You know what has five installments?  My NBA draft grades and the Die Hard franchise.  And I didn’t pick Die Hard at random out of a hat – I’m going to be bringing the pain like John McClane, folks!

Well, maybe.  I’ll try.  The problem is that although tonight (Draft Grade Write-up Night!) is my favorite drinking night of the year, I got notice this morning that my “friend” (scare quotes to shame him) needs a ride to the airport tomorrow morning.  So I’ve got to take it a bit easy on the brew (Sudwerk Mai Bock, as always) lest I feel more like puking than driving him around 12 hours from now.

Just like always, and unlike the pansies who normally do draft grades, sitting around giving the same damn grade to everybody (oh, that’s an “A”, and that’s an “A”…) I’m going to grade the fricking thing on a hard, hard curve.  30 teams, that means 6 As, 6 Bs, 6 Cs, 6 Ds, and 6 Fs.  Two plusses and two minuses for each grade except F, because what asshole gives out an F+?  YOU FAILED.  NO CONSOLATION PLUS FOR YOU.  And rather than rip apart a team for having only second round picks, I’m going to grade based on what the team had going into the draft, and what they had going out of it.  Of course, any trades that happen to go down between the end of the NBA season and the draft will also be graded here, since they may as well have happened the day of.  So it’s draft grades with a side of pre-free-agency transactions.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.  Here goes.

The Grades:

Denver Nuggets

Grade: A+

Assets Coming In: #7, #57

Assets At The End Of The Day: Emmanuel Mudiay, Nikola Radicevic

Obligatory Commentary: So the Nuggets drafted a Wooden Nikola.  Whatever.  They may have lucked into it, but they also had a consensus top-4 (and #1 overall PG coming into the season) player drop into their laps, and unlike the Kings they didn’t hesitate to take him.  With Tywon Lawson facing DUI charges and having other domestic violence charges in his past (and don’t forget the Hookah-fueled Draft Day video), the Nuggets could damn well use a replacement at PG.  They got one – and a good one.  Think Tyreke Evans, an inch shorter but way more athletic and with an outside shot that, while it needs work, is far better than the one sported by the former Memphis star.  I really believe that when we look back on this draft in ten years, we’ll look at Mudiay as the biggest steal.  He may not be better than Russell, but there are going to be a couple of teams regretting that they let him fall to #7.

Houston Rockets

Grade: A+

Assets Coming In: #18, #32

Assets At The End Of The Day: Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell

Obligatory Commentary: You gotta hand it to Daryl Morey.  He went out and straight up grabbed the BPA with both of his picks this year, and in both cases it was a guy who had fallen several spots (Dekker on the order of 5, Montrezl on the order of 10) lower than he should have fallen.  Montrezl is flawed – the Faried comparison is apt, though I think he’s got a bit of height on the Moreland State overachiever.  Dekker is actually going to be a very good player.  Think Ryan Anderson with more athleticism.  He’s not going to transform your franchise, but there are going to be about (quick count) nine teams that passed on Dekker that are going to regret it (yes, Knicks, even though Dekker would have been a reach at #4, in five years you’ll have to admit that Dekker would have been a better move).  So Morey wins.  Again.  Bastard.

Utah Jazz

Grade: A

Assets Coming In: #12, #42, #54

Assets At The End Of The Day: Trey Lyles, Olivier Hanlan, cash

Obligatory Commentary: Second-round picks be damned, this is about the first rounder.  And the Jazz were the team who saw what I saw – that Trey Lyles was criminally underrated.  Some of this probably came from the fact that the Kentucky Wildcats were forced to play him out of position at SF due to circumstances like Willie Cauley-Stein’s ankle injury that…well, for the Jazz writeup, let’s just call it fortuitous.  Lyles is a PF, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  He’s got the size, he’s got the strength, and maybe someday he’ll have the jumper to be a true stretch-four threat.  Even if he doesn’t get there, he’ll be a very good traditional PF.  He won’t be a killer defender, and he won’t be a brutal rebounder, but he can play in the post, and he can hit a mid-range jumper, and he’s essentially LaMarcus Aldridge the second.  I know some people whose opinions I respect highly who do not like this comparison, but I do.  Utah is rumored to have put Favors on the trade block, and with Lyles in the fold, that’s not necessarily a bad call.

