Instant Draft Reaction – Entire 1st Round Draft Analysis

NBA Draft analyst James Plowright provides instant reaction to each and every pick. Check it out!

1) Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins – A+

The second Canadian player to get selected at No. 1 in the history of the draft (fellow Cav Anthony Bennet was the first). I would have taken Parker here, but the Cavs now have their elite defensive guy so it makes a lot of sense. I see both Parker & Wiggins being A+ picks. I just see Parker being able to be an alpha dog. However, will Wiggins remain a Cav or end up in Philly?

2) Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker – A++

The Bucks got their guy, so they can’t help but be happy. This is the day Milwaukee turns its franchise around IMO, making this last terrible year worth it for Bucks fans. Parker is such a high-character guy and will bring professionalism to the Bucks locker room and a great scoring punch. Will he be a No. 1 option straight away? Probably not, but it won’t take long. I see him or Embiid being the best player in the draft. What a way for a new ownership to start. Congratulations, Milwaukee.

3) Philadelphia 76ers – Joel Embiid – A

This would be an A+++ if he was healthy. There are obviously worries here. However, Embiid IS the best talent in the draft. So how will he fit with Noel? I have no idea. I don’t think the 76ers do either, but GM Sam Hinkie knows talent and couldn’t turn down this type of asset. Embiid may sit the year our again, which will allow Philly to see how well Noel performs. Then again, there is a serious chance Embiid gets traded.

4) Orlando Magic – Aaron Gordon – A-

I really like Gordon. I think is a terrific pick and am glad the Magic had the balls to draft him. Gordon is Orlando’s elite defender, as he will be able to guard anyone. He also fits well nicely with Tobias Harris, who is a terrific offensive player. This pick came as a little surprise. I thought they would take Exum here, but maybe they are eyeing Smart or Payton later in the draft.

5) Utah Jazz – Dante Exum – A

I am really high on Exum. Like I said there are a lot of great picks in this draft, and I don’t give out A’s lightly. The Jazz now have a real big question on their hands, though: do they allow Exum to have the ball in his hands and play to his strengths or do they play him off the ball? Personally I see him overtaking Burke within two years; that’s how good I think he is. I just hope they give him the chance to play some point as that is where he will thrive. I see Exum in a talent tier above Gordon, so this is a good value pick here.

6) Boston Celtics -Marcus Smart – B

Will Rondo get traded at some point tonight or will the Celtics go forward with an elite defensive backcourt of Rondo and Smart? Smart has the ability to play off the ball, which looks more likely to be the case in Boston. Does this mean Avery Bradley won’t be back in free agency? It is certainly possible. Smart fits the Celtics ethos, and I think he will become a firm fan favorite. I think the guys Boston REALLY wanted to have were already gone in the draft; word is they badly wanted Aaron Gordon.

7) LA Lakers – Julius Randle – B+

Vonleh would have been the big-reward guy here, but Randle is a much better fit for the Lakers. Randle will fit nicely with Kobe and is NBA ready. He gives them a big inside who can really battle and rebound the ball, something the Lakers haven’t had for a while. Randle apparantly wowed the Lakers with his workout. If he pans out to have a good jump shot and stays healthy, he could be a great offensive player. However, he turns the ball over WAY too much and is a very poor team defender. I’m not sure if his statistics will translate to wins.

8) Sacramento Kings – Nik Stauskas – A

This is my favorite guy in the draft. The Kings did well to look past drafting McLemore last year who had a severely underwhelming season. The Kings were desperate for spacing, so this seems to be a  great pick. Due to Stauskas’ ball handling ability and size, he might make it more likely the Kings keep Isaiah Thomas.

9) Charlotte Hornets – Noah Vonleh – B+

The Hornets didn’t get the floor spacer they were rumored to want, but Vonleh is a terrific value pick at No. 9. Zeller has looked like he might be a great big off the bench but may lack starter quality. Vonleh fits well as a shotblocking, stretch four next to big Al – a terrific fit. The key for this pick paying off is if Vonleh can improve his BBIQ and if his shooting (48% from 3) carries into the pros.

10) Philadelphia 76ers -Elfrid Payton PAYTON TRADED TO 76ers FOR SARIC


11) Denver Nuggets – Doug McDermott TRADED TO CHICAGO FOR 16 & 19


12) Orlando Magic – Dario Saric – TRADED TO 76ers FOR ELFRID PAYTON

Analysis N/A

13) Minnesota Timberwolves – Zach LaVine – E

I am not high on LaVine at all. With prospects such as Payne, Harris, Young on the board I think this is yet another terrible Timberwolves pick. LaVine has potential, but he won’t be making any impact next year to help convince Love to stick around. On the bright side, he does throw down some cool dunks in transition, which is about the only good thing I can say about this pick.

14) Phoenix Suns – TJ Warren – B+

We reported earlier in the day the Suns had a promise for Warren at 14. They were desperate for wing depth, so this fits well. Warren is a great off-ball cutter, who will thrive in a fast-paced offense alongside Dragic and Bledsoe. Warren is also an underrated defender, who I think has serious potential on that end. He could be a future sixth man of the year.

