I realize grades aren't all that useful or informed, so rather than give traditional A-F grades, I'm going to give my reactions, rather than any kind of judgment on whether it was truly good or bad. After all, we won't know who turns out to be good until at least a year from now, maybe more. Plus, the top 10 of last night draft was crazy, so there were some pretty strong reactions.
1. Cleveland - Anthony Bennett - WOWZA!
Cleveland surprised pretty much everybody with this pick. I was shocked initially but I've started to warm up to this. Bennett was clearly the player they wanted, and I believe Washington would have drafted Bennett at #3 if they hadn't taken him here, leaving them little chance to trade down and get their man. Cleveland was clever enough to figure out who everyone else was taking before the draft by circulating rumors of their interest in literally everyone and offering everyone the chance to trade up to #1. At the time, I was happy, because this meant somebody I really wanted would get pushed to Phoenix.
2. Orlando - Victor Oladipo - REALLY?
Woj called this before the draft, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. But, when Cleveland didn't pick Noel first, I thought for sure the Magic would scoop him. Instead, they took the low ceiling - low floor guy. I was happy, because that meant he wasn't coming to Phoenix, but I didn't think it was a good pick for them (and I still don't). It seems it could also portend a trade of Afflalo for a PG.
3. Washington - Otto Porter - MM-HMMM
Everybody has had Porter to the Wizards on their mocks for months now, so it wasn't much of a surprise, and it still makes sense for all the reasons everyone has discussed. What's more interesting is that it appears they would have taken Bennett if he were on the board at #3. Cleveland gave them a perfect out for not picking the stretch forward John Wall has asked for.
4. Charlotte - Cody Zeller - BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
I'm not fooled by the name change. It's just so Bobcats to take a guy with no developed NBA skills with the 4th pick in the draft, when he would have been available much lower. Maybe Zeller develops that jumpshot, that will allow him to be a faceup scorer. Anyway, at this point I was nearly ecstatic because this lamer pick meant that both Noel and McLemore would be on the board for the Suns at 5...
5. Phoenix - Alex Len - WTF?!?
Noel was the consensus choice of scouts AND statisticians as the best player. McLemore filled the Suns biggest area of need. But they took Alex Len, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around that. I thought he was the player we would get, and I wasn't unhappy with that before the draft, but the fact they passed the other two guys still has me shaking my head.
6. Philadelphia (from New Orleans) - Nerlens Noel - OMG
My initial thought was that perhaps the pre-draft rumors about the Suns medically red-flagging Noel were true, and he was going to drop to the Thunder at 12. Instead, the Hornets picked him and traded him, along with their minimally protected 2014 pick for Jrue Holiday. This looks like an amazing deal for Philadelphia to me, getting both the consensus best player in the draft AND a great pick in a much better draft for a PG who was quickly getting too old for their re-build after the Andrew Bynum setback.
7. Sacramento - Ben McLemore - GROOOOOOSS
Great pickup for Sacto, but my first reaction was to feel bad for Benny-Mac, as he joins the league's most dysfunctional roster. After that I set off to wondering whether this meant for Tyreke Evans. Does it mean they're moving on from him? Or does it mean they're moving him back to PG? I'm guessing the latter option.
8. Detroit - KCP - NICE ONE!
After all the craziness playing out in the top picks, this seemed like a piece of sanity to cling to in the hurricane. Detroit gets a real honest-to-goodness shooting guard. I don't think they've had such a thing on their roster since Rip Hamilton. Maybe now they can stop playing undersized combo guards (eh, maybe not).
9. Utah (from Minnesota) - Trey Burke - KAAAAAHHHHN!
Due to ESPN's coverage, it wasn't known at all WHO had traded up to get Burke for a little while after this pick was made. With 3 rotation PG's on the Wolves roster already, and the choice of Burke, it seemed that the ghost of David Kahn might still be haunting the Wolves. After looking at what they got back in the trade, I still think that might be the case! From Utah's perspective, a great trade, as they get a franchise PG to plug in right away.
10. Portland - CJ McCollum - (Still Waiting to React)
With all the talk of trading Gortat to Portland for the #10 pick, it seemed that it would inevitably happen. When Stern announced the pick as BrightSide-darling and Suns-need-filler CJ McCollum, it seemed even more inevitable. ESPN's delay in announcing trades (in particular the one right before this one) only added to that feeling. Even as the draft wore on and picks 11, 12, and 13 came in, I still sat there wondering when the trade of McCollum to the Suns would be announced. This morning, with the knowledge that deal would have to be consummated AFTER the moratorium, the feeling remains. I'm still waiting for CJ to be traded to us, even though it looks like it never will happen.