After 60 selections were made over two grueling hours in the 2016 NBA Draft, we have carefully considered how each team executed. Our serious, comprehensive analysis includes trades made before and during the draft in addition to the picks. We have incorporated robust assessment of teams' roster needs and applied rigorous tests to assumptions about how each new player will fit. We feel our model accurately assesses Thursday's events looking ahead.
Here are your 2016 NBA Draft grades, with the teams broken into six distinct tiers by performance.
PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS
Ben Simmons is a confirmed Australian. How very delightful! Timothe Luwawu's last name reminds me of a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo. Furkan Korkmaz is both the 76ers' second ever player named Furkan and its first to share a name with a League of Legends champion. Well done, Sixers!
The Knicks did not get into the draft, and went without a pick for the first time in decades. You know what that means? James Dolan could play his harmonica in peace, Phil Jackson could follow Brexit ballot results closely and Carmelo Anthony had no reason to shake his head. The Knicks: a calming presence in a world of chaos.
No selections for the Wizards either. But that's OK, because the District is currently in the throws of Nationals Fever! Very gracious of the Wizards to let the baseball team shine.
Portland acquired the rights to Jake Layman, who grew up in Massachusetts, played at Maryland and has four brothers. Hey, that's pretty cool!
The Clippers aren't typically known for draft savvy. But they landed Brice Johnson in the first round. Before the draft, he tweeted photos of himself receiving a haircut from SuperCuts. Thrift, what a great life skill to learn before joining the NBA!
L.A. grabbed Brandon Ingram at No. 2 and Ivica Zubac at No. 32. Ingram showed incredible style, wearing a short chain in place of a tie. That's hip! Zubac is Croatian, which means the Lakers have finally captured the all-important Zach Lowe endorsement. The world is smiling upon Los Angeles this morning!
Wow! What a night for the Sacramento Kings! They drafted Georgios Papagiannis, whose name can be anglicized as George Dadjohn or perhaps George Johnfather. Papa John's is definitely going to be expanding its presence in the Sacramento Valley now. Later on, the Kings picked up Malachi Richardson, who has some incredible hair and a great name (sense a trend?) and Skal Labissiere, another Kentucky big man with a phenomenal name. With the penultimate pick, the Kings took Isaiah Cousins, who is NOT DeMarcus Cousins' brother but would force the Kings to produce new Boogie Cousins jerseys that read "D. Cousins." You don't want to be seen in a confusing old "Cousins" No. 15 jersey. The Kings are going to make money off of this selection. Smart move!
Denzel Valentine could be the lead character in a Tyler Perry movie. Paul Zipser sounds fast. Jimmy Butler is still in town.
The Pacers traded out to get Thaddeus Young, who is just about the most pleasant combo forward you'll ever meet. (Presuming you'll ever meet Thad Young.) But in the second round, the Pacers took Georges Niang. Is that multiple Georges? Did Indiana get two Georges for the price of one? Bold move, Larry Bird!
OKC traded Serge Ibaka and drafted Domantas Sabonis with part of the package. Does Arvydas Sabonis come along, too? Because if Arvydas Sabonis took this opportunity to join the Thunder's broadcast team, well that would just be phenomenal.
Whoa! Sean Marks is already making moves! Strong effort to get into the draft. Brooklyn took Caris LeVert, who showed his Michigan pride by wearing an amazing maize and blue suit. Local pride is really commendable. As such, what a thrill that the Nets picked up Coney Island's own Isaiah Whitehead in the second round. The Brooklyn Nets are a model franchise in the changing NBA.
Look at all these new players! The Nuggets had three picks in the top 20: Jamal Murray (Kentucky guards almost never disappoint), Juan Hernangomez (whose brother Willy Hernangomez is slated to join the Knicks this season) and Malik "Don't Call Me Michael" Beasley. Sounds like the Nuggets were busy. Nice effort, good follow through, way to play through the whistle.
