2014 NBA Draft: Round 1 Grades

by | CBSSports.com

CBSSports.com NBA writer Matt Moore analyzes each pick from Round 1 of the 2014 NBA Draft, grading each team on its draft-night selections. Refresh this page during the round for the latest grades.

Complete coverage: 2014 Draft Tracker

1A-76ers select: Ben Simmons, SF, LSU

This is the right pick for the Sixers. He is the best player in the draft, and the team can re-tool the roster on the fly easily. The only reason this gets slightly downgraded is because of the uncertainty of the roster. But Bryan Colangelo should have no problems doing that given all of the assets they have.

2A+Lakers select: Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke

The only way to mess this one up would have been to trade it for a middling veteran. Ingram is a perfect fit for the modern NBA, and he's a perfect fit for this Lakers roster in between Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell at the 3.

3B-Celtics select: Jaylen Brown, SG, California

Brown is an interesting fit with the Celtics because of his versatility and ability to defend. He will fit right into this team's defensive scheme. Offensively though, there are still some question marks, as he needs to improve as a shooter and ball-handler. It's also somewhat odd the Celtics decided against trading this selection, given the offers that were circulated to be out there at the time.

4ASuns select: Dragan Bender, PF, Israel

Bender is a terrific fit for Phoenix as a stretch-four. The Suns will enjoy his ability to knock down jumpers from the outside, defend on the perimeter, and hopefully grow into a player that could eventually play some 5. He might not be an elite player right away, but no one they were realistically in the mix for was. Long-term, Bender was the best player available, and it is a smart decision from them at No. 4.

5BTimberwolves select: Kris Dunn, PG, Providence

Dunn is the No. 3 player on my board, so to get him at No. 5 is solid value. However, his fit with Ricky Rubio is precarious due to each player's inability to shoot. It seems likely this will involve the end of Rubio's time in Minnesota, which means that this grade will be incomplete until we know what value they are able to get from him.

6A-Pelicans select: Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma

The Pelicans get one of the guys they've wanted all along in Hield, a terrific shooter and scorer out of Oklahoma. He's also the kind of marketable player that New Orleans needs down there. He and Anthony Davis should be a really nice fit.

7B+Nuggets select: Jamal Murray, SG, Kentucky

Murray is maybe the best player the Nuggets were going to get in terms of talent, and his fit with Emmanuel Mudiay in the backcourt should really work well. The Nuggets could really use his floor-spacing ability. The key for Murray's career will be the defensive end, as he really needs to improve there.

8B-Kings select: Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington

The Suns are giving up No. 13, No. 28 and Bogdan Bogdanovic here for Chriss, which isn't awful value by any means. He's the end of a tier, and consolidating your value here for a guy in Chriss that plenty of people around the league love is smart. I'm just not the biggest fan of Chriss as a player, especially with Bender already in the mix, so I can't go much higher than B-.

9B+Raptors select: Jakob Poeltl, PF, Utah

Poeltl will replace Bismack Biyombo as a backup center this season, and he should be able to help a contending team immediately. This is a smart, valuable pick by the Raps.

10DBucks select: Thon Maker, C, Australia

This is just not great value. Maker is the rawest player in this draft, and is still two years away from legitimately playing in an NBA game due to his lack of strength and limited basketball instincts. To make matters worse, Maker likely won't be able to get time on the floor to improve because the team does not have a D-League affiliate to stick him with. It's hard for me to see how this one works out well for them.

11BMagic select: Domantas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga

Sabonis is going to move to Oklahoma City, as the Thunder have traded Serge Ibaka to the Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to Sabonis. The Thunder immediately become one of the tougher teams inside in the NBA due to the presence of Steven Adams and Sabonis. For Orlando, this is a smart trade to get a perfect fit inside next to Vucevic. For Oklahoma City, Sabonis makes a lot of sense if you think he can stretch out his range a little bit and shoot from 15 feet.

12D+Jazz select: Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor

Simply put, this is a massive reach for Atlanta, who acquired this pick for Jeff Teague. There's a decent chance Prince would have been there at No. 21. He has massive overlap with Paul Millsap. Why this felt like the right move for the Hawks, I'm not entirely sure, especially when players like Deyonta Davis and Wade Baldwin were on the board.

13DSuns select: Georgios Papagiannis, C, Greece

How this one makes sense, I have no idea. Papagiannis is as pure a center as you get, and the Kings already have DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein as its two best assets (plus Kosta Koufos already in tow). There was a good chance that Papagiannis would have been available for them at No. 22 after the team acquired the pick from the Hornets.

14A-Bulls select: Denzel Valentine, SG, Michigan State

Yeah there are the knee questions about Valentine. Maybe he won't be valuable after a certain while due to injury. But even if the knees eventually do give out-no certain bet- Valentine will be terrific in Fred Hoiberg's offense as a wing that can move the ball and shoot it at a high level from deep. He'll also help the team transition from the Derrick Rose era due to his ability to create looks for others.

