USA TODAY Sports’ draft grades considering just what happened on draft night that was relevant to the draft itself. Do not be evaluated for the effect of the players, so that a team with only a second-round pick could get an A or an F depending on what the team did pick it, even if you choose not be have much impact on the franchise’s future.
With that said, here are some of the 15 Western Conference teams:
New faces: No. 18 PG Shane Larkin
The Mavericks slid down the board twice in the first round and have little to show for it other than the player they could have taken the 13th anyway. They received two future second-round selections from the Boston Celtics, but only go so far, and they gave away last year’s first-rounder, Jared Cunningham, in an effort to cut salary. Larkin is a great point guard position and suits the need, but this draft is all about freeing up cap space for the Mavericks. They did that to some degree but might have been better off going with someone like Giannis Antetokounmpo, No.. 15 pick that likely will remain in Greece for a few years and therefore off the Milwaukee Bucks’ Payroll.
New faces: No. 46 PG Erick Green, No.. Joffrey Lauvergne 55 PF, PF Darrell Arthur
Arthur is the big addition here, and he was a great player at a position of need. But Denver surrendered starting center Kosta Koufos to a backup power forward, so praise can not go too far. In addition, trading is not. 27 pick for pick No. 46 and cash is a cheap move from a franchise in disarray. Green is a good fit for the Nuggets, but they need the wings unless they plan to keep Andre Iguodala either or Corey Brewer. Lauvergne is a non-factor that will probably never reach the NBA.
GOLDEN STATE Warrior
New faces: No. 30 Nemanja Nedovic PG, SG Malcolm Lee
The Warriors entered the draft with no choice and left with two players. The only thing tangible cost them a 2014 second-round pick. Nedovic is not much and probably one reaching No. 30. But he can be a good backup point guard Jarrett Jack have been on his way out to free agency. Lee is a strong defender and can not allow them to risk re-sign Brandon Rush. Lee and Rush both coming off knee surgery and both are strong defenders, but Lee has more upside.
New faces: No. 34 PG Isaiah Canaan
The Rockets had a draft choices and make smart decisions with it. Canaan is a perfect backup to Jeremy Lin: Smaller, faster and better shooter. He easily would have went 10 spots higher. It’s not a home run, but it’s the right move for the right team and a good example of making a logical decision. Having only second-rounder lets Houston to keep cap space open for free agency, too.
Los Angeles Clippers
New faces: No. 25 SF Reggie Bullock
The Clippers draft sandwiched between their two key offseason moves, adding Doc Rivers as a coach and now possibly re-sign Chris Paul. Bullock is a mundane pick, lacking the advantage of many of the wing still available. But he makes some sense as a stand-still jump shooter tackle pass from Paul. If they do not bring back Paul and Eric Bledsoe allow to run the show, pick seems like a mistake.
Grade: C +
Los Angeles Lakers
New faces: No. 48 PF Ryan Kelly
Give credit where credit is due: The Lakers found a second-rounder to be able to contribute next year. The Lakers have not done much in the draft over the past 15 years among 2005′s pick Andrew Bynum. Kelly is not going to start or develop the basis of the future of the team, but he could end up being like Ryan Anderson, who expertly play off Dwight Howard Orlando Magic. There were better players on the board, but Kelly is a good fit.
Grade: B +
New faces: No. 41 SG Jamaal Franklin, No.. 60 SF Janis Timma, Kostas Koufos
Can Tony Allen Franklin’s next? The athletic wing sharing some similarities Grizzlies’ top perimeter defender, who is a free agent. He is an outstanding value so low, with some projections putting her late teens. The Grizzlies also snagged an outstanding backup center Koufos, who started for the Nuggets. But they might have been better off staying Darrell Arthur, who became an important reserve for them behind Zach Randolph. Will this get Koufos minutes behind Marc Gasol to justify his $ 3 million salary? Timma is a meaningless pick, the final choice in a moderate draft.
Grade: B +
New faces: No. 14 SF Shabazz Muhammad, No.. 21 C Gorgui Dieng, No.. 52 PG Lorenzo Brown,. 59 PF Bojan Dubljevic
Flip Saunders has had a strong first draft that runs the show for the Timberwolves. He added some players to help the team right away, including a second-rounder Brown. All four players could one day become rotation players for the Timberwolves, although none are likely to be stars. Trey Burke is the right pick in Hindi. 9, but he had to ikakalakal because they lack of point guards. Taking the first two-rounders from Jazz shrewd. Muhammad was a perfect bench player but gets a shot to start for the wing-deprived Timberwolves. He may be the most natural scorer on the team from Day One. Giving up Malcolm Lee to cut salary is a strange move, although it probably comes as part of the transition of power.
