The 2021 NBA Draft went off with a bang on Thursday night as all 30 teams got involved in the action one way or the other. By the time the smoke cleared, 60 players saw their name called, with a dozen others rapidly attaching themselves to a team as undrafted free agents the minute the draft was over.
We had a plethora of surprises, from Australia’s Josh Giddey jumping up to the No. 6 pick, to Alabama’s Joshua Primo going 12th to the San Antonio Spurs. Jared Butler took the Bol Bol annual draft slide award, falling all the way to the Utah Jazz at pick No. 40.
The 2021 NBA Draft was as wild and exciting as usual. With the smoke clear, how should we grade all 30 teams based on who they chose in the draft?
Looking at the players all 30 teams took in the 2021 NBA Draft, what grades do each of them deserve?
How did each team fare in the draft? To evaluate that, we’ll take a look at what each team did with the picks that it had. Obviously, a team like the Detroit Pistons had the opportunity to take a better player with the first overall pick than the Philadelphia 76ers did with the 28th pick, but how did each team do maximizing the draft slot that they had?
These grades are obviously arbitrary, as no one knows how these players will actually turn out: not Hoops Habit, not draft analysts like Sam Vecenie or Kevin O’Connor, not NBA general managers, and certainly not Kendrick Perkins. Seriously, how was he the choice to go on the telecast?
We’ll be evaluating the value at each pick based on a combination of my personal board and the general draft consensus; the Spurs may ultimately be justified in taking Joshua Primo with the 12th pick, but it was a poor value based on my board and consensus, and they could certainly have traded back and still chosen him. That sort of reach worked for the Phoenix Suns in 2019 with Cameron Johnson, and it absolutely did not in 2020 with Jaylen Smith.
Let’s go division by division and hand each team a grade. How did every team in the NBA do in the 2021 NBA Draft?