Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened. The 2020 NBA Draft has finished. It's like the Sopranos...it's over.
But that also means that Draft Season for the 2021 class is just getting started. In order to move forward, we have to sum up what just happened...so that's just what we are going to do. Some places on the world wide web like to give out these things called "Draft Grades." While that might be the cool thing on the streets for kids these days, we like to go another direction. Below you'll see each NBA team and their "Draft Haul." We will have a short review on each of these teams and what role you might see that player having going forward in their rookie year.
THE REVIEW: Many thought that the Atlanta Hawks were going to potentially move the 6th overall selection in the lottery, but the Hawks decided to stay put. Although Tyrese Haliburton was an intriguing option here, Atlanta went with one of the best remaining players on the board in drafting USC big man Onyeka Okongwu. Although the Hawks decided to trade for Clint Capela during last year's deadline, Okongwu still gives the Hawks some serious upside at the center position. Okongwu will be brought along slowly, but he could become an extremely valuable asset for the Hawks early on given his skillset and fit with the surrounding pieces. Atlanta got one of our favorite sleepers in the second round in former LSU combo guard Skylar Mays. This Hawks roster is becoming deep in a hurry, so don't be surprised to see Mays get plenty of run in the G-League early on.
THE REVIEW: Actually thought that Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics did a fantastic job of addressing some weaknesses in this draft. Boston went into this draft needing to add to a couple of areas. One of the most glaring needs this team needed was to add some offensive firepower off of the bench. It's no secret that the Celtics have a young roster filled with deep talent, but Boston needed to add some shooting in this draft class. Aaron Nesmith was fantastic value for the Celtics at 14. Arguably the best shooter in this draft class, Nesmith gives the Celtics an elite catch and shoot prospect who can space the floor when playing alongside Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Nesmith has plenty of work to be done as a consistent defensive prospect, but he has the tools and ended up with the right team to unlock his talents. While some might have seen it as a bit "rich"...Oregon guard Payton Pritchard will be a welcomed addition early on for the Celtics. Pritchard is a competitor and thrives under pressure. He will fit perfectly with that roster in Boston. Yam Madar at 47 was another solid value selection for the Celtics. A fiery guard who needs to develop some consistency with his outside shot, Madar is expected to be a draft-and-stash selection for another year at least.
THE REVIEW: While the Brooklyn Nets only ended up with one selection in this year's class, don't ignore this one. This will be an intriguing fit moving forward for Brooklyn. Reggie Perry averaged 17.4 PTS and 10.1 REB for Mississippi State last year and there's plenty of tools to be intrigued with. At 6'10" 250 pounds, Perry has the frame that you're looking for in a potential "project" big man. Brooklyn could have themselves an interesting developmental project moving forward in Perry. The big man has upside as a floor-spacing threat and there's definitely some playmaking ability in his game. Perry should get some G-League run early on, but he's a name to keep an eye on.
THE REVIEW: Charlotte will come out of this Draft Class as one of the early winners and it's a more than impressive draft haul. This Hornets organization has done a great job over the last two years to continue to take the right steps forward during their rebuild. The goal with this draft was to add a potential franchise piece at 3rd overall, and LaMelo Ball gives the Charlotte organization some immediate excitement out of the backcourt. LaMelo has a fantastic combination of size and playmaking ability for a point guard and should create some serious buzz for Hornets fans. The Hornets decided to double down on adding a couple of bigs in this class as well, adding Duke big man Vernon Carey Jr and Kentucky's Nick Richards. Vernon Carey Jr has the talent and might have landed with a perfect team to showcase his ability. Carey Jr is more of an "old-school" type of big, but he has intriguing athleticism and floor spacing potential. Richards went a bit early than expected, but as we always say here "Go Get Your Guy." Richards could become an intriguing developmental piece early on that should get plenty of run in the G-League. One of the most intriguing selections here was Charlotte getting Grant Riller at 56. Riller was thought to be a darkhorse late first-round selection, so the value at 56 is worth the gamble. Riller can fill it up in a hurry and will most likely put up some big numbers playing for Greensboro in the G-League. But can the bucket getter develop the rest of his game?
