We’re a little over a week removed from the 2017 NBA draft and just about everyone has an opinion on how each team fared this year. Even before these players have had a chance to step foot inside of a team facility, the so-called-experts were critiquing each and every pick in order to determine who won the draft (which is one of the most noteworthy achievements in all of sports). Most of these writers know that they can throw together some thoughtless B.S. article with some half-assed grades, and if it sucks, nobody will notice and it will quickly be buried beneath all of the free agency and trade rumors. I mean, who cares what some hack from Bleacher Report wrote about the Phoenix Suns’ draft when there’s trade news like Chris Paul to Houston or Paul George to Oklahoma City? It’s not like these guys are getting graded on the draft grades that they assign, right? Wrong!
I’m here to help you determine which draft grades are worth your time to read, and which ones you can just skip altogether. I don’t regularly follow the NBA or college basketball, so I won’t be providing much analysis into the quality of the picks or the accuracy of each writer’s grades. Instead, I’ll focus on the important things: whether or not it’s well-written, if it’s funny, if the writer used a lot of cool pictures to get my attention, how well they justify their grades, etc. So without further ado, let’s grade some 2017 NBA Draft grades!
Bleacher Report (Adam Fromal)
Interesting approach here. Your typical draft grade article will go team by team, analyzing each team’s overall draft strategy and execution. Bleacher Report decided to provide us with a grade for every single pick instead. Kind of a try-hard move, IMO. I will give them credit for backing up each grade with analysis, but providing several paragraphs for all 60 picks in the draft is a little bit much. Nobody likes to read more than 140 characters at a time these days, myself included, which is why I only actually read the first few picks. I also want to see an overall grade for each team, but BR doesn’t do that here. So you’re saying my team got an A+ in the first round but a C- in the second? That’s great, but I have no way to determine how they did overall. What am I supposed to do, average the two? Everyone knows you can’t do math with letters. I’ll give Bleacher Report the old “A for effort”, which this clearly took a lot of, but they get docked quite a bit for being too long and not providing an aggregate total for each team.
CBS Sports (Colin Ward-Henninger & Brad Botkin)
Strong entry here from CBS Sports. They clearly read what I wrote above about Bleacher Report’s grades and focused on improving in key areas. Providing one aggregate grade for each team is the way to go. Based on their analysis of each team’s draft, it seems like the guys at CBS clearly know their stuff. Or maybe they don’t. When it comes to the NBA I’ll believe anything if you say it convincingly enough. They kept things concise for the most part as well, which is a big plus in my eyes. I’m only going to do so much reading, so the less you write, the less I’m going to have to skip. My one knock here is on them giving the Cavs and Wizards an “N/A” for not having any picks. In my day, if you didn’t show up to class, you failed. Simple as that. Had they given the Cavs and Wizards an ‘F’ I think CBS probably would have aced it.
Yahoo! Sports (Jordan Schultz)
Excellent length from Yahoo! Sports here. Kept it at a paragraph for just about every team, which is perfect for holding your audience’s attention. My big knock on Yahoo! is that they went too easy on everyone. 16 A’s? Lowest grade was a C-? Gave the Cavs and Warriors an “N/A” instead of the “F” they deserve? I want to see tenacity in my sports writers. I need to know that you’ve got the courage to be aggressive and go right at your subject if the situation warrants. I can’t have you trying to be buddies with everyone. I just don’t have the confidence that I can rely on Yahoo! when the pressure is on and I need someone to come through in the clutch with a blazing hot take.
Fox Sports (Andrew Lynch)
This is about as good as it gets. Fox’s analysis was short and to the point. I still saw an awful lot of A’s but they managed to spread the grades out pretty well. And they even threw out an F- for the Bulls. I’m not sure if Chicago deserved it or not but if you’ve got the balls to drop a lower-than-possible grade on somebody then kudos to you. They even gave the Cavs and Wizards a grade, granted they both got C’s instead of the F’s that I wanted. Still, there’s really not much to dislike here. If I had to choose, I’d definitely say Fox Sports won the 2017 NBA Draft Grades.
ESPN (Chad Ford)
I would love to sit here and tell you how ESPN’s analysis was spot on and that Chad Ford knocked it out of the park with his draft grades. Or tell you that he completely missed the mark, and the ESPN draft grades were the worst I’ve ever seen. But I can’t, because I refuse to take part in ESPN’s bullshit Insider program, so I can’t access the article. Pretty elitist of ESPN to only put out their “premium” content for people that pay to join their little club. Plus I’m pretty sure Insider grading is illegal. At Milliron Sports we put out content for the common man, because that’s who we are. But not ESPN, all they care about is the money, and that’s why they’ve failed. (But if you’re a common man with an ultra premium taste, then you’ll love our upcoming Milliron Sports VIP program. For just $4.99 a month you’ll get access to exclusive content and merchandise that you won’t find anywhere else!).