Grade: B +
New Orleans Pelicans
New faces: No. 42 PG Pierre Jackson, PG Jrue Holiday
Let’s get one thing out of the way: The Pelicans are not ikakalakal away their shot at Andrew Wiggins. 2014 draft pick they gave the Philadelphia 76ers along with Nerlens Noel is protected, and that may not matter much. New Orleans should be pretty good next year, given Anthony Davis can stay healthy. Holiday was an All-Star and allows them to ikakalakal one or both of Greivis Vasquez and Eric Gordon. He has a good contract and a good attitude and be perfect paired with Davis. Jackson, who came to trade, is not a sphere but does not fill a need and was not the best player on the board. But this draft is all about Holiday and Noel for the Pelicans. They will have an injury-prone Kentucky shot-blocker. Noel Davis is a poor person in some regards, and trade him made sense. They have earned an All-Star and now has roster who can contend for the playoffs. That’s a good draft.
Oklahoma City Thunder
New faces: No. 12 C Steven Adams, No.. 26 SF Andre Roberson, No.. 32 SG Alex Abrines
The Thunder went for the potential. What is not clear is why. These are a favorite NBA title next season, given Russell Westbrook will return to full health. But they go on a No.. 12 overall pick that will probably require two or three times to adjust to the NBA game. Abrines Perhaps it was taken over for a few years but has great advantages. Roberson has almost no offensive game but it is an outstanding athlete who can defend and rebound, so maybe he attempted next season. There are lots of polished players available in this draft, which featured more adults than normal. The Thunder avoided them. Speculation is they wanted one Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, CJ McCollum or Michael Carter-Williams and watched all three came off the board immediately before their pick. But this draft is unique, even if the players are good.
New faces: No. 5 C Alex Len, No. 29 SG Archie Goodwin, No.. 57 C Alex Oriakhi
Some draft experts called Len the best available prospect and a legitimate choice at No. 1. Others said he would be a top-10 pick in most drafts are doomed to be another 7-foot stiff. The Suns need a home run, especially now with new management. They are counting on Len to be an elite defender and to develop its soft touch. Goodwin is not a sphere but also not the best shooting guard on board. He may get a chance to start at a position of need. Oriakhi probably will not make the team but it’s tough and physical. The draft was underwhelming, but none of choice is bad.
Portland Trail Blazers
New faces: No. 10 SG CJ McCollum, No.. 31 SG Allen Crabbe, No.. 39 C Jeff Withey, No.. 40 PF Grant Jerrett, No. 45 PF Marko Todorovic
How fitting McCollum initially Guards Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews is worth watching. The Blazers became the center of many trade rumors, and move one’s roster can help thicken. McCollum is a high volume shooter, but he is too small to pair with point guard Lillard, the defensive rookie of the year, on a regular basis. Crabbe also a shooter, although he would best be served coming off the bench. Withey and Jerrett is a good value choice who can both make the roster, although Jerrett needs time to develop his game as a stretch power forward. The Blazers needed to improve their court, and McCollum could be a great sixth man. But they might have been better off with a larger guard, had one they liked became available.
Grade: B +
New faces: No. 7 SG Ben McLemore, No.. 36 PG Ray McCallum
The Kings basically ignored part of their team making the choice, but they wound up with probably the best prospect in the draft and a strong point guard with potential. Their biggest weakness is defense and passing, as players such as DeMarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans is not essential to make the most of either. McLemore signal a changing of the guard, as he is the most skilled player in the draft and should finish Evans’ time in Sacramento. Isaiah Thomas McCallum minutes to push for point guard if he could Polish his game for the NBA level after playing the Detroit Mercy. The Kings’ new front office facing a major challenge and responded with a well-chosen value but little in the way of a direction franchise.
San Antonio Spurs
New faces: No. 28 SF Livio Jean-Charles, No.. 58 SF Deshaun Thomas
The Spurs are better international scouting than any other team, and Jean-Charles is a product of that system. He is likely to remain in France for a few years to develop, but he has enough potential that it’s easy to see why the Spurs liked him. Then they went out and I got a player who actually outranked Jean-Charles on some draft boards 30 selected later in Thomas. He is ready to play now and find a good niche as a corner shooter for the Spurs, if he makes the roster.
New faces: No. 9 PG Trey Burke, No.. 27 C Rudy Gobert
Burke probably should not have been there for the Timberwolves grab. But when they did, Jazz act quickly. The trade worked for both sides, as Utah added the best point guard in the draft in exchange for two first-rounders. Burke will begin immediately and give the Jazz a creative tour de force, though he should work on his strength to account for its size. Gobert come even cheaper. The biggest player in the draft Jazz worth a second rounder and cash, and now they can stow away with him and let him refine his game for several years.