THE REVIEW: The Chicago Bulls gave us our first "curveball' of the 2020 NBA Draft, selecting versatile forward Patrick Williams 4th overall. The former Florida State Seminole was one of the hottest names in NBA Draft circles throughout the pre-draft process, and there's plenty of oozing potential to be unlocked when it comes to Williams. But don't be nervous Chicago fans...the pandora box of upside that Williams has to his game is legit. Pencil this one in as an intriguing fit, as Williams slides into a Chicago Bulls lineup in which he won't be asked to carry the load offensively early on. In the second round, Chicago added mobile big man Marko Simonovic. A potential draft-and-stash candidate, Simonovic has good size at 6'11" and runs the floor well, but he needs some time to add to his frame.
THE REVIEW: Cleveland went into this draft needing to address a couple of positions, but there was no secret that the Cavaliers needed some help on the wings. With spending back-to-back years adding talent to their backcourt in the lottery, Cleveland decided to target some help on the defensive side of the ball adding one of the best defensive assets in this year's class. Isaac Okoro, formerly of Auburn, will be ready to defend at a high level early on in his NBA career. Okoro showcases fantastic instincts on the defensive side of the ball and should become one of the best defenders on this Cavaliers roster early on. Okoro has plenty of developing to do on the offensive side of the ball, but if the tools all click...Cleveland could have found themselves a serious building block moving forward.
THE REVIEW: Personally, I thought this was one of the most impressive draft hauls of any team in this year's Draft. Dallas continues to do a great job of adding key pieces throughout the draft. Although there was a lot of speculation before the draft that the Mavericks were looking to move the 18th pick, Dallas found itself an extremely nice piece in Josh Green. The former Arizona wing is one of the best on-ball defenders in this class. He also has plenty of unlocked potential when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. Green should be a nice rotational piece early on for Dallas. Tyrell Terry at 31 was a fantastic get for the Mavericks as well. Terry needs some seasoning, but he could become a fantastic floor spacing asset off of the bench for the Mavs early. Tyler Bey at 36 was another great value selection. Bey specializes in his versatility on the defensive side of the ball and is one of the top athletes in this class. He's going to be a fun developmental project who could surprise and contribute earlier than expected.
THE REVIEW: The rich get richer and the Denver Nuggets did a fantastic job of adding two intriguing pieces to the puzzle. Zeke Nnaji is the right type of piece you want to add to a playoff roster. The former Arizona big man is an energetic volume rebounder who plays with passion and grit. Nnaji fights to keep possessions alive on both sides of the ball and has plenty of room to grow on the offensive side of the ball. RJ Hampton at 24 was just a fantastic get for the Nuggets overall. Hampton gives the Nuggets a ball-handler off of the bench who can light the court on fire with his speed in transition. If Hampton can become a more consistent shooter from outside, this could be a fantastic get for the Nuggets at 24.
THE REVIEW: Detroit found themselves being the talk of Draft Night and it was for good reasons. New GM Troy Weaver realized that this Pistons roster needed an overhaul in a hurry. Detroit did a fantastic job adding the right pieces in this class. Killian Hayes was a bit of an eye-opener at 7, but there's no denying the upside and offensive firepower that Hayes has in his arsenal. The learning curve will hit hard, and it would be a shocker if Hayes doesn't have plenty of growing pains...but the upside is scary. The Pistons then went on to add a couple of intriguing "safe" picks in Washington big man Isaiah Stewart and Villanova forward Saddiq Bey. Stewart is a physical big man with a good combination of footwork and hands. Stewart should become a two-way presence early on for Detroit and will become a fan favorite with his effort and desire. Bey was viewed as one of the "safest" picks in this year's class. An intelligent basketball player oozing with versatility on the defensive side of the ball, Saddiq also offers serious upside as a floor spacer and has one of the quickest releases in this draft. Detroit also went on to add Saben Lee in the 2nd round, an intriguing guard who can light it up in a hurry. Lee should spend some early time in the G-League, but he has the tools to stick on that Pistons roster.
