Saturday, July 02, 2005

2005 NBA DRAFT GRADES-7/2/2005

Drafts can’t seriously be graded for 3-5 years after the fact but I’m going to do it anyway.

With round; pick number in parentheses

Atlanta: 1 (2) Marvin Williams, f, North Carolina; 2 (31) Salim Stoudamire, g, Arizona; 2 (59) Cenk Akyol, g,
Grade: C
It would be hard for Atlanta to screw this draft up considering where they were picking but after the obvious Marvin Williams pick I’m not quite sure about the rest of their picks. Stoudamire is a great shooter but not a PG, which they need badly. Akyol is marginal NBA prospect who shouldn’t have even been in the draft!

Boston: 1 (18) Gerald Green, f, Gulf Shores Academy (Houston) HS; 2 (50) Ryan Gomes, f, Providence; 2 (53) Orien Greene, g, Louisiana-Lafayette.
Grade: A+
Easy grade here for the Celtics. Green fell to them, but credit is still due for picking him as more NBA players were still on the board at that point and the Celtics could have easily passed on the high school stud who was expected to go top 5. Gomes was considered a first rounder by many and worked out for 22 teams but none like him enough to select him which baffles me. At pick #50 you cant ask for much more than a proven college superstar with good all around skills. The other Greene is a defensive specialist with size at the PG position which the Celtics desperately need. He has a good chance of making the team.

Charlotte: 1 (5) Raymond Felton, g, North Carolina; 1 (13) Sean May, f, North Carolina.
Grade: C-
Charlotte had one of the weaker drafts in my opinion considering how high their picks were. Both picks were reaches as #5 is a little high for Felton and May has no business whatsoever being drafted in the lottery. I don’t think both are busts by any means but I think they could have done better. The picks were obviously made to sell tickets as Charlotte had the second worst attendance in the league last season.

Chicago, Dallas: None.

Cleveland: 2 (44) Martynas Andriuskevicius, c, Zalgiris (Lithuania).
I think this guy is going to be huge bust but at pick #44 he may be worth the small risk taken. Would’ve gone top 5 if he declared last year.

Denver: 1 (20) Julius Hodge, g-f, N.C. State; 1 (22) Jarrett Jack(traded for Linas Kleiza), g, Georgia Tech; 2 (52) Axel Hervelle, f, Real Madrid (Spain).
Not a big fan of this unspectacular draft either. Flamingo Legs Hodge is a good player with no upside, which is okay and his selection at #20 is about right where he should be. The rest of the draft was Kleiza who Denver has been drooling over, and Hervelle who has no chance at making this team.

Detroit: 1 (26) Jason Maxiell, f, Cincinnati; 2 (56) Amir Johnson, f, Westchester HS (Calif.); 2 (60) Alex Acker, g, Pepperdine.
Grade: C
Maxiell was a real winner in this draft. Detroit already has a solid team and Joe Dumars takes a guy who is a 6”6 PF who plays with more passion and aggressiveness than any player in the draft. I like Maxiell the player, but the pick was a reach. The rest of the draft was a throwaway. Amir Johnson is a huge prospect NBDL bound and Acker should have went back to school.

Golden State: 1 (9) Ike Diogu, f, Arizona State; 2 (40) Monta Ellis, g, Lanier (Miss.) HS; 2 (42) Chris Taft, f, Pittsburgh.
Grade: A+
Love the draft by the Warriors. Ike Diogu is a beast down low with a long wingspan. He can also can shoot well for a big man, great pick for an already loaded team. Ellis could have cracked the first round easy with one or two years of college ball. He slipped because he is not ready for the NBA anytime soon. NBDL bound but a good pick in the second round. Taft is a low risk/high reward pick this late in the draft. Taft was projected to go top 3 in the draft before this season so getting him at #42 is a steal/

Houston: 1 (24) Luther Head, g, Illinois.
Grade A-
Solid pick here that fills a need for Houston. Head was an overlooked player on a team with Dee Brown and Deron Williams but without Head there is no way they get to the NCAA championship game. Should play a lot of minutes next year.