Miami Heat

Grade: A

Assets Coming In: #10, #40

Assets At The End Of The Day: Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson

Obligatory Commentary: With a name like “Josh Richardson”, you have to be really good for people to know who you are.  I don’t know who this guy is.  But – the Heat grabbed one of the big time sliders in the draft with Justise Winslow at #10.  I don’t love Winslow – I don’t have him in my top five or anything – but he’s great value at #10 and ought to outperform his nearest comp (the latest “I think I’m the best guy in the draft even though I went all the way down at #8” Stanley Johnson) and even though he can’t hit shoot from inside the arc he’s going to play some decent D and he’s a good enough athlete to run the floor.  Plus he’s got that scar on the left side of his face/neck that lets you know that he’s a total badass because you don’t get a scar like that unless you’re in a knife fight.  You should see the other guy!  Anyway, great value at the pick.  Thanks, Jordan!

Memphis Grizzlies

Grade: A-

Assets Coming In: #25, Luke Ridnour, Jon Leuer, Draft rights to Janis Timma

Assets At The End Of The Day: Matt Barnes, Jarell Martin, Andrew Harrison

Obligatory Commentary: I’m not so hot on the draft here.  Martin is OK, but anybody thinking he’s going to be a Zach Randolph V.2 is going to have to check their change.  But getting Matt Barnes, the ultimate hustle player, for less than nothing (by that, I mean Luke Ridnour, who has had a negative VORP in the last two seasons) is an absolute coup.  And I think that Andrew Harrison has been WAY underrated.  Yeah, I know, the kid was originally projected as like a top-five pick out of high school and he just wasn’t that good, but the backlash that pushed him into the second round made him into a steal.  Conley ain’t going anywhere, but Harrison can play some backup minutes without being too terribly much of a step down.  For Jon Leuer?  That’s a bargain.

Golden State Warriors

Grade: A-

Assets Coming In: #30

Assets At The End Of The Day: Kevon Looney

Obligatory Commentary: I’m pretty high on this pick.  Looney becomes the second consecutive UCLA Bruin to have been taken at the #30 pick when their draft stock has been quite a bit higher than that.  Kyle Anderson fell because he’s a weird fit.  Looney fell because of questions about the health of his hip and the fact that he’s not really ready to play in the NBA.  Kevon is a fantastic rebounder, a kid who has a knack to tip rebounds that are completely out of his area up into the air and put them up for grabs – and with his wingspan he often comes down with them.  But for all that, he’s still quite a bit skinny and – on top of that – he hasn’t refined his offensive game at all.  But at #30?  That’s what the court system would call criminal larceny, folks.  Looney can play.  There are question marks, but at #30, this is a no-lose pick.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Grade: B+

Assets Coming In: #1, #31, #36

Assets At The End Of The Day: Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones

Obligatory Commentary: Keeping with my tradition, I can’t give the Wolves credit for picking the consensus #1 player in the draft at #1 overall.  You’re supposed to do that.  Jones, on the other hand, was a pretty good pick.  I think he got a bit shafted in the mocks all year long.  While he’s not going to be a superstar, he’s a steady PG who is going to ride that boundary between a bottom five starter and a top five backup in the NBA.  And the Wolves finagled him out of the Cavs for a couple of second-rounders.  That’s a pretty good haul.  Minnesota, a grade in the high B’s?  I’m getting wistfully sad here.  Nostalgic, even.  Where have you gone, David Kahn-io?  A nation turns its snarky eyes to you!

Los Angeles Lakers

Grade: B+

Assets Coming In: #2, #27, #34

Assets At The End Of The Day: D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr., Anthony Brown

Obligatory Commentary: The Lakers made a pretty polyorchid pick here at #2 by passing up Jahlil Okafor to take D’Angelo Russell, but in my opinion it was the right move.  Russell is a hell of a PG, and he might end up being the next superstar.  Never mind that Russell may eventually end up getting shipped to Sacramento for DeMarcus Cousins – taking him over Okafor was both ballsy and correct.  That said, the rest of the Lakers’ draft was pretty much ass.  The beauty is that with the #27 the Lakers totally wasted their pick on the son of a former NBA player who not only has zero chance of making their team, but who also had to immediately get onto Twitter and delete a years-old tweet where he called out Kobe for being a rapist.  Beautiful.  They deserve no less.

