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How Much Stock To Put In Draft Grades

My first two posts back at HornetsPlanet have been Draft Grades for the 2018 NBA Draft and my opinion on Kemba Walker’s trade possibilities.  The one big thing I agree with Tom Sorensen on in his column is that Kemba Walker is the one player the Hornets drafted right since the Bobcats days.  If you go back, way back, there are some seriously good picks way back that, of course, this being Charlotte, didn’t have their greatest years in a Hornets uniform.  If you think of Rex Chapman, you might think of him in a Suns uniform. Think of Larry Johnson, you picture him as Madea before Madea. Alonzo Mourning is a Miami Heat...He’s Heat….that’s a poor name for a team.  Baron Davis, he’s the Warrior you know between Chris Mullens and Stephen Jackson. Kemba Walker is the best player the Hornets in their current iteration have drafted. Without question.


I wondered, based on the draft picks that the Hornets made last week, if the draft grades mean anything.  If you have these two things as absolutes: Kemba is the best player the Hornets have picked and there are websites that give grades every year to draft picks, you can be sure I want to measure one against the other.


What was the draft in 2011 graded and as somewhat of a control, Kyrie Irving who has a damn movie coming out this week, was the #1 pick and we shall see what the grades are for him as well.



Site Hornets' Grade Number Grade Cavs' Grade Cavs Number Grade  
NBADraft.net C- 72 B- 82  
BleacherReport B+/C 79 B/D- 74  
SI.com B- 82 B- 82  
HoopsHabit B+ 87 A- 92  
FoxSports C- 72 B- 82 While he’ll probably never be an All-Star guard,
SBNation B+ 87 B 85  
NBCSports B 85 B 85 (Yes, We Know It's Way Too Early)
    80.5   83.1  


Basically, no one liked Tristan Thompson at the time, they thought Kyrie would be good but weren’t sure and gave the Cavs a B-.  The Bobcats at the time averaged out to a B-/C+, right on the line. So, if I told you your team has Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo, now, I would probably give that team a B+.  Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving? I’m giving you a solid A. Tristan is a starting center. Kyrie is Uncle Drew. In theaters now!


Kemba Walker at #9?  That’s incredible value to me.  I think Kyrie is far and away the best player from that draft.  So, yes taking him #1 is excellent value. Both of those A+? Probably right.


We know these grades are just for fun and I’m not trying to be old takes exposed or anything but I do love that whoever FoxSports was paying at the time to actually write said that Kemba would never be an all-star.  He’s been an All-Star twice. BleacherReport said Kemba was an undersized shooting guard, not a PG. Our PG has been up for handle of the year and is one of the best pure point guards in the league. They also hated Kyrie to Cleveland, thought Derrick Williams was certainly better.


Sam Amick is one of my favorites, he said that moving Stephen Jackson for Maggette and moving up to #7 wouldn’t have been any better than staying at #9 and #19 and keeping Jackson.  He is the lone A for Cleveland.


I don’t think anyone really knows in the NBA draft.  When you consider that the last guy selected was traded for the first guy picked in that year, and no one really blinked, 6 years after the draft where Isiah Thomas had 59 guys better than him, that says that no one really knows what a 19 year old will give a team in 3-4 years.  The chances and the hope and expectations are what you put into these players.


The grades don’t matter and the picks almost don’t matter.  Fit and potential. Who knows from year to year what will pay off?



    Q:  How much stock to put into draft grades?


    A:  Zero stock.

    Yeah rankings are understandably eye-ball driven. But if anything, a player's eventual draft position is valuable information to adjust our original beliefs accordingly, not the other way around.

    Draft grades are kind of dumb, but saying that, HAWKS F.
    Morning-after draft grades are basically a commentary on who stuck closest to the general consensus, so they're basically meaningless content if you knew the general "rankings" going in.