Cleveland Cavaliers: No. 1: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV; No. 19: Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia; No. 33: Carrick Felix, SG, Arizona State
The Cavs kept everyone in surprise for weeks and then pulled a major surprise by selecting Bennett No. 1. I like the pick as he can be a great pick-and-roll guy for Kyrie Irving and has the potential to be a 20-a0 type of player.
They also add some perimeter shooting in Karasev, who at 19 is ready for the NBA right now. Then they target a solid perimeter defender in Felix. I like all three picks. Draft Grade: A-
Dallas Mavericks: No. 18 (acquired from Atlanta Hawks): Shane Larkin, PG, Miami; No. 43 (acquired from Milwaukee Bucks): Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence
The Mavs moved down to create some cap space to attempt to land Dwight Howard but came away with two solid prospects.
Larkin, despite his size can be a solid playmaking point guard and Ledo, despite his personal issues has the chance to be special. This draft all depends on Ledo, but I like the two pieces Dallas came away with. Draft Grade: B
Denver Nuggets: No. 46 (acquired from the Utah Jazz): Erick Green, PG/SG, Virginia Tech; No. 55 (acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies): Joffrey Lauvergne, PF, France
Denver traded the rights of Rudy Gobert, whose length would have been an asset to the Nuggets. Instead they come away with the NCAA’s leading scorer in Green and a good athlete in Lauvergne.
However Green doesn’t really have the size for an NBA 2-guard, nor does he have the skills to play the point. Lauvergne is a stash guy who won’t impact the immediate future. Draft Grade: C-
Detroit Pistons: No. 8: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia; No. 37: Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas; No. 56: Peyton Siva, PG, Louisville
The Pistons had made a big deal about moving Brandin Knight off the ball, but that won’t happen with the selection of Caldwell-Pope. I do like the pick though even though it didn’t fit a need. He can shoot the rock and has a very high basketball IQ.
Mitchell is a project but was likely the best athlete in the draft. If he reaches his potential, he will be a star. Then there is Siva, who is a winner. It’s always an asset to have a winning point guard. Draft Grade: B+
Golden State Warriors: No. 30 (acquired from the Phoenix Suns): Nemanja Nedovic, PG/SG, Serbia
The Warriors started the day without a pick and after the day they ended up with what some scouts feel could be an NBA stud. Nedovic will be given a chance to make the team this season and will provide some bench depth as a combo guard. Draft Grade: B