Toronto Raptors

Grade: B

Assets Coming In: #20, Greivis Vasquez

Assets At The End Of The Day: Delon Wright, Norman Powell, 2017 first round pick (15-30, MIL)

Obligatory Commentary: On balance here, the Raptors traded away the #20 and Greivis Vasquez (who almost certainly immediately gave an interview to the Wisconsin press about how much he absolutely loves Milwaukee) to get Delon Wright (kind of a younger version of Greivis Vasquez) and Norman Powell and a protected first.  You know, on balance, that’s pretty good.  Powell is a kid who is going to open some eyes, in my opinion.  Super athletic, plays harder than any kid you’ll ever see.  He needs to constantly work on his shot to keep it falling, but he can get to the rack and dunk like few 6’4″ guards.  And he’s a terrific defender on top of that.  For all the teams that just blew off second round picks this year, the Raptors really made the most of the one they acquired.

Orlando Magic

Grade: B

Assets Coming In: #5, #51, Luke Ridnour’s unguaranteed contract

Assets At The End Of The Day: Mario Hezonja, Tyler Harvey, draft rights to Janis Timma

Obligatory Commentary: You know, this is a pretty good draft. Tyler Harvey might actually be OK – he could get some highlights at the summer league and maybe even crack the roster, which ain’t bad for #51.  And Hezonja can shoot all day long and still take your mom to the club after dark.  Kid’s got the swagger to be a legit NBA player, and he’s got the size to be a swingman and play wherever the Magic need him.  The only weird thing here is the … wait a fucking second here, Brandon Belt is playing center field for the Giants?  What.  The.  Flying.  Nun?  Anyway, the only weird thing here is that the Magic traded away the eminently cuttable unguaranteed contract of Luke Ridnour for a piece of paper that says they’ll never write a check to some dude named Janis Timma.  Hey, Captain Smith, where’d you say you wanted those deck chairs?

Sacramento Kings

Grade: B-

Assets Coming In: #6, an immense shitstorm of DeMarcus Cousins/George Karl rumors

Assets At The End Of The Day: Willie Cauley-Stein, a veritable shitsunami of DeMarcus Cousins/George Karl rumors

Obligatory Commentary: The Kings had what was certainly the worst lead-in to the draft of any team in the NBA.  Agent and total fucking asshole (is that redundant?) Dan Fegan went loco on the media trying to drop stories that would get DeMarcus Cousins traded to the Lakers.  The bullshit was strong in this one, Paduwan.  At any rate, the Kings were fortunate enough to have brought in Jedi Master Vlade Divac to curate the franchise, and he wasn’t about to bow to agent pressure to make a deal.  Cousins (for now) stays in Sacramento, and the Kings picked up WCS to play next to him. I would argue that Emmanuel Mudiay would have been a better selection – he has the star potential that WCS does not – but Cauley-Stein is a can’t-miss kid.  He’s bound to be an All-NBA defender before too long, and he’ll immediately improve the Kings’ defense, which was their true Achilles’ Hell on the season.  Unfortunately, he’s not likely to change the Kings’ 3P% against, and unless stories about his improving jumper are true, he’s never going to contribute much on offense.  Still, Mudiay was there.  And while the Kings have Cousins for now, there’s no particular guarantee that they’re going to be able to hold on to him, and WCS works far worse without a guy like Cousins than he does with him.

