2018 NBA Draft Grades (Central Division)

By Eli Yankelevich

Cleveland Cavaliers

Pick(s): 8

Selection(s): Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

The selection of Collin Sexton cements the reality of Cleveland without LeBron James. Although LeBron has been vital part of the Cavaliers, both him and the organization must part ways in order to both remain relevant. Without James the Cavaliers have the opportunity to embrace a full rebuild. The team made a smart choice entrusting their franchise with such a polarizing player in Collin Sexton. Sexton is a creative ball handler who is reminiscent of a young Derrick Rose when attacking the basket. Aside from his questionable playmaking ability, he is the perfect piece to center a rebuild around. Before Sexton plays his first game as a Cavalier he must develop a more consistent jump shot and also gain some meaningful muscle to be able to guard premier players.

Grade: A-

Chicago Bulls

Pick(s): 7, 22

Selection(s): Wendell Carter, C/PF, Duke; Chandler Hutchison, SF/SG, Boise State

Out of all the lottery teams in the draft, the Bulls surprised many by not selecting Michael Porter with their seventh pick. After all, Porter first shared his medical information with them. By not risking their high draft pick on Porter, they instead selected Wendell Carter from Duke. Carter is an intriguing big man with a skill set commonly compared to a young Al Horford. He is a smart player with solid touch but lacks in mobility and athleticism. However, in the Bull’s system he would most likely consolidate the paint as a rebounder while Markkanen spots up for jumpers. Carter projects to be a solid complimentary piece rather than a leading scorer. On his college team their were times where he was the third maybe even fourth option on the floor. Regardless, Carter will be an adequate replacement for Lopez and all the other centers on Chicago’s roster. With the twenty second selection the Bulls drafted Boise State sensation Chandler Hutchison. Hutchison is a fantastic role player to plug alongside Lavine and Markkanen. In his four years at Boise State, Hutchison improved in every statistical category and has abilities that Chicago severely lacked. Whether he comes off the bench or starts from day one, he will be a great floor spacer who can sometimes initiate offense with his impressive ball handling skills.

Grade: B

Indiana Pacers

Pick(s): 23, 50

Selection(s): Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA; Alize Johnson, SF/SG, Missouri State

A large hole on the Indiana roster was depth at either guard position. With the twenty third selection the Pacers filled this hole by selecting UCLA star Aaron Holiday. In his three years as a Bruin, Holiday grew from a sixth man to a highly coveted starting guard. Most of UCLA’s offense was initiated through Holiday as his season averages reflect his twenty points per contest. Aside from being a high impact player, Holiday comes from an NBA pedigree as both of his brothers have created solid careers for themselves. Holiday has the potential to be the best player out of the bunch because of his radiant scoring ability and infectious desire to win. Although Holiday has potential, his height and defensive versatility ultimately restricted him to be a mid first round pick. At the end of the second round the Indiana Pacers selected Alize Johnson. Johnson is a raw prospect with great size. Their are questions surrounding his offensive awareness and jump shot. Alize will most likely not see meaningful playing time in his rookie season for he needs ample development in the G-league.

Grade: B-

Milwaukee Bucks

Pick(s): 17

Selection(s): Donte DiVincenzo, SG/PG, Villanova

The Milwaukee Bucks gambled on the combo guard from Villanova: Donte DiVincenzo. Although projected to be an adequate floor spacer at the next level, he may struggle playing competent team defense and also establish a long term role for this franchise. It has only been a few years since the Bucks selected a shooting guard with the same expectations. In 2015, the Bucks selected Rashad Vaughn with hope that he can play alongside Giannis. As of today, Vaughn is not on any NBA roster and may as well search for meaning full play overseas. By selecting DiVincenzo so early, they passed on players such as Lonnie Walker, Robert Williams III, and Omari Spellman who have a better likelihood of making it in this league. The Bucks backcourt is already crowded and they needed a more affordable option to play both the forward and center positions since the future of Jabari Parker is uncertain.

Grade: D-

Detroit Pistons

Pick(s): 38, 42

Selection(s): Khyri Thomas, SG/PG, Creighton; Bruce Brown, SG/PG, Miami

The Detroit Pistons had a fantastic draft day showing. Although they had no first round picks, they selected talents who had potential to be selected as such. The Pistons were able to attain the rights to combo guard Khyri Thomas from the 76ers. Thomas is an elite shooter who has the capability to break out as a defender if given the proper minutes. Since Thomas is already twenty-two years old, he is already mature enough to see playing time behind Luke Kennard. With the forty-second pick the Pistons snagged another combo guard in Bruce Brown. Brown was projected to be a first round pick at the beginning of the year but because of unfortunate injuries that plagued his sophomore year, fell to the late second round. Brown is a better ball handler than Thomas but is a far worse shooter and because of his injuries a worse athlete. In this upcoming season, it is imperative that Brown plays in the G-league to better prepare for the NBA game. If Brown meets his ceiling, the Pistons would have a combo guard capable of leading an offense.

Grade: A

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s