As much as it is to give draft grades the night of or the morning after, it is completely conjecture and virtually meaningless. The grader knows how players performed in college or overseas as well as how NBA teams fared in the previous season but it is unrealistic to predict how young players adjust to the new lifestyle in the NBA, whether it’s the hefty contracts, new friends, instant fame, new teammates, or a new coaching style. It is only fair to let some time pass for the players to pan out with their new teams. Five years seems like a good amount of time to make NBA Draft grades and this will hopefully be the first of many retrospective draft grades.
In 2007, it was Greg Oden who went number one overall and ended up only playing eighty-eight games in his NBA career. Kevin Durant was by far the best player taken in ’07 and Marc Gasol was the sleeper of the draft. 2007 may have been the year of the bust-there are only a few All-Star caliber players and an excess of draft picks who only lasted a few years in the NBA, if they even made it past the summer leagues.
Atlanta Hawks- B- –With two of the top eleven picks, Atlanta was in arguably the best position of any team in the league to improve its roster through the draft. Horford started seventy-seven games as a rookie and has averaged nearly fifteen points and ten rebounds per game since then. With the exception of the 2011-2012 season, in which he was limited to only eleven games due to an injury, he played an average of nearly seventy-seven regular season games per season. Horford has been a consistent role player who nearly puts up a double-double on a nightly basis. He panned out to be in the top three of the players classified as “forward/center” from the ’07 draft along with Florida teammate Joakim Noah and Marc Gasol. Acie Law IV on the other hand was a complete bust. Law only played two seasons for Atlanta, in which he averaged 4.2 and 2.9 ppg. He never played more than 56 games in a season and had career averages of 4.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg, and 1.6 apg. Law only scored twenty points or more once in his career, bounced around five different teams, and last played in the NBA in the 2010-2011 season for the Golden State Warriors.
- Al Horford-3rd-F/C-Florida
- Acie Law IV-11th (from Indiana Pacers)-G-Texas A&M
Boston Celtics- C- –Given that the Celtics’ two picks (one via a trade with Seattle) were both in the second round, Boston’s draft cannot be judged too harshly. They selected an average bench player in Glen Davis and Pruitt was only in the NBA for two seasons and averaged only two points per game in sixty-two games in that stretch. He played roughly seven minutes per game, which meant that he was on the court during garbage time. While Glen “Big Baby” Davis is the epitome of success in the NBA, he has managed to stay in the league and remain relatively productive. Davis lasted four seasons in Boston and was a member of their NBA Title-winning team in the 07′-08′ season. He has proven to be a 10 ppg and 5 rpg role player over the past two seasons but exceeded those marks with his 19 ppg and 9 rpg in last year’s NBA Playoffs.
- Gabe Pruitt-32nd-G-Southern California
- Glen Davis-35th (from Seattle Supersonics via trade)-F-Louisiana State
Brooklyn Nets (then the New Jersey Nets)- D –The Nets’ only draft pick in 2007, Sean Williams, turned out to be a bust. While he is still in the NBA, his number of games played has gone down each season from seventy-three his rookie year to eleven in 2011-2012. Williams was a member of the Nets for three seasons and scored his career high of 22 points in a game while in New Jersey. He was on the Boston Celtics’ roster for last year’s playoffs but played only six minutes in two games. His career averages are 4.2 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game.
- Sean Williams-17th-F/C-Boston College
Charlotte Bobcats- B- –Dudley is currently a starter for the Phoenix Suns and averages nine points and four rebounds per game. Davidson never made it beyond the NBA summer leagues.