Milwaukee Bucks

Grade: B-

Assets Coming In: #17, #46, Ersan Ilyasova, 2017 first round pick (15-30)

Assets At The End Of The Day: Rashad Vaughn, Greivis Vasquez, Caron Butler, Shawne Williams

Obligatory Commentary: I actually like the Vaughn pick.  He’s a great shooter and I think he’s going to stick as a bench guy to put up a decent career.  Given that the Bucks don’t have much in the way of shooting guards outside of Mayo (Middleton is not only an RFA but pretty much a SF) Vaughn fills a need, and as much as the mock drafts were down on him, he’s far better than they pegged him as in my opinion.  Kid can shoot, and he’s got enough sac to know it.  Vasquez, on the other hand…I don’t get.  I mean, if you just traded for MCW, why go and trade for the exact same player with way worse defense?  What does Caron Butler do here with all of the SF minutes going to Antetokounmpo?  What does Shawne Williams do for this team?  Man, the Bucks ought to be happy that I love Rashad Vaughn, because otherwise, I don’t get what they’re doing.

New Orleans Pelicans

Grade: C+

Assets Coming In: #56

Assets At The End Of The Day: Cash

Obligatory Commentary: Hey, at least I’ve heard of him.  With the #56 pick, that’s a win.

Detroit Pistons

Grade: C+

Assets Coming In: #8, #38, Caron Butler, Shawne Williams

Assets At The End Of The Day: Stanley Johnson, Ersan Ilyasova, Darrun Hilliard

Obligatory Commentary: You know, I don’t hate Stanley Johnson, I just don’t really like him. I think Justice Winslow is the better player, not “clearly” but by a small margin.  Johnson has a bit of “it factor” but he’s also got a lot to put together.  So it was, in my eyes, a bit of a wasted pick.  But considering that Monroe is almost certainly flying the coop this offseason, grabbing up Ilyasova for basically nothing is a decent move.  Stanley Johnson may be the beginning of the end of the most exquisitely hyphenated name in the NBA, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.  But that’s not really a big loss, except to juvenile people on the internet that like to make fun of people’s names.  Nobody like that around here, right?

Oklahoma City Thunder

Grade: C

Assets Coming In: #14, #48, Jeremy Lamb

Assets At The End Of The Day: Cameron Payne, Dakari Johnson, Luke Ridnour, 2016 second round pick (CHA)

Obligatory Commentary: I’m not really sure what the Thunder were doing here.  I guess that if you’re that stacked, you take the player you feel is BPA even if he’s going to ride the pine behind Russell Westbrook and never get a chance to make enough money to fix his fucked-up teeth.  Orthodontists are golddiggin’ ass bitches, yo.  But I’m not sure there was an absolute better pick – outside of Dekker, Payne was probably the best bet at this point in the draft.  Other than that, the Thunder essentially shuffled some pieces to get Dakari “Stool” Johnson, who isn’t going to stick.  Is he better than Jeremy Lamb?  I don’t know.  I mean, would you rather have syphilis or gonorrhea?

Dallas Mavericks

Grade: C

Assets Coming In: #21, #52

Assets At The End Of The Day: Justin Anderson, Satnam Singh Bhamara

Obligatory Commentary: I wish I could say more about Justin Anderson, but he broke his hand before I got a chance to check him out.  Is he any good?  I don’t know.  At #21, RHJ might be a better pick but I can’t remotely kill the Mavs for taking him.  The one thing they did do is pick up the first Indian player ever drafted in Singh (don’t know where the “Bhamara” came from) though given that Vivek Ranadivé didn’t bother to get a second round pick to grab this kid, I don’t know if that really helps the case.  I mean, Vivek took the overweight Sim Bhullar under his wing in a cynical attempt to court the Subcontinental market – if he isn’t going for Singh, what does that say?  Did Dallas get better here?  Probably not.  But maybe they just didn’t fuck shit up, and that counts for something.

Phoenix Suns

Grade: C-

Assets Coming In: #13, #44, Two felony assault charges

Assets At The End Of The Day: Devin Booker, Jon Leuer, and yep, still two felony assault charges

Obligatory Commentary: I’m killing the Suns for the Morris twins’ felony assault charges (they were apparently upset about some dude texting their mom, which just about makes every grade-school taunt I’ve ever heard worth it), but it’s on me to remember that there’s a draft here, as well.  We’re basically looking at #13 for Devin Booker.  I don’t love it.  Payne is there (OK, Phoenix hasn’t had the best luck with PGs lately), Dekker is there, and local collegian RHJ is there.  Booker can shoot, and basically nothing else.  So he’s J.J. Redick, without the [redacted] questions and a bit more melanin.  After four Mai Bocks (one more than I promised myself I’d drink) I can’t bring myself to give a shit.