THE REVIEW: The basketball and draft world waited anxiously to see what the Golden State Warriors would do at #2 in this year's draft...and they made the right decision. Although many thought the Warriors would trade the pick, Golden State decided to stay put and add Memphis big man James Wiseman to their roster. Wiseman possesses serious upside to become a two-way monster for the Warriors with his combination of size and athleticism. Draymond Green will have a new best friend and the two should become a promising defensive duo on the blocks for the Warriors early on. At 48 the Warriors decided to stop the fall of Arizona guard Nico Mannion. The former Wildcat won't wow you with his production from last year, but he could become a fantastic rotational guard for the Dubs moving forward. Mannion plays as a natural pass-first guard and knows how to put teammates in position to succeed. At 51 the Warriors added an intriguing wing in Justinian Jessup, formerly of Boise State. Jessup was expected to play for the NBL next year, so he could become a draft-and-stash selection for the Warriors. Jessup is a left-handed shooting wing who can light it up from outside. He's a name to remember for Warriors fans.
THE REVIEW: After trading the 16th selection in the draft to the Detroit Pistons, it seemed as if the Houston Rockets weren't going to be selecting in this Draft. The Rockets later made a trade with the Sacramento Kings, acquiring the rights to K.J. Martin. I actually like this gamble by the Rockets, as they find themselves adding an intriguing developmental piece in Martin. K.J. is the son of former NBA player Kenyon Martin and yes...he has his dad's athleticism. The Rockets continue to be one of the more interesting storylines across the NBA and they could find themselves going through a bit of a rebuild if they decide to move on from James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Martin will be an interesting developmental project for Houston early on and should live in the G-League for Rio Grande Valley during his rookie year.
THE REVIEW: A bit of a surprise to see Duke freshman Cassius Stanley go this late in the draft, but Indiana Pacers fans should be more than thrilled with the addition. Indiana found themselves without a first-round selection in the 2020 draft, so adding a player with such an intriguing potential like Stanley is great value at 54. Stanley makes his living above the rim and is a top tier player when it comes to athleticism. He's got good size for an off guard and just needed to land with an organization that can allow the rest of his game to develop over time. This is just great value for the Pacers.
THE REVIEW: A sneaky good job by the Los Angeles Clippers with this draft class. The Clippers were only "expected" to have the 57th pick, but left the class with two intriguing pieces. Daniel Oturu was a nice get for the Clippers at 33. Oturu was one of the most productive big men prospects in this year's class, averaging 20.1 PTS and 11.3 REB for Minnesota last year, as well as 2.5 BLK. Oturu made his living out of the post in college, so unlocking his outside game will be the key to unlocking his full potential. Jay Scrubb was a name that was heating up throughout the pre-draft process. Scrubb spent his last year playing in the Junior College ranks, so his transition from JUCO to NBA should be a hefty curve...but Scrubb has the talent and potential that make this a worthy "swing for the fences." Scrubb might be a developmental project, but he's one of the best projects in this class. Expect him to spend some serious time in the G-League early on.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS NO PICK
THE REVIEW: No one will give enough love to the Memphis Grizzlies with their draft haul...but I absolutely LOVE IT. It's perfect. Just do the "chef kiss" reaction right now and that's a perfect way to describe the Grizzlies haul. Memphis added two great pieces to the puzzle, and that's exactly what you want to do when you are a young team on the rise. Memphis isn't swinging for the fences with this haul, they are adding two intelligent pieces to help this team continue to move the needle forward. Desmond Bane at 30th overall was sensational value for the Grizzlies. Bane has been one of the hottest names in draft circles throughout the pre-draft process. A high basketball IQ wing who plays the game like a seasoned NBA veteran, the former TCU product will offer immediate versatility on both sides of the ball as well as the ability to stretch the floor. From there, the Grizzlies added one of the best versatile big man defenders in this year's class in Michigan State's Xavier Tillman Sr. Although a bit undersized for a natural 5 at just 6'8", Tillman makes up for it with a 7'1" wingspan and contagious energy. Tillman offers intriguing defensive versatility and playmaking ability as a passer and should find himself fitting in beautifully with the Grizzlies.
