- that fills in another backcourt slot currently overcrowded with scorers. A $2-million flyer on Tyler is like a $2 million craps role. Good luck.

Grade: D+.

For more on the Warriors, visit Golden State Of Mind.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Bucks Try To Clear Decks Just A Bit, Pick Up Tobias Harris

The third team in that trade of note leading up to the 2011 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks had different aims than the Charlotte Bobcats (add a pick) and Sacramento Kings (uhhh ...). But were they successful in meeting it?

Gained: Tobias Harris, Jon Leuer, Beno Udrih, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston.

Gave up: Rights to Jimmer Fredette, John Salmons, Corey Maggette.

Synopsis: The Bucks dropped about $8 million in salary obligations in the deal, created a stronger point guard rotation with Udrih and Livingston, added one of the better defenders in the league in Jackson and still picked up a so-called "lottery talent" in Harris at No. 19. 

The issue, at least in the Bucks-Bobcats portion of the trade, is fit. Milwaukee already excels on defense. Hello Scott Skiles, hello Andrew Bogut. The Bucks need scoring punch ... which is why the team traded for Maggette a year ago. Udrih will help there (trust me, his value isn't on defense), but he won't play anything like the minutes he became accustomed to in Sacramento. Harris is a year or two away from contributing much of anything.

Shedding salary is something the team simply had to do. But I'm not sure the team is much better for the trade and draft. Let's shrug on in to 2011-12.

Grade: C.

For more on Bucks, visit Brew Hoop.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Pistons Grab Brandon Knight, Point Guard of The Future (And Now)

The Detroit Pistons had rumors fly quickly before the 2011 NBA Draft, but the choice became pretty easy once their selection arrived, given what happened before it. Similarly, the grade to give the Pistons is rather straightforward.

Gained: Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler

Gave up: Nada.

Synopsis: Knight essentially fell into the Pistons' laps at No. 8. Knight had been rumored to go as high as No. 3, or definitely No. 5, but perhaps No. 7 if he really slipped. Nuh uh. The Jazz took Enes Kanter at No. 3, the Raptors opted for Jonas Valanciunas at No. 5 and the Kings traded out of No. 7. That left Joe Dumars and Detroit staring the top guard in the draft in the face. Dumars did the smart thing and pocketed Knight.

The situation wasn't all that different at No. 33, where Singler is most definitely an NBA player. Maybe he's a roleplayer, but he can give that team solid minutes very early in his career.

Grade: A.

For more on Pistons, visit Detroit Bad Boys.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Bobcats Stockpile Weapons, Promise Destruction

The Charlotte Bobcats got busy before the 2011 NBA Draft, putting together a three-team trade with the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings. Charlotte ended up swapping a bad contract in Stephen Jackson for another in Corey Maggette -- treading water at best -- but turned the No. 19 pick into the No. 7. Not quite water into wine, but maybe, in this draft, grape juice into Two Buck Chuck. What'd they do with the pick?

Gained: Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker, Corey Maggette, cash considerations.

Gave up: Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, rights to Tobias Harris, rights to Jeremy Tyler.

Synopsis: As noted about, moving from No. 19 (Harris) to No. 7 (Biyombo) was a pretty slick move by new GM Rich Cho. That allowed Charlotte to address two needs: guard depth and the frontcourt. (Maggette's also a better scorer than Jackson, and the 'Cats need scoring badly.) Walker isn't a fit with D.J. Augustin -- I can't see playing them together except in special circumstances -- but Kemba was already bordering on witchcraft at No. 9. It's one of those "take him, figure it out later" situations.

Will Biyombo pan out? He obviously showed the Bobcats something real in his workout there this week. We'll see.

Grade: B+.

For more on the Bobcats, visit Rufus On Fire.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Kings Confuse Everyone, But Get Jimmer Fredette

The Sacramento Kings drew first blood in the 2011 NBA Draft, but it may have been a self-inflicted wound. The Kings participated in a three-team trade before the draft began, somehow getting worse and ending up with a lower pick. But they made the most of their later picks and are definitely different than they were Wednesday.

Gained: Jimmer Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt, Isaiah Thomas, John Salmons' contract.

Gave up: Beno Udrih.

Synopsis: The Kings traded Udrih, an affordable point guard with two years left on his deal, for Salmons, an underachieving wing on a bad three-year deal. The problem: the Kings traded down three picks for the honor. It made no sense when the Kings pulled the trigger, and it makes no sense now. The explanation will be that Salmons is solid and a better fit given the Fredette pick. But the Kings traded Salmons two years ago in a cap dump. He's older, worse and more expensive now. He can't be that good.

Fredette's a fit, so long as we're ignoring defense. Are we ignoring defense? OK, then. The Jimmer is a good fit.

Honeycutt was a steal at No. 35, and Thomas can make an impact from the No. 60 spot. But the Kings could have taken all of those players and Fredette without the needless, counterproductive Salmons-Udrih deal. The Kings tried to sort out a logjam on draft day, and failed.

Grade: D.

For more on Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Wizards Get Greedy, Land Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton

The Washington Wizards had just one lottery pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, but somehow ended up with two lottery players. Weird!

Gained: Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Shelvin Mack.

Gave up: Nothing.

Synopsis: The only two above-average players on the Wizards each got something to love on draft night. Point guard John Wall picked up a brilliant running mate in Vesely, a flyer who will no doubt find himself on the business end of a number of open court alley-oops. JaVale McGee, the team's quixotic center, found a partner in defensive crime in Singleton. 

