Over the next few days I will be recapping each team's draft and grading them based on a whole bunch of factors. These will be division-by-division articles and today we start with the Atlantic Division.
If your favorite team gets an unfavorable grade please don't take it too personally...I have nothing against any of these teams but if they had an awful draft I'm gonna say it.
Pick 53: G JD Davison, Alabama
UDFA: C Trevion Williams, Purdue
The defending Eastern Conference Champions had a relatively quiet draft night with one pick in the late second round. I'm not sure how much the Celtics need Davison right now but I still like the player around that spot in the draft. He doesn't really have many layers to his game but Boston could be able to make him into a rotation player in a couple years once he adds some things to his playstyle. His jumper is very solid but he showed no signs of being able to create his own shot at Alabama. I'm not sure Williams will be able to last in the NBA very long, but he's a fun player to take a flyer on and I loved watching him in college.
UDFA: G Alondes Williams, Wake Forest
After countless trades made to acquire star talent, the Nets are going to go a while without many picks in the draft. This year they had none, so we'll just go over their one UDFA signing of note- Alondes Williams. Williams had his breakout season last year at Wake, winning ACC POTY and almost leading the Deamon Deacons to the tournament by himself. He's a pretty crafty playmaker heading to the basket but needs to improve on his shooting and defense if he wants to stick around in this league. I have a feeling that he will, especially in a place like Brooklyn where they have been cycling guards around for a while(excluding Cam Thomas). Still, can't really give them a grade after they drafted nobody.
New York Knicks
Pick 42: G/F Trevor Keels, Duke
UDFA: G Jean Montero, Overtime Elite
Out: Draft Rights to Ousmane Dieng, Future 1st, 4 Future 2nds, Draft Rights to Jalen Duren, Kemba Walker
In: 3 Future 1sts
The Knicks were the subject of a lot of draft confusion on Thursday night, trading out of their pick at 11 and gaining some draft capital while somehow flipping Jalen Duren in the process. I know that they got 3 first round picks but I just feel like New York would've been better off drafting someone at 11 instead of getting future assets. I'm not sure the Knicks really have a window of contention right now, but they can't just start throwing in the towel a year after making a pretty good run on the way to the playoffs. I'm obviously a huge fan of Keels but he is still very raw and I think it'll take a few years for him to be a productive rotation player in the league. Maybe Dieng wouldn't have been the guy, but there were loads of other avenues they could've went. Dumping off Kemba's salary was a positive. It's not an awful night for the Knicks but they really didn't do anything to improve their team next year.
UDFA: PF/C Michael Foster Jr., G League Ignite
Out: 23rd Pick, Danny Green
In: G De'Anthony Melton
The Sixers opted to not draft a player and instead get an immediate contributor to their rotation on draft night. It's a pretty solid trade- Danny Green was going to miss all of next season anyway and whoever you were going to draft at 23 was going to be way more raw then Melton is. Melton can play stout on both ends of the floor and has a very solid shooting stroke. One of the biggest issues with the Sixers collapse last season was the bench and Melton can come in to do some stabilizing. He's also only 24 years old. I really thought that Michael Foster Jr. would get drafted so we'll see if he can show anything in summer league. The Sixers didn't make any picks but they definitely come out of the night better then they were before.
Pick 37: C Christian Koloko, Arizona
UDFA: G/F Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers
Toronto felt like a team that might trade up into the Top 15 to try to grab Mark Williams or Duren, but instead they stay at 37 and get the next best guy in Koloko. I started to like Koloko more and more while watching Arizona down the stretch last year but I never thought that he would be a genuine NBA prospect. Honestly, all of his weaknesses are things that can/will be ironed out at the NBA level. He's still very raw, which is why landing in the player development factory that is Toronto is an absolutely perfect fit. Add on that he fills a big need for the Raptors and this is one of my favorite picks in the whole draft. Harper Jr. had a couple nice seasons in the Big 10 and I'm intrigued to see what he does in summer league. This grade is based basically completely off the Koloko pick though.