Indiana: 1 (17) Danny Granger, f, New Mexico; 2 (46) Erazem Lorbek, f, Climamio Bologna (Italy).
Grade: A
Indiana may have gotten the steal of the draft in Granger. Why he slipped I have no idea because he may be the most NBA ready player in this draft. He has a good shot at NBA rookie of the year. Lorbek is one of the best young players in Europe and will stay over there for 1-2 years. Good pick at #46.

L.A. Clippers: 1 (12) Yaroslav Korolev, f, CSKA Moscow; 2 (32) Daniel Ewing, g, Duke.
The promise to Korolev was indeed fulfilled to the surprise of no one. I don’t like the pick at all considering who was on the board. Korolev will not be ready to play in the NBA for years and for a team like the Clippers I would have rather them draft a proven college player like Warrick or take a chance on a Gerald Green. Ewing is an interesting prospect who I believe will make this team.

L.A. Lakers: 1 (10) Andrew Bynum, c, St. Joseph's HS, Metuchen, N.J.; 2 (37) Ronny Turiaf, f, Gonzaga; 2 (39) Von Wafer, g, Florida State.
Grade: B
This grade reflects the fact that I like the Bynum pick even if it doesn’t pay off this year. He is a legit center prospect that you have to roll the dice on when someone of his caliber comes around. Turiaf was one of the best college players who has a spot on this team and big minutes as well. I think will be one of the surprises next year if he stays healthy. Wafer has character concerns but has NBA talent. Should make the roster.

Memphis: 1 (19) Memphis, Hakim Warrick, f, Syracuse.
At #19, Memphis’ selection of Warrick is solid. On a deep team Warrick will find his niche coming off the bench as a high energy guy who should score the majority of his points on putbacks and dunks. Good pick, low risk pick. Lawrence Roberts was also acquired on draft night but probably wont make the team.

Miami: 1 (29) Wayne Simien, f, Kansas.
Grade: A
Simien is a perfect fit in Miami. With Haslem’s status uncertain, Simien as long as he is healthy should be able to step right in and fill Haslem’s spot. At the end of the first round Miami gets a steal.

Milwaukee: 1 (1) Andrew Bogut, c, Utah; 2 (36) Ersan Ilyasova, f, Ulker Istanbul (Turkey).
Grade: A
Players like Bogut don’t come around often and if you get the chance you have to make the move to get him. Bogut is only 20 years old and already possesses good skills down low and is a great passer for a big man. He should only get better.. Ersan is another good pick who was considered a first round talent but injury concerns curbed that. Milwaukee will bring him over when he’s ready to play SF at the NBA level.

Minnesota: 1 (14) Rashad McCants, g, North Carolina; 2 (47) Bracey Wright, g, Indiana.
Grade: B
I’m not a fan of McCants but Minnesota needs a player like him with Sprewell’s status up in the air. McCant’s is a top five talent with a undrafted free agents character and injury concerns. If he can get it together he may be the steal of the draft. Wright is not NBA material, too small, unathletic, cannot create his own shot. Should have stayed at Indiana.

New Jersey: 1 (15) Antoine Wright, g, Texas A&M; 2 (43) Mile Ilic, c, BC Reflex (Serbia & Montenegro).
Grade: A-
Wright at #15 is a great pick. The smooth shooting guard should be able to get minutes right away at the SG/SF position off the bench. Kidd makes everyone around him better anyway but Wright will benefit much like Jefferson has and has a all rookie first team written all over him. Ilic is another great pick but is not ready to play at NBA level yet. He is 7’1 270 so partnered with Kristic could be total devastation.

New Orleans:1 (4) Chris Paul, g, Wake Forest; 2 (33) Brandon Bass, f, LSU.
In my opinion New Orleans got the best PG in the draft if not the best overall player in the draft with the fourth pick. Paul will start right away and has to be considered one of the favorites for Rookie of the Year. Bass, although undersized is first round talent who should be in the NBA for a long time. Cant complain with this draft at all.

New York: 1 (8) Channing Frye, f, Arizona; 1 (30) David Lee, f, Florida; 2 (54) Dijon Thompson, G, UCLA.
Absolutely cannot stand this draft by the Knicks. The only thing that saves it is the fact that Nate Robinson was selected by Phoenix and traded to NY, but when is he going to play? Frye does not look like a player that deserves to be selected with the #8 pick in the draft but should get his chance right away to prove me wrong. I happened to see Arizona play a lot over the last couple of seasons and not once did I think he would be drafted this high. David Lee was never a dominating presence in college and will never be in the NBA.