- Jared Dudley-22nd (form Toronto Raptors)-F-Boston College
- Jermareo Davidson-36th (from Minnesota Timberwolves to Golden State Warriors to Charlotte Bobcats via trade)-F-Alabama
Chicago Bulls- A- –Given that two of Chicago’s three draft picks in ’07 were in the final twelve picks, their draft grade should only seriously consider the Bulls’ first pick at ninth overall. It is safe to say that without Joakim Noah’s presence on the Bulls, Chicago would not be one of the NBA’s top teams. He has grown into a forward/center who can average ten points and boards per game and do a little bit of everything. His passion and enthusiasm for the game certainly provide a spark for Chicago. The other center that the Bulls drafted in 2007, Aaron Gray, has not been nearly as productive as Noah in the NBA but he earned the starting position in the Toronto Raptors roster forty times last season. He played a very minor role for Chicago in his two full seasons as a Bull and averages four points and rebounds per game. Curry only played in one NBA game in his career and not only was it not for the Chicago Bulls but he did not accumulate any stats. He played preseason games for Chicago in the 2007-2008 season and one for the Brooklyn Nets last season.
- Joakim Noah-9th (from New York Knicks)-F/C-Florida
- Aaron Gray-49th (from Golden State Warriors)-C-Pittsburgh
- JamesOn Curry-51st (from Denver Nuggets)-G-Oklahoma State
Cleveland Cavaliers- N/A –No draft picks
Dallas Mavericks- F –Even though Reyshawn Terry helped the North Carolina Tar Heels win the national title in 2005, he didn’t accomplish nearly as much at the next level. He played in the summer league after being drafted in 2007 but never made Dallas’ team and was playing in Europe by 2008. Similarly to Terry, Seibutis played on the Mavericks’ summer league team but was out of the NBA by 2008.
- Reyshawn Terry-44th (from Orlando Magic via trade)-North Carolina
- Renalidas Seibutis-50th (from Miami Heat)-G-Lithuania
Denver Nuggets- N/A –No draft picks
Detroit Pistons- A- –Detroit made the most of its two first round picks in 2007. With the exception of Sammy Mejia, who was waived from the NBA Development League by October 2007, Detroit’s picks turned out to be solid role players and starters in the NBA. Rodney Stuckey is still on the Pistons and averages fifteen points per game, four assists per game, and three rebounds per game while starting for Detroit. Arron Afflalo played only two seasons as a Piston but developed into a solid guard in Denver. In the past two seasons as a Nugget, Afflalo has averaged 14 ppg, 3 rpg, and 2 apt.
- Rodney Stuckey-15th (from Orlando Magic)-G-Eastern Washington
- Arron Afflalo-27th-G-UCLA
- Sammy Mejia-57th-G-DePaul
Golden State Warriors- B –Wright currently plays for Dallas and averages six points and three rebounds per game. Belinelli is a member of the New Orleans Hornets and scores twelve points per game along with three rebounds per game. Lasme was only in the NBA for two seasons and averaged five points per game.
- Brandan Wright-8th (from Charlotte Bobcats via trade)-F-North Carolina
- Marco Belinelli-18th-G-Italy
- Stephane Lasme-46th (from New Jersey Nets)-F-Massachusetts
Houston Rockets- B+ –Houston’s first two picks in the 2007 draft are now productive bench players in the NBA. Brooks played four seasons in Houston and at his peak in the ’09-’10 season he started all eighty-two regular season games, averaging 19.6 points per game and 5.3 assists per game. During the NBA lockout, Brooks went to China to guarantee that he could play last season. At his best, Carl Landry averaged eighteen points per game and seven rebounds per game for the Sacramento Kings. Landry has settled into his role as a 12 ppg and 5 rpg player. Newley played in the Rockets’ summer league and then went to Europe to work on his game, never actually making it to the NBA.
- Aaron Brooks-26th-G-Oregon
- Carl Landry-31st (from Memphis Grizzlies to Seattle Supersonics to Houston Rockets via trade)-F-Purdue
- Brad Newley-54th (from Cleveland Cavaliers)-G-Australia
Indiana Pacers- F –The Pacers did not have any draft picks in ’07 but did trade for Stanko Barac, who never left Europe for the NBA.
- Stanko Barac-39th (from Sacramento Kings to Miami Heat to Indiana Pacers via trade)-C-Bosnia
Los Angeles Clippers- C+ –Al Thornton played three seasons as a Clipper and averaged seventeen points per game and five rebounds per game in his second year in the league. He is now with the Golden State Warriors and has cooled off to average 12 ppg and 4 rpg over his career. Jordan has bounced around the NBA and in Europe but has only played in summer league and preseason games in the NBA.