Atlanta Hawks

Grade: C-

Assets Coming In: #15, #50, #59

Assets At The End Of The Day: Tim Hardaway Jr., Marcus Eriksson, Dimitrios Agravanis, two future second round picks (WAS)

Obligatory Commentary: If nothing else we can make the point that the Hawks drafted a Greek guy named after a character from Le Morte D’Arthur, which reminds me of a joke: What’s red and green and goes 100 miles per hour?  A frog in a (cultural) blender!  Like most teams, the Hawks second-rounded their second-round picks this year (they drafted a Swede?!?), and they spent their first rounder on a bit of a more known quantity in Muppet Baby Tim Hardaway.  The draft had maybe begun to peter out of guaranteed value at that point, but then again, Hardaway isn’t exactly tearing up the league.  “The crappy player you know” shouldn’t apply in a draft this deep.  Take a risk, dammit!

Philadelphia 76ers

Grade: D+

Assets Coming In: #3, #35, #37, #47, #58, #60

Assets At The End Of The Day: Jahlil Okafor, J.P. Tokoto, Richaun Holmes, Arturas Gudaitis, Luka Mitrovic, two MORE future second round picks

Obligatory Commentary: So much 76ers.  They came into this draft knowing, just absolutely knowing that they had to take a PG.  They traded away MCW specifically because they were convinced they’d get their high-school crush D’Angelo Russell in the draft.  Well, the Lakers fucked that all up to hell, and somehow instead of taking Emmanuel Mudiay so they’d, you know, actually have a PG they decided to get yet another frontline player.  The only thing that salvages this at all is that it’s beginning to look like Joel Embiid may still be injured (great pick, Hinkie!) making consolation-prize Okafor at least marginally useful.  I mean, I like Okafor.  He’s going to be great in the post, and he can actually run the pick and roll, a skill that is declining in college these days, but as a defender he’s just too slow and groundbound to dominate anybody not named Frank Kaminsky.  Anyway, look for Philly to be forced – in a best case scenario – to sign Rondo in the offseason just so somebody can man the point.  Outside of their lottery first rounder, Philly had FIVE second round picks this year.  That means it’s time to sell, sell, sell!  Did they?  Umm, no.  They traded one (for two MORE second round picks, like that’s going to help) but they ended up having to pick for the other four.  On the bright side, they drafted a dude whose last name sounds like he’s got an inflammation of his Dutch cheese, so that’s fun.  Also, they took a decent player in Tokoto, though they took him later than a couple of other random dudes.  Again, like so many other teams they totally second-rounded those second-rounders.  With how badly they wasted their second round picks, why does the NBA let them collect any more?  I mean, we’ve already got a Stepien Rule, can we get a Hinkie Rule?

Brooklyn Nets

Grade: D+

Assets Coming In: #29, #41, Mason Plumlee, two future second round picks, cash

Assets At The End Of The Day: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough, Steve Blake, Juan Pablo Vaulet

Obligatory Commentary: You can say this for the Nets: It only cost them two future second round picks and cash to get Juan Pablo Montoya’s valet.  I really don’t know what to think about McCullough, because I never got a chance to watch him play before he got injured, and I like RHJ while acknowledging that he’s a defensive specialist.  So the incoming players aren’t too bad.  But the Nets traded Mason Plumlee to get RHJ, and given their previous stance (“We love Mason so much we’ll never trade him!  You’d have to take Deron Williams’ dumbass contract to get him out of us.  He was on Team USA!”) trading him for RHJ is this not-so-quiet admission that Billy King is full of shit and the entire league knows it.  Frankly, I think the Nets are better than they were going into the draft, but that comes at the cost of everybody pointing and laughing at Billy Emperor because he ain’t wearing any clothes.  Oh, and he’s still got to deal with Williams’ and Johnson’s contracts.  And he’s pretty much forced to resign Brook “I can’t be bothered to rebound” Lopez to a max deal.  The roster may be slightly better than it was coming into the draft, but the Oster will be splattered with fecal matter before too long.