Orlando: 1 (11) Fran Vazquez, f-c, Unicaja Malaga (Spain); 2 (38) Travis Diener, g, Marquette;
Grade: B
Orlando fills a need with NBA ready Vasquez who slipped a little heading into the draft due to poor workouts. I see him being solid but unspectacular for Orlando, ten points, eight rebounds per game type of player. Diener is a great shooter but is really undersized, may or may not stick in the NBA. Could be a superstar overseas.

Philadelphia: 2 (45) Louis Williams, g, South Gwinnett HS, Snellville, Ga.
With only one pick at #45, I think Philly could’ve done a lot worse. Whether Williams will pan out or not remains to be seen, but with this low of a pick I think he’s worth a look.

Phoenix: 1 (21) Nate Robinson (traded to NY), g, Washington; 2 (57) Marcin Gortat, f-c, RheinEnergie Koln (Germany).
This grades reflects the fact that Phoenix traded Robinson who would’ve been amazing coming off the bench for Phoenix next year. Q Rich really wore out his welcome so they really had no choice but to include Robinson in the deal to get Kurt Thomas. Gortat is a mystery to me.

Portland: 1 (6) Martell Webster, g, Seattle Prep; 1 (27) Linas Kleiza(traded to Den), f-c, Missouri; 2 (35) Ricky Sanchez( traded to Den), f, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Grade: B-
Portland got one of the best shooters in the draft but it will take some time for him to develop and at #6 may have been a bit of a reach. Jarrett Jack was also acquired and he should be able to play some major minutes next year. Telfair is still the future but I think Jack starts next year.

Sacramento: 1 (23) Francisco Garcia, f, Louisville.
Grade: B
Sacramento selected Garcia who was one of the best college players in the country. If he keeps improving defensively this could be a great pick. Garcia is already a superb shooter and should make immediate impact for Sacramento.

San Antonio: 1 (28) Ian Mahinmi, f, STB Le Havre (France).
Grade: Incomplete
I’m not touching this one as I haven’t heard or seen anything on this guy. The Spurs have a pretty good history so it wouldn’t surprise me if we start to hear about this guy in a major way in a couple of years.

Seattle: 1 (25) Johan Petro, c, Pau Orthez (France); 2 (48) Mickael Gelebale, f, Real Madrid (Spain); 2 (55) Lawrence Roberts(traded to Memphis), f, Mississippi State.
Interesting picks, both foreign players who need a lot of time to develop. I like the picks due to the fact that they might pay off 2-3 years down the road when Ridnour and Swift start to reach their full potential.

Toronto: 1 (7) Charlie Villanueva, c, Connecticut; 1 (16) Joey Graham, f, Oklahoma State; 2 (41) Roko-Leni Ukic, g, KK Split (Croatia); 2 (58) Uros Slokar, f, Snaidero Udine (Italy).
Grade: C
Toronto made the reach of the draft by taking Villanueva at #7. He adds depth to a position that didn’t really need it, that pick alone would have got an F as Villanueva is one of the riskiest players drafted in the first round. What saves them are the two following picks: Joey Graham, who is a Richard Jefferson type player who should help right away, and Roko Ukic, a legit first round talent who may be a surprise next year. Slokar doesn’t have a chance.

Utah: 1 (3) Deron Williams, g, Illinois; 2 (34) C.J. Miles, g, Skyline HS, Dallas; 2 (51) Robert Whaley, f, Walsh U.
Utah got the point guard that they wanted. I had Williams as the fourth rated prospect in the entire draft. He is going to be a special player but not a superstar like a Chris Paul for example. After that the rest of their draft is a total crap shoot. I like the risk/reward potential of both of their second rounders but both will not have an impact next year.

Washington: 2 (49) Andray Blatche, f, South Kent Prep, Syracuse, N.Y
Grade: B+
Good pick this late in the draft for Washington. Many thought Blatche was a certain first rounder so getting him at #49 is a major bargain. He will not pay any immediate dividends but as a pick for the future Washington made the right choice.

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