- Al Thornton-14th-F-Florida State
- Jared Jordan-45th-G-Marist
Los Angeles Lakers- C –Crittenton played only one season with the Lakers and last played in the NBA in the 2010-2011 season. He averaged five points per game and two rebounds per game in his 113 games in the league. Yue only played one season in the NBA but did win a ring with the Lakers. He only played ten games for Los Angeles and scored only six points in that span. NBA teams always take a risk when taking international players but Marc Gasol may have been the steal of the draft as the 48th selection. He has spent his entire career with the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 15 ppg, 7 rpg, and 3 apg, and he was named a Western Conference All-Star in 2012.
- Javaris Crittenton-19th-G-Georgia Tech
- Sun Yue-40th (from Charlotte Bobcats)-G-China
- Marc Gasol-48th-C-Spain
Memphis Grizzlies- A –Conley averages twelve points and five assist per game in the NBA and is still the starting point guard for Memphis.
- Mike Conley, Jr.-4th-G-Ohio State
Miami Heat- C- –The Heat had two draft picks in 2007 but traded both of their selections and acquired Daequan Cook out of Ohio State. He spent three seasons in Miami, averaging roughly seven points per game and two rebounds per game. Cook was on the 2012 Western Conference Champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and appeared in sixteen playoff games for OKC.
- Daequan Cook-21st (from Denver Nuggets to Phildelphia 76’ers to Miami Heat via trade)-G-Ohio State
Milwaukee Bucks- C+ –The Bucks took a leap of faith with the sixth overall pick by taking Yi Jianlian from China. In his rookie and only season in Milwaukee, he averaged 9 ppg and 5 rpg. He is currently a member of the Dallas Mavericks and his minutes per game have decreased to only seven-a major drop from the 32 per game that he was playing as a member of the New Jersey Nets. Ramon Sessions played two seasons in Milwaukee and now plays for the L.A. Lakers as an upgrade from Derek Fisher. His career averages are 11 ppg, 5 apg, and 3 rpg.
- Yi Jianlian-6th-F-China
- Ramon Sessions-56th (from Houston Rockets)-G-Nevada
Minnesota Timberwolves- C- –Minnesota drafted a pair of Florida forwards in the 2007 NBA Draft. Brewer spent his first four seasons in Minnesota before going to play in Dallas, then Denver. He has averaged 9 ppg, 3 rpg, and 2 apg in the NBA. Chris Richard was a Timberwolve for two years before playing his final season in the NBA in 2009 as a Chicago Bull. He played in seventy games in his career, averaging two points and three rebounds per game.
- Corey Brewer-7th-F-Florida
- Chris Richard-41st (from Philadelphia 76’ers)-F-Florida
New Orleans Hornets- D –Julian Wright played for three seasons as a Hornet and one for the Toronto Raptors. He averaged four points and two rebounds per game and last played in the NBA during the ’10-’11 season. Haluska has only played in NBA preseason games for the Hornets and the Dallas Mavericks.
- Julian Wright-13th-F-Kansas
- Adam Haluska-43rd-G-Iowa
New York Knicks- C- –Chandler was a Knick for four seasons and now plays for the Denver Nuggets. His career averages are fourteen points, five rebounds, and two assists per game. Nichols bounced around a handful of teams in the NBA and played very limited minutes for the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks.
- Wilson Chandler-23rd (from Chicago Bulls)-F-DePaul
- Demetris Nichols-53rd (from Chicago Bulls to Portland Trailblazers to New York Knicks via trade)-F-Syracuse
Oklahoma City Thunder (then the Seattle Supersonics)- A+ –Durant was far and away the best player in the 2007 NBA Draft. He won his third straight scoring title in the ’11-’12 season and lead the Thunder to the NBA Finals last year. He is a three-time All-Star, three-time NBA First Team member, and was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2008. As if getting KD wasn’t enough, Seattle also drafted Jeff Green, who averaged 14 ppg and 6 rpg. He last played in the NBA in the ’10-’11 season for the Boston Celtics.