Of course, these two guys play the same position. But Washington can very easily push either one to power forward for stretches (and maybe over the long-term) given McGee's weakside defense. Individually, Vesely has to develop his jumper quite a bit to avoid becoming a problem in the halfcourt, and Singleton has to be a legit threat from the NBA arc.

Picking up Mack is a wash -- he won't likely be anything spectacular, but you could do worse.

Grade: A.

For more on the Wizards, visit Bullets Forever.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Toronto Raptors Press Pause With Jonas Valanciunas

The Toronto Raptors had just the No. 5 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, making assessing a grade quite easy.

Gained: Jonas Valanciunas.

Gave up: Nada.

Synopsis: Valanciunas is probably the best center on the board, and maybe the best prospect. He's only 19 and it'll take a lot of development and some luck, but he has the tools to be a great NBA center.

Unfortunately, the Raptors won't be able to start that development for another year, as the Lithuanian will apparently be stuck in a European contract until 2012-13. That means that the Raptors will likely suffer another losing season before getting a first glimpse at this prized rookie, and which means Jonas will be old news by the time the 2012 NBA Draft comes around.

But patience is generally rewarded in the NBA, and it should be here. It would have been a lot easier to pick a more instant-impact player like Kemba Walker; picking the kid you literally have to wait on take resolve.

Grade: A.

For more on Toronto, visit Raptors HQ.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Utah Jazz Creates Some Kind Of Monster With Enes Kanter, Alec Burks

Our 2011 NBA Draft Grades turn to the Utah Jazz, who -- like the Cleveland Cavaliers -- had a pair of lottery picks to work with. The Jazz weren't at all active, and simply took their selections and moved on. They didn't get a point guard of the franchise at either No. 3 or No. 12, and completely disregarded the defensive side of the ball. What do you want, the moon?

Gained: Enes Kanter, Alec Burks.

Gave up: Nothing.

Synopsis: Kanter is a contender for top center in the draft, along with one the Jazz passed up in Jonas Valanciunas. But Kanter will play in the NBA next season, while Valanciunas has at least one more season to serve in Europe. Kanter is seen as a skilled offensive player, but a defensive minus. Good thing Utah has potential defensive superstar Derrick Favors in the pipeline. The pair should work beautifully.

Burks showed little defense at Colorado, but has good size and a promising frame. Jerry Sloan would have turned Burks into a gritty fighter, and it's up to Ty Corbin to do just that. On the other end, Burks is a slasher who figures to draw plenty of contact and hopefully develop a jumper to space the floor for Kanter, Al Jefferson and/or Paul Millsap down low. I guess this means Gordon Hayward is a small forward, though.

Grade: B+.

For more on the Jazz, visit SLC Dunk.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Timberwolves Get Fancy Beyond Derrick Williams, Fail

There's a theme to every NBA Draft for Minnesota Timberwolves' general manager David Kahn. In 2009, it was The Draft Of The Point Guards. In 2010, The Draft Of The Small Forwards. In 2011, Kahn got a bit more abstract. He made this one, maybe his last, The Draft Of All Of The Trades.

It didn't go so well.

Gained: Derrick Williams, Malcolm Lee, Brad Miller, Houston's 2013 first-round pick, cash considerations.

Gave up: Jonny Flynn, No. 20 (Donatas Motiejunas).

Synopsis: Williams was likely the right pick at No. 2 -- Enes Kanter or Jonas Valanciunas could draw strong cases because of Minnesota's center catastrophe, but Williams is a strong prospect with lots of value. (Not enough value, but lots of it.) After that? It gets muddy fast.

Minnesota had the No. 20 pick, which became Motiejunas. Plenty of good players were picked after No. 20. I'm sure good players will be on the board when Houston's pick comes up in 2013. But the Wolves need talent now, not in 2013. Now. The Wolves traded that pick to dump Flynn and -- after all was said and done -- pick up a 2013 pick and some cash. Kahn's going to have a lot of fun watching the next GM of the Wolves make that pick.

Minnesota had assets and the will to make stuff happen. Instead, Kahn traded a mistake he made two years ago for future assets at the helm of a 17-win team. Barf.

But hey, they got Targuy Ngombo, a guy no one in America had heard of before this week!

Grade: D.

For more on the Wolves, visit Canis Hoopus.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


NBA Draft Grades 2011: Cavaliers Land Star In Kyrie Irving, Question Mark In Tristan Thompson

The Cleveland Cavaliers had two of the top four picks in the 2011 NBA Draft -- a rare occurrence, and unprecedented for the franchise. The top pick, Kyrie Irving, was a no-brainer, but the No. 4 spot had untold amounts of intrigue. How did Cleveland do with it?

Gained: Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Milan Macvan, two future second-round picks from Magic.

Gave up: Rights to Justin Harper.

Synopsis: It's hard to find fault with a team that lands the best player in the draft and a promising big man like Thompson. But ...

Thompson wasn't in play at No. 4 as recently as Tuesday. It seemed almost as if the Cavaliers got too cute and tried to add assets instead of picking the prospect they apparently really wanted in Jonas Valanciunas. Perhaps Thompson was the pick all along -- it just doesn't remotely seem that way, and Cleveland management wasn't convincing in their comments late Thursday. Thompson's as much a project as Valanciunas at a lesser position. It could work out famously, or Jonas could thrive in Toronto while Thompson plugs away. We'll see. I think Valanciunas is the better prospect at No. 4.

Macvan seems to be a decent pick-up in the second round. He wowed at the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit. He's an asset, if nothing else.

Grade: B.

For more on the Cavaliers, visit Fear The Sword.

Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.


2011 NBA Draft Grades For All 30 Teams

Check us out at 6 a.m. ET on Friday for 2011 NBA Draft Grades for all 30 teams.

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