Washington Wizards

Grade: D

Assets Coming In: #19, #49, two future second round picks

Assets At The End Of The Day: Kelly Oubré, Aaron White

Obligatory Commentary: The Wizards came in with the #19 pick and a bunch of second rounders and came out with a hit-or-miss frosh SG prospect.  Let me be the first to say that I’m not a big fan of Oubré – I think he’s a nearly certain bust – but he’s a decent risk at #19.  The problem is that he wasn’t taken with #19, he was taken with #15 (after the trade) with Sam Dekker on the board.  Dekker will most likely be five times the player Oubré will, so that’s kind of like locking the call girl out of the hotel room.  You make the transaction, you gotta get the most out of it.  Also, I would like to point out that Kelly Oubré is technically a “Jr.”, but seeing as most people only know his dad as “Some Random Dude Who Is About To Get A Nicer House”, it’s not really worth the effort to type it.  Also, I would like to point out that Oubré wore the dumbassiest spiky shoes to the draft that have ever been seen.  They looked like rims out of Mad Max.  That alone is going to bust the Wizards’ grade down.  Sorry, Wiz!  Next time, don’t draft a kid wearing dumbass fucking shoes!

Chicago Bulls

Grade: D

Assets Coming In: #22

Assets At The End Of The Day: Bobby Portis

Obligatory Commentary: Eh.  Bobby Portis isn’t terribly likely to crack the Bulls’ rotation soon.  I mean, you’re talking Pau, Noah, Taj, and Mirotic here.  He might have been something resembling BPA but he’s skinny and whether or not he makes the leap is up for argument.  I think Rondae is a better pick for the Bulls here, I think Tyus Jones is a better pick (I mean, Rose is going to get hurt again, right?) but so it goes.  Portis gets to ride the bench for a few years while the Bulls figure it out, and maybe by then he’ll get schooled enough in practice that he’ll figure the whole thing out.  Until then, this is a waste of a pick.

Boston Celtics

Grade: D-

Assets Coming In: #16, #28, #33, #45

Assets At The End Of The Day: Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, Jordan Mickey, Marcus Thornton

Obligatory Commentary: I want to kill the Celtics for taking Terry Rozier.  First off, why so many PGs? You’ve got Marcus Smart, you’ve got Isaiah Thomas…when the hell are you going to play Terry Rozier?  And that’s your #16 pick!  Also, Terry Rozier sucks.  Like I wouldn’t have taken him in the second round sucks.  You know, in some ways, the failed desperation attempt to send every draft pick you’ve ever owned to the Hornets for the #9 makes this pick almost palatable.  Ainge can’t possibly have believed in his wildest dreams that Jordan would turn that down, and this looks like he was just eminently unprepared to make a pick at #16, then just looked up Chad Ford’s draft board to see who he ought to take when he got rejected Josephine The Plumber style.  But there’s a bit of redemption here, and that’s in the form of (Wonder Twins Power…ACTIVATE!) R.J. Hunter, who has a chance to be the next Kevin Martin, and Jordan Mickey who at least ought to be able to contribute off the bench with a super late first and an early second.  I guarandamntee that Hunter will play more NBA minutes than Rozier, and Mickey probably will too.  So what kind of grade do you get when you fuck up your top pick and then make a couple of redeemers later on?