- Kevin Durant-2nd-F-Texas
- Jeff Green-5th (from Boston Celtics via trade)-F-Georgetown
Orlando Magic- F –Rakovic played in the NBA summer league but never made it to the NBA.
- Milovan Rakovic-60th (from Dallas Mavericks via trade)-F-Serbia
Philadelphia 76’ers- B –Young has spent his entire career as a 76’er. He averages 13 ppg and 5 rpg and is a frequent starter for Philadelphia. Jason Smith played two seasons in Philly before going to New Orleans, where he started 29 times in the ’11-’12 season and he averaged nine points and five rebounds per game. Byars’ first regular season in the NBA was last year for the San Antonio Spurs. Hill played summer league games for the 76’ers but never made it in the NBA.
- Thaddeus Young-12th-F-Georgia Tech
- Jason Smith-20th (from Miami Heat via trade)-F/C-Colorado State
- Derrick Byars-42nd (from Indiana Pacers to Portland Trail Blazers to Philadelphia 76’ers via trade)-G/F-Vanderbilt
- Herbert Hill-55th (from Utah Jazz via trade)-F/C Providence
Phoenix Suns- D –Tucker was only in the NBA for three seasons and averaged only four points per game. He last played in the 2009-2010 season for Phoenix. Strawberry only played one season in the NBA, in which he averaged two points per game.
- Alando Tucker-29th-F-Wisconsin
- D.J. Strawberry-59th-G-Maryland
Portland Trail Blazers- C- –Greg Oden had just finished a fantastic freshman season at Ohio State and was the number one selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. However, injuries prevented him from having the NBA career that seemed so promising. In his two seasons in Portland, he averaged thirteen points and nine rebounds. Rudy Fernandez played three seasons as a Trail Blazer before becoming a member of the Denver Nuggets. Over the course of his career, he has averaged nine points, two rebounds, and two assists per game. Petteri Koponen never played in the NBA. Josh McRoberts is still in the NBA with the L.A. Lakers and has averaged five points and four boards per game. Lastly, Taurean Green only played seventeen games in the NBA, averaging two points per game.
- Greg Oden-1st-C-Ohio State
- Rudy Fernandez-24th (from Cleveland Cavaliers to Phoenix Suns to Portland Trail Blazers via trade)-G-Spain
- Petteri Koponen-30th (from Dallas Mavericks to Philadelphia 76’ers to Portland Trail Blazers via trade)-G-Finland
- Josh McRoberts-37th-F-Duke
- Taurean Green-52nd (from Toronto Raptors)-G-Florida
Sacramento Kings- B- –Hawes played for Sacramento for three seasons and is now a member of the 76’ers. He has averaged nine points and six rebounds during his career.
- Spencer Hawes-10th-C-Washington
San Antonio Spurs- C –Splitter has played the past two seasons in the NBA for the Spurs. He averages seven points and four rebounds per game. Williams was out of the NBA by 2009.
- Tiago Splitter-28th-F-Brazil
- Marcus Williams–33rd (from Milwaukee Bucks)-F-Arizona
Toronto Raptors- F –The Raptors did not have any draft picks in ’07 but acquired the rights to Printezis, who never played in the NBA.
- Giorgos Printezis-58th (from San Antonio Spurs via trade)-F-Greece
Utah Jazz- D –Almond briefly appeared for the Jazz but spent most of his time in the NBA in the D-Leauge. Fesenko played 135 games in the NBA, averaging two points and two rebounds per game.
- Morris Almond-25th-G-Rice
- Kyrylo Fesenko-38th (from New York Knicks to Philadelphia 76’ers to Utah Jazz via trade)-C-Ukraine
Washington Wizards- B- –Young has spent most of his time in the NBA with the Wizards and has averaged 12 points per game in the league. Domonic McGuire plays for the Golden State Warriors after three seasons in Washington. He averages three points and four rebounds per game.
- Nick Young-16th-G/F-USC
- Domonic McGuire-47th-F-Fresno State