THE REVIEW: Thought that the Miami Heat hit a homerun with their selection at 20. Miami went into this draft in a position to add to two potential areas for their roster. They could have added a young floor general to their backcourt, potentially looking down the road when Goran Dragic decides to move on, or they could look to add some nastiness in their frontcourt. Memphis energetic big man Precious Achiuwa was an outstanding get for Miami at 20 overall. Achiuwa was a name that was even gaining some steam in the top 10, so the fact that the Heat got him at 20 shows they got some great value on draft night. Achiuwa needs some time to develop as a more consistent threat on the offensive side of the ball, but he should match perfectly with the Miami Heat. Achiuwa should blossom early especially with his lateral quickness and ability to guard multiple positions. He should be a nice rotational piece to back up Bam Adebayo.
THE REVIEW: This draft haul for the Milwaukee Bucks could be one that we all need to respect a bit more. While both of these names might not "wow" you immediately, they both have the potential to be a big impact early on in their careers. The Bucks went into this offseason with the desire to add some more shooting on the perimeter. Well in this class, they got two absolutely snipers. We spoke plenty on the ability that Jordan Nwora has and the fact that Milwaukee got him at 45 is just fantastic value overall. Nwora didn't take the step forward that some NBA scouts were hoping for when he decided to return to Louisville for another year, but he can shoot the lights out from the perimeter and could thrive early on as a floor-spacing addition. Utah State guard Sam Merrill has the potential to stick as well and has the potential to become a type of "Duncan Robinson-like" story in this class. Merrill is already 24 years old, so teams might have been turned off by his upside...but don't let it distract you from the fact that he can flat out play.
THE REVIEW: THEY DID IT! The Minnesota Timberwolves had the whole world on the seat of their edge to see what they would do with the 1st overall selection in the draft. Although there's been a lot of smoke over the last several months, the selection that made the most sense in terms of general fit was Georgia guard Anthony Edwards...and that's just the way the Timberwolves saw it. Edwards finds himself in a favorable position early on, as he won't be called upon to carry the offensive load with Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell at the wheel. From there, the Minnesota Timberwolves did a great job adding some intriguing talent with serious upside. Argentinan guard Leandro Bolmaro is expected to be a draft and stash candidate, but don't be fooled Timberwolves fans...Bolmaro can play. A 6'7" combo guard with a great feel for the game and playmaking ability...Bolmaro has serious upside if he can become a more consistent shooter from outside. Jaden McDaniels at 28 was a bit of a surprise but was the right selection for Minnesota. McDaniels has the potential to be a gold mine selection if he can develop some confidence and he won't be rushed into action for the T'Wolves. It's a worthy swing for the fences, as Jaden has the offensive firepower to become a problem in the league with time.
THE REVIEW: With a young talented roster, filled with young draft selections from the 2019 class, New Orleans went into this draft with too many selections for a crowded roster. The Pelicans did a good job unloading three of their second-round selections in trades. At 13, the Pelicans added another fantastic piece to the puzzle in Alabama guard Kira Lewis Jr. With New Orleans moving Jrue Holiday in a trade this offseason, Kira Lewis was a solid addition at 13 and should have plenty of minutes coming ahead. Lewis is a playmaking guard with the ability to score at multiple levels and should become an intriguing weapon in transition with this Pelicans young core.
THE REVIEW: This is a home run for New York Knicks fans. It was a big first draft for the Knicks' new Front Office to install some excitement for the fans, and they did just that with this haul. Obi Toppin will create some serious offensive firepower moving forward. While Toppin might struggle defensively early on, the athleticism and scoring power both combine to create some excitement with this core for the immediate future. Former Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley was an interesting grab at the end of the first round and could thrive early on as a floor-spacing asset. Quickley still needs to develop the rest of his offensive game but he has great measurables and could become great value if the rest of his offensive game develops.