San Antonio Spurs

Grade: D-

Assets Coming In: #26, #55

Assets At The End Of The Day: Nikola Milutinov, Cady Lalanne

Obligatory Commentary: Look.  Not only has Billy Pilgrim come unstuck in time, but R.C. Buford has gotten stuck in the past in his place.  Let’s face it, while the Spurs once had this amazing history of taking bad picks and Midasing them into gold, we need to acknowledge that Buford hasn’t made an amazing pick since 2001, when he took Parker at #28.  There’s this argument for Kawhi Leonard, but people knew who he was.  He was projected to go in the #7 range but dropped, and the fact that the Pacers weren’t smart enough to realize that George Hill wasn’t nearly as valuable as Leonard isn’t exactly a point in favor of Buford.  I mean, Kings fans (not the F.O. at the time, but fans) knew that Leonard was the guy.  So…Milutinov?  Milutinov comes from a Slavic root meaning “not coming over to the NBA any damn time soon”.  So temper those expectations.  And the second round pick…is he a relative of SoCal Gym Magante Jack LaLanne?  Because if not, he ain’t got shit.  At least Jack was in commercials, being all buff and toned or whatever.  I can pretty much guarantee that some random old wiry dude with a spray-on tan is going to have more impact on my life than Cady Lalanne.  I’ve been edgily down on the Spurs drafting on the whole for a while.  This year is no exception.

Los Angeles Clippers

Grade: F

Assets Coming In: No draft picks, Spencer Hawes, Matt Barnes, cash

Assets At The End Of The Day: Lance Stephenson, Branden Dawson

Obligatory Commentary: It’s so hard to grade this “draft”.  The Clippers had no picks, but they sent away a douchebag Sacramento native who is at least a great hustle player and a douchebag Seattle native who turned coat on his own franchise to favor moving them to the Pacific Northwest, for a douchebag who (allegedly) shoved his girlfriend down the stairs then grabbed her head and started slamming it on the steps.  HOW DO YOU GRADE THIS?  Even with the whole domestic violence thing, I’d probably have to be a bit nicer to the Clips if they were trading for the Indiana version of Stephenson.  But they’re not, they’re trading for the Charlotte version, and he’s terrible.  Is there anything redeeming for the Clippers on the day?  Well, they got Branden Dawson for cash – that’s not terrible, right?  I hate to say it, but this draft (day) is exactly the sort of draft (day) that a formerly-owned-by-Donald-Sterling franchise deserves.  I don’t deserve it.  I’m a good guy, I never did anything to deserve this crap.  But Sterling?  I figure he probably has a lot of karma coming back to him.  Sorry, Paul Allen.  You were the dude who bought a franchise that was constructed over an ancient Indian burial ground.

Portland Trailblazers

Grade: F

Assets Coming In: #23, Nicolas Batum, Steve Blake, cash

Assets At The End Of The Day: Noah Vonleh, Mason Plumlee, Gerald Henderson, Pat Connaughton, Daniel Diez

Obligatory Commentary: The funny thing is that when I look at what the Blazers came away with on draft day, I feel like they did a pretty good job.  Then I look at what they gave up.  Nicolas Batum.  Nicolas Batum?!?  I mean, he’s no superstar, but he’s a totally middle-of-the-pack SF, and the Blazers, faced with losing Aldridge to free agency, panicked and sent him away to get Vonleh and Plumlee?  It’s going to be a long year in Portland, and not even Lillard can rescue them from this mess.  It’s a rebuild at this point.  And Vonleh and Plumlee aren’t going to count for this rebuild in the end.  On top of that, the Blazers apparently decided that they needed Notre Dame product Pat Connaughton.  Dude totally cheated on his vertical by slouching 3.5 inches on his standing reach (relative to the recent measurement at Portsmouth).  Either that or he’s got sudden-onset scoliosis.  Either way, how do you draft that?  Did he confess this sin to his priest?  How many Hail Marys was it worth?  He had a hell of a tournament, no doubt, and a (true) vertical in the 40″ range is killer, but if he’s going to cheat to get 3.5 inches, can you really count on Con-Naughty-Ton?

Indiana Pacers

Grade: F

Assets Coming In: #11, #43

Assets At The End Of The Day: Myles Turner, Joseph Young

Obligatory Commentary: I can kind of get behind the Joe Young pick.  I actually think that Norman Powell is the better player in the same mold (he went a few picks later) but Young has a chance to stick as a bench guy.  But Myles Turner?  He has shown the world just about this much more than nothing.  He barely averaged 22 minutes playing for a Texas team that wasn’t even really very good.  You could call that Rick Barnes’ fault (he did get his ass canned, so there’s that) but Turner is just not the guy you want in the post.  He’s got a funny running motion that seems to predict future injury trouble, and he never proved he was actually very good at anything.  Turner is going to bust and Trey Lyles one pick later is going to look really bad for Indiana.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Grade: F