15B+Nuggets select: Juan Hernangomez, PF, Spain

This is a special one from the Denver scouting department, the team who does a better job overseas than anyone in the NBA. Hernangomez was the Spanish League's young player of the year last year, and has played at the highest level against tough competition. He fits a need for Denver with the ability to shoot the ball from deep. Solid value here.

16C-Celtics select: Guerschon Yabusele, PF, France

Yabusele had a solid season in France this year for Rouen, scoring 11.5 points and grabbing 6.8 rebounds per contest. But he did it on a really bad team, and there are some significant questions about who he defends at 6-8, 260 pounds even if he has long arms. He's not the most fleet of foot guy. But he faces up and can shoot, and that's interesting in Brad Stevens' offense.

17A-Grizzlies select: Wade Baldwin IV, SG, Vanderbilt

Baldwin is about as strong a pick as you will find for Memphis. Not only does he provide a security blanket in case Mike Conley leaves, but he'd be able to play with Conley due to his size and length. He needs to work on his ball-handling and finishing ability, but there's a lot to work with there for Memphis.

18BPistons select: Henry Ellenson, PF-C, Marquette

Ellenson is a really solid pickup for Detroit due to his ability to play two positions. The Pistons could use a backup center, and Ellenson could play 5 behind Drummond in some lineups. Also, we know how much Stan Van Gundy likes floor-spacing big men, and Ellenson could provide some of that in lineups surrounding Drummond. The defense is a question though.

19BNuggets select: Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State

Another shooter here for Denver, a team that has clearly prioritized floor-spacing in this draft. He represents solid value here as a scorer from all three levels and all over the floor. But there is a bit of overlap here with Jamal Murray as slightly undersized scorers, which slightly limits the grade here.

20B-Pacers select: Caris LeVert, SG, Michigan

This is a risky, risky pick for the Nets, but at No. 20 in a weak draft there are worse options. If LeVert is healthy enough to play, he's a first round value due to his shooting, length, and shot creation ability. If the foot injuries keep popping up, it's hard to see how he provides value. Tough to grade this one now, though.

21BHawks select: DeAndre' Bembry, SF, Saint Joseph's

The Hawks have been discussed as a potential landing spot for Bembry throughout the process. He fits well with Atlanta's need to create offense on the wing. He's a complete player already and could have an impact early. He just needs to work on his shooting a bit more.

22B+Hornets select: Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse

The Kings select a solid wing here who can really shoot the basketball off the dribble and create his own shot. He fits what they need, and having acquired this pick for Marco Belinelli, I'm not sure there can be any complaints about this selection.

23A-Celtics select: Ante Zizic, C, Croatia

Good pick here for Boston, as Zizic was one of the most productive centers in all of Europe last season. He has a terrific motor, and is probably the most ready European player to contribute next season in the NBA Draft. Really strong pickup there.

24B+76ers select: Timothe Luwawu, SG, France

The Sixers definitely need some help on the wing, and Luwawu is the kind of high motor, high energy athlete that they could use. The swing skill here will be the shot. If he shoots it well and finishes it efficiently, he'll become an NBA player. If not, it's tough to find a fit for him offensively.

25AClippers select: Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina

Johnson is the kind of player who can help a contending team immediately due to his ability to step in athletically and produce. He's a terrific rebounder, has good touch around the basket, might be the most bouncy athlete in the draft, and has more range on his jump than he got to show. This was a great pickup for the Clips.

26B-76ers select: Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey

Not quite as high on Korkmaz as I am on Luwawu. It fits though, as Korkmaz can provide shooting and floor-spacing if he makes it over to the NBA at some point. The question will be how his body fills out and how his defensive game translates.

27C+Raptors select: Pascal Siakam, PF, New Mexico State

Value-wise, this isn't a superb pick. But he fits the team's M.O. in terms of motor and hustle, and he could be a guy who contributes on the offensive glass sooner rather than later. Wish they would have gone with a guy like Deyonta Davis, but Siakam is probably closer to contributing now.

28B+Suns select: Skal Labissiere, PF, Kentucky

On one hand, the value here is tremendous. Labissiere is a terrific talent that had a rough year at Kentucky and didn't quite fit with John Calipari's style. On the other though, is this the best fit for him? He needs a stable situation to succeed and I'm not sure he's exactly going to that in Sacramento. Still, if you're the Kings, this was an easy call to take a chance on the upside.

29B+Spurs select: Dejounte Murray, PG, Washington

Lot of talent here in Murray. He can really handle the ball, has solid quickness, and gets out into the open floor. He also struggles to shoot it though, doesn't finish all that well around the rim, and is wild with turnovers. These are all fixable within San Antonio though, so you have to like the upside.

30B+Warriors select: Damian Jones, PF, Vanderbilt

Another solid player here for Warriors who fits what they want to do athletically inside. He's a solid rim protector, and can finish above the rim inside. It's easy to imagine him finishing lobs from Stephen Curry as a replacement for Festus Ezeli.


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