THE REVIEW: We made plenty of jokes throughout the pre-draft & mock draft era that the Oklahoma City Thunder should look to add Aleksej Pokusevski and folks...it happened. Let's get a bit serious though. Sam Presti has continued to add a mountain of future first-round selections in upcoming drafts. Presti knows that this rebuild is going to take a long time, and adding an incredibly RAW unicorn-like talent like Pokusevski is worth a gamble in this class. "Poku" is going to take some serious time ladies and gentlemen. He needs at least a couple of years before he's ready for NBA games. Vit Krejci is another interesting international prospect to keep an eye on. The former Czech Republic guard has fantastic size at 6'8" and has some intriguing talent that could make him a promising developmental project.
UPDATE*: OKC acquired the rights to Theo Maledon from PHI.
THE REVIEW: A fantastic get for the Orlando Magic in this draft. Orlando went into draft night with only one selection in the draft so it was important for them to get some intriguing value right in the middle of the first round. While there's plenty of critics when it comes to North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony, there's room to believe that Anthony will thrive in the NBA. Anthony came into North Carolina last year with HEFTY expectations. Unfortunately, Anthony experienced the typical rollercoaster freshman year for a coveted recruit. Anthony would impress but simply had too much to carry, especially while dealing with some injuries. Orlando is getting a fighter, and the Magic have done a great job of acquiring talent with the goal of developing those players with patience. It's important to remember that the Magic will also have last year's rookie Chuma Okeke back from his "redshirt" season. Orlando is moving forward with the right pieces.
THE REVIEW: The first draft under new management with a new vision in Philadelphia. Doc Rivers and Daryl Morrey definitely added some intriguing pieces to the puzzle with this haul. It was difficult to find a team that Tyrese Maxey would have fit perfectly, but his "fall" to the Sixers could be an absolute blessing. An alpha on the defensive side of the ball with a microwave-like ability to score on offense...Maxey should be a great addition for this Sixers organization. Arkansas wing Isaiah Joe was rumored to have a promise from Philadelphia and they snagged him up at 49th overall. It's one of the more intriguing values in the entire draft. Joe has a way to go, in terms of developing his frame and the rest of his game, but he can shoot the lights out. Finally, the Sixers added Depaul forward Paul Reed Jr. A swiss-army-knife type of player, Reed will be an intriguing developmental piece that could see some early run in the G-League.
UPDATE*: OKC acquired the rights to Theo Maledon from PHI.
THE REVIEW: The Phoenix Suns sent shockwaves throughout the draft (again) when they selected Maryland big man Jalen Smith 10th overall. GM James Jones and the Suns have not been afraid to draft their guy earlier than some might expect, and we saw them do something similar in 2019 with Cameron Johnson (11th overall). Still, it's a big swing for the Suns, who had some intriguing names still on the board. Smith was a hot name in draft circles throughout the pre-draft process. He should become a valuable rotational asset early on with his ability to impact both sides of the floor. The best part of drafting a young talent like this is you can allow them to develop without added pressure early on, especially with a roster filled with depth now like the Suns have.
THE REVIEW: Although on paper this one might seem like a bit of a head-scratcher...it's important to remember that Portland traded their first-round selection in order to get a big addition in versatile forward Robert Covington. With that being said, this was an eye-opener for Portland at 46. C.J. Elleby has good size for a wing at 6'6" and enjoyed a productive career at Washington State averaging 18.4 PTS and 7.8 REB during his sophomore campaign. After an impressive offseason in which Portland added a number of impressive pieces to the puzzle...it will be interesting to see what sort of role Elleby can potentially carve out in his rookie year. He could be a player who spends a serious amount of time getting some run in the G-League.