The Rockets picked up Chinanu Onuaku in the second round. He shoots his free throws underhanded. Rick Barry is now going to pick Houston over Golden State next season. The Rockets also got Zhou Qi. He looks nothing like Yao Ming, but that won't stop a lucky shopper from seeing him inside Whole Foods in The Woodlands and racing to tell his friends all about the time he considered the ripeness of pluots next to China's most famous athlete.
Isaia Cordinier is almost assuredly in a French boy band. Coming soon to Apple Music and Spotify, no doubt. Can't wait for the Future feature. Taurean Prince is positively royal. DeAndre Bembry -- hey, St. Joseph's sure was a great place to get an education, eh?
Jakob Poeltl is in fact NOT Austrian for Rafael Araujo.
WAY TO GO!
As some hero tweeted on Thursday night, by adding Dragan Bender to a team with Alex Len, the Suns have created the BLENDER frontcourt. Nice! Marquese Chriss is from Sacramento; the city's Great Humans Per Capita rating is out of sight, so there's a strong probability Marq is awesome. Tyler Ulis was the Suns' second-round pick. He joins Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Devin Booker and Archie Goodwin as Kentucky Wildcat guards on the Suns roster. Hey, aren't Aaron and Andrew Harrison free agents this summer? HINT HINT.
They got ...
THON MAKER /
Shot taker, #TeamCaker? /
Nice work Mil-wau-kee!
Dallas got A.J. Hammons, whom Chad Ford described as having "second-round intangibles," which I don't think was meant as a compliment but should ABSOLUTELY be taken as one. Try it out today. Someone holds a door for you? "Hey, thanks! You really have second-round intangibles!" A colleague responds to an email promptly? "Nice second-round intangibles, Martha!" Excellent service at the café? "This macchiato looks lovely. Here's a tip for displaying those second-round intangibles."
The Hornets looked at this draft and said, "No, thank you. We'd prefer to have Marco Belinelli. We have a diverse roster, and would like to aggressively make it even more diverse. Plus, it's time we allow other teams to have draft success. Have at it, NBA." What a considerate team.
Kay Felder in the second round? Pretty cool! Maybe he can let J.R. Smith borrow a shirt?
YOU HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE
Tom Thibodeau declared that Kris Dunn can play alongside Ricky Rubio. When has an announcement that a point guard could play alongside Ricky Rubio in Minnesota ever gone wrong before? Way to be bold, Thibs!
Memphis traded into a spot to take Deyonta Davis (a lottery talent) in the second round, where the Grizzlies can attempt to squeeze him for every dollar. Money matters, and Memphis knows that. Perhaps they can pay him in pounds sterling? Anyways, Davis really stuck it out in the green room. Great sticktoittiveness.
Lots of folks are giving the Celtics grief over picking Jaylen Brown at No. 3, taking some stash players later and generally not trading a bunch of minor assets for a superstar worldbeater. But hey, we might get to hear Tommy Heinsohn say Guerschon Yabusele someday. Look on the bright side of life.
Of course the Spurs landed potential lottery pick Dejounte Murray at No. 29 overall. Of course.
"My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy. Wherever I go, he goes. My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy. My Buddy and me!"
I can't wait to see a Vine of Anthony Davis singing the single best jingle in world history to his new teammate Buddy Hield.
The Jazz traded their first-round pick for George Hill, helping relieve Indiana's infestation of Hills and giving a shout out to the Rocky Mountains.
Henry Ellenson grew up in Wisconsin, played college ball at Marquette and is headed to Detroit. Finally, someone to bridge the Lake Michigan divide! The hero the upper Great Lakes region needs.
It's supposed to rain next week on Miami Beach. How considerate of the Heat to avoid taking any players in the draft, which means no press conference on Monday will be necessary. Those beat writers in Miami could use a break.
Damian Jones is not to be confused with Damion James, but I could see how that would happen.