15) Atlanta Hawks – Adreiane Payne – A-

This is my big sleeper of the draft, Payne was going to the Hawks in all of my mocks. Payne is the PERFECT big to come off the bench behind Horford & Millsap, he is even ready to step in and start if one of them gets injured (which is highly likely). Payne would be a top 10 pick if he was younger. Payne isn’t the brightest guy, it will take some time for him to adjust to Budenholzer’s system, but once he does he should be a great back up big man.

16) Chicago – TRADED TO DENVER

Analysis N/A

17) Boston Celtics – James Young – A-

Young at 16 is a great value pick, he may not be NBA ready but brings good wing depth to the Celtics. Young isn’t “great” at anything but has the potential to be a great shooter and scorer in the NBA. If the Celtics can get Young invested at the defensive end, his value could shoot up, he has terrific size to be a good defender, he just needs to find it within himself.

18) Phoenix Suns – Tyler Ennis – C

This could be somewhat an insurance pick incase Bledsoe leaves. This seems a little high for me, sure his BBIQ is fantastic and his feel is great, but his physical and skill level limitations really reduce his upside. I think after taking an inside scorer at 14 the Suns would have taken a shooter Harris/Hairston/Hood at 18. I wonder if Ennis could be on the move, Toronto will be devastated!

19) Chicago Bulls – Gary Harris TRADED TO DENVER


20) Toronto Raptors – Bruno Caboclo -WTF?

I covered the draft as much as anyone, but I have ZERO idea who this is… Speechless.

21) Oklahoma City Thunder – Mitch McGary – C

McGary did one workout and then shut up shop, this re-enforces the fact he had a promise and we know OKC have done that before with Reggie Jackson. McGary’s agent did not hand out ANY medical information to ANY teams following his back surgery, so who knows if he is fully healthy? McGary is living off a good run of six games in the 2013 NCAA tournament

22) Memphis Grizzlies – Jordan Adams – B+

Adams is physical, versatile defensively, smart on both ends of the floor and an absolute electric scorer, a good pick for the Grizzlies. Sure Hairston & Hood would be decent picks here, but Adams is much better at creating his own shot. Adams isn’t pretty to watch, so he should fit right into that Memphis environment. I think this could be a sleeper pick, I have a lot of love with this guy in Memphis

23) Utah Jazz – Rodney Hood – B+

Hood is a little one dimensional, but with Burke & Exum driving to the basket there should be plenty of open looks on the perimeter. Overall this is a VERY good value pick at 23, I think the Jazz will be extremely happy with this draft. The wing positions in Utah are a little open, Hood brings them something they don’t have yet in a long, athletic shooter.

24) Charlotte Hornets – Shabazz Napier – N/A TRADED TO MIAMI

25) Houston Rockets – Clint Capela – B+

This is a good move, they need to conserve cap space so they can chase Melo & LeBron this summer. Capela is a great advanced stats guy, he has a Chris Bosh type of body, a great draft and stash guy at this late stage in the draft. Rockets are putting a lot of pressure on themselves to succeed this off season, the best draft and stash guy available though so I give them credit.

26) Miami Heat – PJ Hairston TRADED TO CHARLOTTE

 27) Phoenix Suns – Bogdan Bogdanovic – B-

The best draft and stash guy left apart from Walter Tavares, this makes a lot of sense with the Suns already selecting Warren & Ennis earlier in the draft, don’t want three rookies in training camp. I am a little disappointed then didn’t make a move and trade this pick, think they could have got a vet in return or some more future assets with better value.

28) LA Clippers – CJ Wilcox – B+

Wilcox is one of my sleepers, so I obviously like this pick. However, I am not sure this is a great spot for him, he will be buried behind Dudley/Reddic/Barnes/Bullock, so I see the Clippers make some moves this summer. I think Patric Young would have been a better guy to select here.

29) Oklahoma City Thunder – Josh Huestis – D

I know it looks stupid to judge the Thunder at drafting, but I hate this pick. McDaniels would have been a much better guy to select here, or Glen Robinson III. Presti has thrown a bit of a curve ball and I really don’t like it.


30) San Antonio Spurs –  Kyle Anderson -B+

Of course the Spurs would take one of the most talented/risky guys in the draft. I have always said Anderson’s success in the NBA relied on where he goes, the San Antonio system is the best fit for him in the league. Of course the Spurs are going to make everyone look stupid after selecting him at 30


That’s it for this evening, we will not be updating for  the 2nd round





About James Plowright

I am from Manchester, England and for some odd reason have a total infatuation with the NBA and more specifically, the Charlotte Hornets. I have written for various NBA websites including Bobcats.com, Real GM and ESPN's True Hoop Network site Queen City Hoops. Two years ago I started this website after becoming disillusioned with the major media outlets forgetting about the "bad" teams in the NBA. My goal is to bring a spotlight on the darkest, least talented corners of the NBA.