THE REVIEW: New Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair probably did a backflip after his first NBA Draft as the man in charge. Yes Kings fans, your team had an absolutely FANTASTIC night during the draft. McNair did a fantastic job in this draft acquiring valuable talent that was sliding down some of the boards. Iowa State combo guard Tyrese Haliburton as 12 was just basically armed robbery. McNair basically pulled the equivalent to "The Town" movie on draft day. Haliburton will be a sensational addition to the Kings backcourt and could be a fantastic future pairing with De'Aaron Fox. From there the Kings added two fantastic wings with intriguing potential. Robert Woodard II is a jack-of-all-trades wing. He's a player who might not light it up in the scoring column but he can make a major impact on the defensive side of the ball with his length and versatility. Texas Tech guard Jamhi'us Ramsey shouldn't have lasted until 43rd overall, so the Kings got another great value there. Ramsey is a strong off guard who needs to develop the rest of his versatility offensively but thrives as a catch-and-shoot guard. The big picture here is that the Kings have a realistic shot to have three picks make their roster and contribute...which is a heck of a haul for any team.
THE REVIEW: Why do NBA teams allow this to happen in every draft class? This was such a "Spurs Draft." San Antonio was going to find themselves in a great position to add an extremely nice piece at 11. Early rumblings had the Spurs intrigued by Saddiq Bey at 11, but not a lot of people were expecting Florida State guard Devin Vassell to fall all the way to 11. Vassell should be a fantastic addition for the Spurs moving forward. The former Seminole wing is a fantastic asset on defense and his offensive game is much better than expected. Spurs fans should be excited, they got themselves a really good one at 11. The Spurs didn't stop adding great value there, as they added Duke guard Tre Jones in the second round. Jones won't be asked to carry the load early in his career, as the Spurs have a deep backcourt. But don't be surprised if Jones carves out a role early in his career. He's a feisty guard, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and is more than capable of running an offense. Both of these picks should stick for the Spurs, who once again had themselves a solid draft
THE REVIEW: Found myself convinced that the Toronto Raptors would either add to their backcourt or add an additional big man with the 29th selection in this draft. Love the fit of adding a versatile tough floor general like San Diego State product Malachi Flynn to this roster. Flynn competes on the defensive side of the ball but could become a fantastic "jolt" to the Raptors offense off of the bench. Nevada guard Jalen Harris tested through the roof at the combine (no seriously he almost jumped outside of the building), and should be an intriguing developmental option early for Toronto. The Raptors have been one of the best teams in the league when it comes to developing talent, and Harris could be someone that puts up crazy numbers early on in the G-League.
THE REVIEW: The Jazz literally made me fall out of my chair and scream "WOAH!" with their first selection. Personally, I was expecting Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike to hear his name called somewhere throughout the second round. BUT...that being said, the fit does make a lot of sense when you look at it after the draft. Utah was needing an impactful big man presence to come off of the bench behind Rudy Gobert. Azubuike will be asked to be a rebounding and physically imposing force. Although 27 might be a bit rich for some, Utah knew exactly what type of player they needed to target. I was pleasantly surprised to see later that Utah would end up trading for the rights to Syracuse wing Elijah Hughes. Although some thought Hughes could have been a wildcard first-round selection, this was about the right value where someone needed to go and get the versatile wing. Hughes landed in a good spot and he could become a bit of a steal, especially playing around a deep roster like the Jazz.
THE REVIEW: As a pure fan...this is one of my favorite Draft Hauls this year. GM Tommy Sheppard took over for the Wizards and immediately added Rui Hachimura in last year's lottery. So far, that looks to be a home run selection. This year, Sheppard added one of our favorite prospects at 9th overall in Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija. Surely, Sheppard wasn't expecting to have any type of chance at Avdija at 9, so getting him most likely resulted in Sheppard doing a backflip after announcing the team's selection. Avdija won't need to carry the load offensively early on but has plenty of intangibles that will get Wizards fans excited in a hurry once they see him on the court. Next, the Wizards went on and traded for the rights to Cassius Winston. While some might underestimate this selection, it's one of our favorite "value" grabs in this second round. Winston could easily become the classic example of a player who deserved to go much earlier but the "upperclassmen" tag scared teams. He's a player who will shock people with his play and he could be a fantastic addition early on as a rotational piece.