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NBA All-Rookie Teams

(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

2021-22 NBA All-Rookie Teams: Revisiting Their Draft Grades

NBA All-Rookie Teams
(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

2021-22 NBA All-Rookie Teams: Revisiting Their Draft Grades

The 2021-22 NBA All-Rookie Teams have officially been announced. It’s time to take a look back at how I rated these players when they were drafted.

2021-22 NBA All-Rookie First Team

Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors

2021 Draft Grade: B (Round 1, Pick 4)

What I Wrote Back Then:

I’m a little confused on the fit here. The Raptors already have a bevy of forwards to give out minutes to. I guess they want Barnes to play small forward? Not taking a guard suggests they want to keep Lowry and Fred VanVleet around, so I guess we’ll see. Just not sure how this pick makes the Raptors better than if they had selected Jalen Suggs. Barnes is very versatile, so that’s cool and all, but I’m still not sold on him.

2021 NBA Draft LIVE First Round Grade and Analysis

Was I Right?

Ehhhh, not really. My main concern was with Barnes’ fit on the Raptors but clearly that wasn’t as big a problem as I thought. I still gave the pick a B grade because I knew Barnes was a very talented player, but I’ll take the L here. The guy won the Rookie of the Year Award for crying out loud. He averaged 15 and seven on almost 50% from the field. B is too low.

Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons

2021 Draft Grade: A+ (Round 1, Pick 1)

What I Wrote Back Then:

This was the pick Detroit was supposed to make, so good on them for not overthinking it. Cade is such a fun player to watch and his combination of playmaking and scoring ability could completely revitalize Detroit basketball. Going back to last year, Detroit made some good picks, but this is the one that can tie them all together into a respectable basketball team.

2021 NBA Draft LIVE First Round Grades and Analysis

Was I Right?

Yeah, but Cade Cunningham was maybe the biggest “can’t miss” prospect in the draft class, so I’m not going to give myself too much credit for knowing he would be good. Cade was spectacular in his first year, finishing with averages of 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game.

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

2021 Draft Grade: A (Round 1, Pick 3)

What I Wrote Back Then:

This is another pick we kind of expected beforehand. If Evan Mobley is as good as some are billing him to be, this should turn out great. The Cavs have a lot to figure out in terms of who they will commit to building around for the future, but this is a great start.

2021 NBA Draft LIVE First Round Grades and Analysis

Was I Right?

Yep. Mobley averaged 15 points, eight rebounds, and over a block per game. His instant impact kept the Cavaliers in the mix before injuries derailed their season. It looks like Mobley is going to be a Cleveland cornerstone for years to come.

Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic

2021 Draft Grade: B (Round 1, Pick 8)

What I Wrote Back Then:

The fit here is good, because the Magic need forward depth pretty bad. Wagner is versatile on both ends of the floor and can create for himself. Having him alongside Jonathan Isaac should be a really solid defensive tandem. I’m not totally sold on Wagner hitting his ceiling, but I get this selection.

2021 NBA Draft LIVE First Round Grades and Analysis

Was I Right?

I think a B is a good enough grade for Franz to where I wasn’t totally incorrect. I was maybe a little lower on Franz than some, but I gave him a good grade and he had a good season. 15 points per game on solid shooting splits for the Magic rookie.

Jalen Green, Houston Rockets

2021 Draft Grade: A+ (Round 1, Pick 2)

What I Wrote Back Then:

I’m a big fan of Jalen Green, and I think the Rockets made an awesome decision picking him. The kid is an incredible scorer and athlete. He should contribute to Houston very soon.

2021 NBA Draft LIVE First Round Grades and Analysis

Was I Right?

Yes, and I’m dying on this hill. I’ve been very high on Jalen Green since early in last year’s draft cycle, saying that if any player from this class averaged 30 points per game someday, it’s him. Green had a 41-point performance this season and I think he’s only going to get better.

2021-22 NBA All-Rookie Second Team

Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans

2021 Draft Grade: N/A (Round 2, Pick 5)

What I Wrote Back Then: N/A

Was I Right?

I don’t do live draft grades for second-round picks, and Herb Jones wasn’t a guy I scouted very thoroughly. The Alabama product was a pleasant surprise this season. He didn’t light up the stat sheet, but he very clearly contributed to winning basketball with his defensive ability. Jones’ selection to the NBA All-Rookie Teams is well-deserved.

Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder

2021 Draft Grade: B- (Round 1, Pick 6)

What I Wrote Back Then:

This was the first real surprise of the 2021 NBA Draft. Giddey is considered by some to be the best playmaker in the draft. He has professional experience in the NBL and that should help him acclimate to the NBA. The Thunder have needs all over, so the fit isn’t really a question. Giddey needs to round out his game on both ends of the floor a little more and he might be a bit more of a project than most realize, but can’t fault this pick.

2021 NBA Draft LIVE First Round Grades and Analysis

Was I Right?

I actually think B- was a very fair grade for Josh Giddey. He likely would have been a no-brainer First Team guy if he didn’t miss so much of the season with injury. While his shooting left a bit to be desired, the Australian native did a little bit of everything for OKC, averaging 12 points, seven boards, and six assists per game.

Bones Hyland, Denver Nuggets

2021 Draft Grade: A- (Round 1, Pick 26)

What I Wrote Back Then:

Hyland is one of the most underrated players in the 2021 NBA Draft. He’s a phenomenal shooter with awesome potential. Plus, his nickname is sick. The Nuggets got a great guy to put behind Jamal Murray. Good job Denver.

2021 NBA Draft LIVE First Round Grades and Analysis

Was I Right?

Yes. For where he was selected, the Nuggets got great value with the VCU product. Hyland stepped into a Denver team that was slammed with injuries and produced 10 points per game on 36% from three. He finished with Per 36 averages of 19, five, and five. After only getting 19 minutes per game this season, look for him to get a bigger role next year.

Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls

2021 Draft Grade: N/A (Round 2, Pick 8)

What I Wrote Back Then: N/A

Was I Right?

Even though he didn’t get a draft grade from me, I still scouted Dosunmu and had him mocked in the first round of all my 2021 mock drafts. He turned in a very solid rookie campaign, playing 77 games for a Bulls team that made the playoffs and averaging 11 points, three rebounds, and four assists Per 36.

Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers

2021 Draft Grade: B- (Round 1, Pick 13)

What I Wrote Back Then:

I figured there was a chance that Duarte snuck into the lottery. That being said, I don’t love the pick by the Pacers just because guys like Moses Moody and Corey Kispert are still on the board. Duarte is a respectable player with some good talent. He’s a well-rounded player and a good shooter, which the Pacers can really use.

2021 NBA Draft LIVE First Round Grades and Analysis

Was I Right?

I think so. Chris Duarte put the league on notice after scoring his career-high 27 points in his first professional game. He continued to produce for the Pacers all season long and concluded his rookie campaign averaging 13 points and four rebounds per game on good efficiency.

Overall, I think my draft grades were pretty accurate for the 2021-22 NBA All-Rookie Teams. About seven of them were accurate, two were inconclusive second-round picks, and one (ROY Scottie Barnes) was flat-out inaccurate. A fun year with a fun rookie class!

***

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