Draft grades: 30 team evaluations

Every year I do draft grades just hours after the draft. In my day job, I'm a college professor -- this exercise feels like giving students final grades after the first day of class. There's so much we just don't know about teams, minutes and fit. In other words, these grades are subjective and unfair. In truth, the time to grade this draft is at least two years from now.

So why do it? To get an instant reaction on the future of every team in the league. What I write now won't be the definitive word on this draft, but it's a way to start the conversation.

Here's our take on how every team in the league did on Thursday:


Round 1: Adreian Payne (15)

Round 2: Walter Tavares (43), Lamar Patterson (48)

Analysis: The Hawks went with a couple of seniors and a huge upside pick. Payne, who was only drafted this low because at 23 he's old for the draft and may have less room for improvement, gives the Hawks a big man who can stretch the floor and play down low. Patterson is the sort of blue-collar swingman that the Hawks love; he does a little bit of everything, but has zero sexiness to his game. Both guys contribute right now, which is what the team went into draft day wanting.

Tavares has crazy wingspan and huge hands -- the raw tools to be a dominant big man. But he's really far away. The Hawks will let him continue to develop in Spain and see what they have down the road.


Round 1: Marcus Smart (6), James Young (17)

Round 2: None

Analysis: This draft isn't going to turn around the Celtics overnight. But the team landed two foundational players to rebuild with or trade. Smart is tough, a leader and someone who competes every second, sometimes almost more than you'd like. He's going to be a nightmare for other guards defensively. Somewhere, Brad Stevens is smiling.

Smart also has the versatility to play both the 1 and 2, which gives the Celtics options when talking Rajon Rondo trades this summer.

Young is an upside pick. He has great size for his position and the potential to be a really good shooter. He's not an elite athlete, isn't a great defender and is one dimensional, but he's one of the youngest players in the draft and worth trying to develop. Overall, a good night for Celtics fans. They didn't get their franchise player, but did get talent.