What's everybody's favorite part about college? The grades, right? Right. That's why every time after these collegiate scholars leave their respective universities, we journalists like to send them off with a nice parting gift of draft grades for the teams that they will be joining (/bleacherreport'd).
But after attending the draft and reading through dozens of A's, B's, and F's, I decided to take it in a different direction. To see just what in carnation I'm talking about, you will have to get up to get down and hit that jump.
WARNING: There are multiple times when the grade doesn't make much sense -- just go with it.
Draft Grade:"The Sign" - Ace of Base
With Joe Johnson hinting at free agency, Jordan Crawford is his replacement if he ends up leaving. The draft pick that didn't dunk on LeBron will be stashed for the next few years. This may indicate that the Hawks think JJ will leave, or that they are big Ace of Base fans.
"I saw the Sy, and it opened up my eyes I saw the Sy."
Draft Grade: "Shipping Up To Boston" - Dropkick Murphys
Sure, it's the obvious pick. But with Irish Irishgody and a hard-nosed (I have no verification as to whether or not his nose is actually hard) defender like Avery Bradley, I can't pass up the opportunity. Even if Allen's gone, I don't see Bradley starting here -- for whatever reason he and Rondo in the same backcourt for 30 minutes freaks me out. But the team is in general disarray regardless. I would've liked for them to grab a third pick. We'll see about the UFA's.
Charlotte Bobcats: N/A
Draft Grade: "99 Problems" - Jay Z
How's Alexis Ajinca working out? Hindsight is like a second language to me. I hate trading future firsts. I wonder what the front office was doing during draft night -- I can only assume an epic game of Scrabble.
"If you having cap problems, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a pick ain't one."
Chicago Bulls: N/A
Draft Grade: "Get Out of My House" - The Streets
As Kirk Hinrich mercifully packs his bags and gets the funk out of Chi-town, the battle for most cap space rages on behind him. Passing up a talent like Kevin Seraphin might come back to bite them, samesies for not going with a lights out shooter like James Anderson. Giving Hinrich the boot clears up some room for a max contract or two, but it also leaves Derrick Rose as the only guard on the roster. Hence, a second round pick would've been nice.
Cleveland Cavaliers: N/A
Draft Grade: "I'm a Slave 4 U" - Britney Spears
Cleveland basically has needs at every position but power forward. Unfortunately, they also have 10 guaranteed contracts for next season not including LeBron James. Without LBJ, they will be a lottery team. Losing their coach and GM, Dan Gilbert is officially pot-committed, to the point of not selecting anyone to add some youth to an aging team. I cannot, as an American, support anyone who doesn't make a selection.
Draft Grade: "U Remind Me" - Usher
With Rodrigue Beaubois already playing the role as savior and scapegoat in Dallas, Dominique Jones brings a startlingly similar skill set into town. JJ and Roddy B are the only two players on the roster under 29, and they both play generally the same position. Anything other than an undersized 2-guard would've been nice here, especially a small forward with room to grow. Somebody like Stanley Robinson, Quincy Pondexter, or Devin Ebanks would've made more sense. Dallas is in worse shape than the Celtics once the old guys ship out.
"You remind me of a guard, that I once knew. See his face whenever I, I look at you."
Denver Nuggets: N/A
Draft Grade: "I Hate Everyone" - Get Set Go
Draft Grade: "Rico Suave" - Gerardo
See, I like what they did here. Need a center? Check. Need a backup point guard with room to develop? Check. Not get another small forward when they have 89 on the roster? Check. Well done, Detroit. And I couldn't pass up an opportunity to use one of the best songs of all time.
Draft Grade: "One Headlight" - The Wallflowers
Udoh is a lot like the 1996 track in that it isn't going to blow you away upon first listen. But then you'll catch yourself thinking about it later, think of it when you're going to sleep, think of it when you're supposed to be paying attention at a meeting. Then you'll start planning the next time you're going to listen to it. And all of a sudden he's your 6th pick in the draft and you're giving up on Brandan Wright and building a defense around it. A lot like that.
Draft Grade: "Come Back to Bed" - John Mayer
What's a draft response post without a little John? Nothing, that's what. Pat Patterson is the guy you want to go home with. He's strong will protect you from the bad guys in the middle of the night, but he's also got the gentle, well-spoken side that makes momma smile. The Dream Shake was giddy about the pick at the time, and I can see why. Like John Mayer, Patrick's a guy you can depend on, and he'll be a nice addition at the 4 for Rick Adelman regardless of Yao Ming's decision for his player option.
"Just don't leave me alone here, it's cold Patrick, come back to bed."
Draft Grade: "Someday" - The Strokes
This may be my favorite choice so far. With all the love I have for Paul George, that's how much I hate Lance Stephenson. I don't think he'll be good. I don't think he has much potential -- he's Corey Maggette with less athleticism and much angrier. Not a bad pick in the mid-second, but people who were talking about him in the 20's had me gawking. And I'm not one to gawk. Magnum Rolle will not make the team, nor should he make any team. Paul George and Danny Granger will be unbelievable to watch together. That's scary.
"And now my points, they come to me in threes, so I, sometimes."
Draft Grade: "Testament to Youth in Verse" - The New Pornographers
Grabbing two sophomores and one freshman all with tremendous potential is admirable for a team aware of the fact that they won't be contending for a title soon. Add Blake Griffin in as a rookie coming off his injury, Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, and plenty of cap space, and you have yourself a decent free agent spot. If Baron Davis wasn't locked up for big money the next 3 years, I'd hand the reigns to Bledsoe right away, tell him to learn how to play the point, and let the youth movement begin. But I digress...
Draft Grade: "Get By" - Talib Kweli
Nothing spectacular from the Lakers coming off their back-to-back titles, but they came away from the draft with two second round picks on two high-upside guys. Both Ebanks and Caracter have had numerous issues in their college careers where they didn't put the work in and suffered for it on the court. With worlds of talent, this is solid value from LA while Ryan Reid and
Draft Grade: "What I Got" - Sublime
Nothing earth-shaking here. There's a few questions here, but Memphis went in and got two quality prospects with intriguing potential. Vasquez will be a great backup for Mike Conley, and I think there's a shot he takes over the role at some point next year. Xavier may be my favorite player in the draft, if only because he's been on record as saying he's prettier than Cole Aldrich. Depending on what happens with Rudy Gay, Henry may be stepping into a starting role right off the bat. He and OJ Mayo on the wings is going to be fun to watch. Prediction: Memphis makes the playoffs next year, Gay or not. Take that how you want it.
"I don't get angry when Zach smokes pot, X the jumper, OJ's getting hot"
Draft Grade: "Sex and Candy" - Marcy Playground
Even though S&C is a relatively old song compared to today's racy times, it's still very intriguing and you're not quite sure what it means. Same goes for the three seniors Miami selected on Thursday. Pittman is DeMarcus Cousins-lite and I'm positive that's the first time anyone has called Dex "lite" or any of it's homonyms. Varnado is one of the best shot-blockers in recent memory and will take the place of the opting-out UNLV product Joel Anthony. Butler and his torn ACL come to Miami with the "glue guy" label, but he's hit so many big shots at WVU, there's no telling how a fully healed leg and a ton of practice can help a kid. I'm okay with the choices they made, even though they stayed away from any guaranteed contracts. Also, Sex and Candy is a great song.
Draft Grade: "Mr. Brightside" - The Killers
I don't have anything clever to say. Sanders can be good. Hobson is a high-IQ, long wing from a mid-major. I could see him somewhere in between Chris Douglas-Roberts and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and no, I didn't just pick those names because they're both long and cool. Tiny Gallon has slimmed down a bit (we chilled at the draft), but should not have come out of school this early. With Tommy Mason-Griffin undrafted and Willie Warren slipping way down, this was not a good draft for Sooners underclassmen. I'm excited to see what Sanders and Andrew Bogut can do together. Perfect addition to Brandon Jennings' team.
Draft Grade: "Bust a Move" - Young MC
Aside from this being a fantastic song and an indicator that the 90's weren't complete waste of everyone's time, it applies to GM David Kahn (KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN) and his propensity to make deals that seemingly come out of nowhere with not much of a plan in place. Maybe it's to prove he's working on draft night (looking at you, Nuggets), but I don't particularly see the point in taking on 2+ years of Martwell Webster when you've already got Corey Brewer, Wayne Ellington, and now Wesley Johnson and Lazar Hayward. Bjelica and Prestes are stashers unless somebody surprises me. It seems like every Clippers team since forever: underachieving players that can't play together as a team. Wes should change that, but they're still missing a superstar. At least Wes finally gets to play with Jonny Flynn. Kahn strikes again.
"If you want Lazar, then you got Lazar."
Draft Grade: "Everything" - Michael Buble
Damion James is a guy I've loved since his freshman season. But since Texas has fallen apart so many times under James' lack of leadership, he's become taboo in a few basketball circles. Same with Buble. Everybody enjoys the Big Band era-ness of his voice, but the risk of emasculation is sometimes just too high. I say screw it. I love Damion James and Michael Buble. Oh and Derrick Favors is okay too. Great draft for the Brooklyn Prokhorovs.
"You're every board, you're every hustle play, you're my everything."
Draft Grade: "Yellow Submarine" - The Beatles
Pondexter and Brackins were everybody's picks for late first round sleepers. But it became so popular for them to go here, then the trend was for them to fall to the second round. Yellow Submarine is one of the more enjoyable Beatles songs, but doesn't hold much water once it becomes a fan favorite. The Hornets will enjoy having Q-Pon at the 3 for a while, even though I would've kept the early pick and nabbed Xavier. Solid work from the Hive.
Draft Grade: "Mandy" - Barry Manilow
One: I like Barry Manilow -- sue me. Two: Mandy rhymes with Andy and almost Landry. Three: Landry Fields is not a good draft pick. All of these add up to a lovely ballad from Barry Manilow (performed by Posting & Toasting's Seth Rosenthal). Jordan is a great value pick at 44 now that they've officially pried him from Milwaukee. Plenty of raw skill and despite a 4-year senior, lots of projectability as a starting center. It should be added that the reaction at the Garden for Andy and Landry was priceless.
"Ohhhh Andy, well you came and you lacked athleticism, but you played anyway ohhhhh Andy..."
Draft Grade: "I'm A Cuckoo" - Belle & Sebastian
So yes, Sam Presti owned everybody else by somehow getting Daequan Cook and a pick for yarn, then used that pick and another pick to move up to 11 to take Aldrich then also get 13 future firsts. Big deal. And yeah, Tibor Pleiss may be the best international prospect that stayed in the draft and you can't teach height and they can stash him in Europe for 4 years until they need him. Whatever. Oh and they got RU favorite and D-League phenomenon Latavious Williams, which stands for The Tavious Williams in Spanish, who gets to stay in the D-League and develop into Shawn Kemp. So what? This draft is marred by the fact that they traded for Ryan Reid. RYAN. REID. I've watched plenty of FSU games to see Isiah Swann, Toney Douglas, Solomon Alabi, and Chris Singleton over the past 3-4 years and never in the course of my viewing experience did the thought pop into my well-developed brain that Ryan Reid would ever sniff the NBA. He averaged under 7 points as a senior, with mediocre percentages for a big man, and has zero percent of developing any sort of game. He's Reggie Evans but not as strong, not as quick, and WITH LESS OFFENSIVE GAME. I can't express how much I hate that he got taken over Stanley Robinson, Scottie Reynolds, Sherron Collins and Mikhail Torrance. And me, for that matter. Should've taken me, Presti, you slime.
Draft Grade: "Dirty Little Secret" - All-American Rejects
Both guys fell way further than they should have. With Dwight Howard, Marcin Gortat, Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson and now Orton, they've got a loaded front court that lets Rashard Lewis play the 3 full time. Whether or not that's the best thing remains to be seen, but at least VC can continue to get beaten by quicker 2's on defense. Stanley Robinson comes into Orlando as the guy with the most to prove as a rookie. All the talent in the world, kept falling and falling, but he's in a great situation where he can hone his ball-handling and shooting skills while playing 5-10 minutes per game getting put-backs and alley-oops next to Dwight Howard. Not bad at all.
"I'll keep you my dirty little Stanley."
Draft Grade:"Miracle" - Cascada
This is the song that was playing in my head while on the elevator with Evan, then on draft night when Ed Stefanski managed to not screw the pick up. It's also a *miracle* that he's still the General Manager despite not being able to pick up a second pick when everyone and their mother was buying them for a cupcake that fell on the floor. Optimistically, Evan on the Sixers is going to be beautiful a beautiful site, and while they still have no interior defense, nobody's thinking championship next year anyway, so let's take things one step at a time.
"I need a miracle, Evan I'll be your girl. Give me a chance to see that you were made for me."
Draft Grade: "Nothing Else Matters" - Metallica
In all honesty, they're replacing Lou Amundson. Move along, people. Earl Clark gets a mulligan for last year, so he's a rookie too. Lawal's gonna be solid and I doubt Collins makes the team if only because the NBA doesn't allow dole out contracts to people that correctly spell the name Dwayne.
Draft Grade:"Fired" - Ben Folds
I don't know how the Blazers front office was conducting any sort of business that day as their GM was completely hung out to dry (read this if you don't know what I'm talking about). Cute that Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson get to play together again, but they didn't have much success at Nevada so I don't know how that'll translate. I don't know where this leaves Jerryd Bayless, Rudy Fernandez, or Nicholas Batum. Another team with tons of talent, but not the right pieces to put them over the top in the West. If Greg Oden doesn't suddenly stay healthy for a while, they're another first round exit. Babbitt may start, Williams could get some time, but I think this is the worst possible situation for Armon. He'll get a look from some other team later.
Draft Grade: "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster" - Geto Boys
The OKC ownage could have been foreseen, but the hoodwinking of Geoff Petrie came out of nowhere. All the junk about Cousins being a headcase is way overblown. Is he the nicest guy in the world? No. But that only perpetuates the gangsterness of this pick. Getting Whiteside at 33 is outright robbery, and if he can harness even an eighth of his potential, the Kings got two top 5 talents without making a move. Their front court is officially loaded.
"Now I got the world swingin' from my nuts. Damn it feels good to be a Maloof."
Draft Grade: "Mama Said Knock You Out" - LL Cool J
Always making the obvious pick, the Spurs netted themselves a starting 2-guard for the next bunch of years, which is always nice when you're sitting at 20 and don't have to make any franchise-crippling moves. Ryan Richards provides some more youth to the front line that is getting older by the minute, and while I would've liked another raw big (Varnado, Alabi, Jerome Jordan), how can you ever disagree with RC Buford? Or anybody named RC? Cola?
"Don't call it a comeback, Pop's been here for years."
Draft Grade: "Free Fallin'" - Tom Petty
The only excuse I could see for Alabi falling this far is if he was cut in half during a magic trick ("Illusions, Michael") on draft night. If he's injured or has some kind of chronic heart ailment, he's still a better pick than Landry Fields and Tiny Gallon. Especially considering how much he's improved in three years, I really hope to see him do well. As for Ed Davis, he's all potential at 13 and stands as the most logical choice to take over the Chris Bosh spot.
Draft Grade: "No Surprises" - Radiohead
It was either Luke or Gordon or Cole. I don't know what to think about the way they target white players. Is it a philosophy or outright racism? Either way, I can't say I'm surprised. Evans won't make the team.
Draft Grade: "This is My Party" - Fabolous
It's been all John Wall all the time. Picking up Kirk Hinrich's fatty hurts, but Seraphin and Booker make up for that with the help they'll provide now (Booker) and in the future (Frenchie). It's the John Wall dance all day, err'day in D.C. The fact that they got a few other players with some potential is gravy. Keep in mind Trevor Booker's 3/4 court sprint was faster than Wall's and that's from a 6'7 power forward. Enjoy it, Washington.
If you didn't learn anything about basketball, at least I diversified your music interests! And that's what this site's all about. I need a drink.