Because it makes as much sense to grade the picks right before the draft as it does right after …
1. LA Clippers … A-
They took the best player available and that’s all you can ask of a team picking No. 1 overall. The only reason they don’t get an A or A+ here is because of their checkered draft history.
2. Memphis … B+
It’s disappointing to miss out on the No. 1 overall pick. But the Grizzlies did well here for a draft that drops off after the top player.
3. Oklahoma City … B+
On a young, talented roster, this pick is just the latest addition. This player will fit nicely into a rotation that could contend for a title in a few years.
4. Sacramento … C+
Maybe a reach here. Only time will tell. But right now we’re giving the Kings an average grade until we are proved wrong.
5. and 6. Minnesota … B
The T-Wolves would have liked to move up in the draft using these two picks. But what they ended up with are two players who could one day become starters. Can’t ask for much more than that in a draft.
7. Golden State … C
Minnesota selected the player the Warriors were targeting, so their pick here was Plan B. Hey, you can only take what the draft offers.
8. NY Knicks … C
Say what you will about Isiah Thomas, he was a decent drafter. You have to wonder if the Knicks would have done better here with Isiah at the helm.
9. Toronto … B
The Raptors likely will be without Chris Bosh a year from now. They’re hoping they got the guy here who can develop into a player who can replace some of Bosh’s offensive production.
10. Milwaukee … A
Outstanding pick — possibly. Because many thought he wouldn’t still be available here. A promising start for the new Bucks GM?