Assets Coming In: #24, #53

Assets At The End Of The Day: Cedi Osman, Rakeem Christmas, Sir’Dominic Pointer

Obligatory Commentary: If I had an English Pointer, I would definitely name him Sir’Dominic.  Outside of that, I have no idea what the fuck the Cavaliers were doing here.  I mean, doesn’t Mr. Comic Sans remember how the last time he completely fucking failed to surround LeBron with good players LeBron fucking left?  Well, LeBron is back, you’ve got a #24 pick, and fuck all you just throw it away to pick some second round guys with awesome names who will never, ever play for your team?  Don’t you think maybe R.J. Hunter would have been useful, especially with J.R. Smith opting out?  Take a chance on Kevon Looney?  No.  No, you’re just going to throw your picks away as Kevin Love opts out of his contract too and LeBron is possibly facing next year playing next to Kyrie and nobody.  Good job.

New York Knicks

Grade: F

Assets Coming In: #4, Tim Hardaway Jr., two future second round picks

Assets At The End Of The Day: Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant, Guillermo Hernangomez

Obligatory Commentary: I hate to kill the Knicks after Screamin’ A killed them, just on the general principle of not thinking the same thing as Screamin’ A. Still…Porzingis?  Let me tell a little story about Porzingis.  OK, it’s not really a story.  But did you see that picture of him next to Fran Fraschilla?  I mean, Fran may not exactly be a bodybuilder, but he ain’t a fatty.  And his forearms are about the same diameter as Porzingis’ thighs.  This does not bode well for this year’s “Next Dirk”.  Yeah, the kid can shoot it a bit and he’s 7’1″ and he looks really good in a one-on-none workout because he can dunk and he’s fluid and shit.  (Heh, I said “Fluid shit”.)  Well, guess what?  He’s 7’1″!  If he can’t dunk, who can?!?  And yeah, he doesn’t run awkwardly despite his height because he weighs about as much as your average resident of Kaiserwald. Porzingis is going to get his ass (what there is of it) pushed around on the court until he Manna From Heavens his way back to Europe.  Bank on it.  That’s what Phil Jackson spent his #4 pick on.  It’s a sad story because when the Lakers went for Russell, you just know that ZenMaster Phil was thinking that Okafor was going to fall to him at #4.  He thought he’d hit the jackpot.  And then Philly went and fucked it all up for him.  Ummmm….lemme take the Machinist!  Lost in all this is the fact that somehow the Knicks landed Jerian “Flies like a goddamn eagle” Grant for Tim Hardaway Jr.  NBA bloodline for NBA bloodline, but at least that keeps them out of the bottom slot.

Charlotte Hornets

Grade: F

Assets Coming In: #9, #39, Lance Stephenson, Noah Vonleh, Gerald Henderson, 2016 second round pick

Assets At The End Of The Day: Frank Kaminsky, Nicolas Batum, Spencer Hawes, Jeremy Lamb, two conditional future second round picks (BRK), cash

Obligatory Commentary: There’s a lot to talk about here. The Hornets look to be completely overhauling their roster.  And they got rid of one of the worst free-agent signings in the past few years and one of the worst draft picks in the past few years (both in the same offseason – if I could be like Mike!) and picked up a pretty good SF in the process.  Sorry, MKG!  And that’s good, that’s very good.  (Even if they did pick up proponent-of-moving-his-former-team-to-Seattle Hawes.)  But then there’s the whole thing with the #9 pick.  The report out today says that the Celtics were so hellbent on getting Justice Winslow that they offered FOUR first round picks (including the #16 in this draft and a super-valuable future unprotected Nets pick) for the #9.  But Jordan turned Ainge down on a desperation deal…because he absolutely NEEDED Frank Kaminsky?  I mean, I like Kaminsky a bit, but he’s too slow and unathletic to not get eaten the fuck alive in the NBA.  So congrats, Jordan, you turned down four draft picks to foolishly grab after a guy who’s going to spend his career getting eaten the fuck alive.   But hey, people buy your shoes, so there’s that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements