2017 NBA Draft - @2ndChancePoints Big Board
Quick recap on my lottery ranks (tiers added)
Tier 1 – Franchise Cornerstone, Possible Superstar
1. Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
Tier 2 – Multiple All-Stars
2. Josh Jackson, Wing, Kansas
3. Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State
4. Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Tier 3 – Fringe All-Stars
5. DeAaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
6. Jonathan Isaac, Stretch Big, Florida St.
7. Malik Monk, Wing, Kentucky
8. Jayson Tatum, Wing, Duke
9. Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (France)
10. Lauri Markkanen, Stretch Big, Arizona
11. OG Anunoby, Wing, Indiana
12. Zach Collins, Big, Gonzaga
13. Donovan Mitchell, Wing/PG, Louisville
14. Jordan Bell, Big, Oregon
Tier 6 – Some Fun Wings
Here’s where we pick up from last time – you’ll notice I’m higher on wings and lower on the traditionally-thought-of mid-First Round bigs. To me, it’s just a matter of marginal utility. More and more teams are playing 3 wings, even more often than two true bigs, so getting a player of that ilk simply provides greater value.
15. Luke Kennard, Wing, Duke – The positives here are obvious – Kennard is a knockdown shooter from basically everywhere on planet Earth, and he showed an impressive arsenal of off-the-dribble and pick-and-roll prowess to make me believe he can be a secondary initiator in the NBA, in the right situation. The downsides are that he has T-Rex arms, could get smoked laterally by NBA athletes, and he spends too much time on the court worried about his hair. Still, I think Kennard figures it out enough as a defender to allow his silky lefty J to thrive in the right role.
16. Semi Ojeleye, Wing/Stretch Big, SMU – The question with Ojeleye boils down to one thing: will he be able to guard wings, even bigger ones? Opinions vary widely, and some people whose perspective I respect (shout to @pesquerj) believe his tight hips make competent perimeter defense a near-impossibility. He may never be Jae Crowder on D, but similar to Kennard above, I’m on the rosier side of things. Ultimately, I believe he’ll find a way to guard respectably and take advantage of his huge potential as a small-ball 4, a lights-out shooter from everywhere, and bodybuilding champion.
17. Josh Hart, Wing, Villanova – KenPom’s National Player of the Year, Hart is a pretty safe pick to produce on both ends of the floor while also providing some slight upside to be a productive secondary creator. It’d be great if he was a little longer than 6’8, but that’s still long enough to switch 1-3, and his shot has been pretty consistent over the past three years on increasing volume. He is also an excellent defensive rebounder for a wing. He’s been a great college player for four years now, and it’s more than a simple coincidence that his closest statistical comparison for his senior year is none other than Malcolm Brogdon.
18. Sindarius Thornwell, Wing, South Carolina – Rumor has it he shot the ball poorly at the combine (have not heard as much about workouts), showing a knuckling release and struggling to expand his range out to NBA range. However, I’m absolutely betting on the defense and secondary creation here. Thornwell was a terror all over the floor on D, blocking shots and pilfering pockets at alarming rates, and he was versatile enough offensively to earn a nation-high 18 KenPom game MVPs, despite missing 6 games due to a mysterious suspension in the non-conference. In a way, he’s the mirror prospect to Kennard – nearly can’t-fail on D, but enough of a question mark offensively to have reservations.
19. Sterling Brown, Wing, SMU – I have Brown last of this grouping due to his lower upside on the offensive end. However, like Hart, I feel pretty dang confident in him filling a 3-and-D role early on his career. He’s a career 45% shooter from deep on 284 attempts, proving his excellent marksmanship, and unlike his teammate Ojeleye, he was consistently disruptive and effective on the defensive end. He’s not a sharp creator, but for the right team, he won’t need to be.
Tier 7 – My Preferred Bigs
20. DJ Wilson, Big, Michigan – Wilson came out of nowhere last year (seriously, go read any Michigan basketball preview for 2016-17), but once on the scene, his combination of length, fluidity, and shooting made him an extremely intriguing big man prospect. Could he eventually be the impossible-to-find archetype of a stretch-5 who can protect the rim? He has work to do all over his game, but the potential is tantalizing enough to give him a look.
21. Jarrett Allen, Big, Texas – Compared to who I have way down the draft, maybe this is too high for Allen, but I like his mobility, and he’s clearly an elite rebounder. He didn’t actually protect the rim as well as I would hope (block rate half as high as that of Zach Collins), so he’ll need to find a way improve on that if he wants to succeed as an NBA 5-man (often playing as the only big). Offensively, he can’t pass and can’t shoot, but he also had abominable point guard play at Texas last year.
Tier 8 – Potential Ball-Handlers
22. Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma St. – He may not have been the fastest in the sprint at the combine, but I’d wager he’s the fastest player in the draft with the ball in his hands. Evans is a blur who can get into the lane at will, has some respectable defensive potential with his high-energy play and 6’5 wingspan, and he can hit a three now and again. Problem is, he’s an abysmal finisher at the rim against real size, which will limit him somewhat if he’s expected to be the primary/starting PG.
23. Frank Jackson, PG/Wing, Duke – Duke’s latest one-and-done guard isn’t a traditional PG; he prefers to look to score as opposed to being a prime table-setter. However, this year’s Duke team was a mess as they tried to figure out who should have the rock (there’s apparently only one ball out there???), and Jackson could thrive in more of a bench scoring role as a combo guard.
24. Derrick White, PG/Wing, Colorado – White provides the most versatility of this group at 6’5", allowing his future coach the luxury of having him guard multiple positions while still being a good scorer and distributor. His efficiency in his first year as a D1 player, in a primary role no less, was nothing short of impressive, and all of his tools make him an appealing choice.
25. Monte Morris, PG, Iowa St. – I have him lowest in this tier due to a lower perceived upside, but it shouldn’t be ignored that his efficiency stayed insanely elite every season even though his usage continued to rise. His assist-to-turnover mastery is well-documented, but his pull-up and runner game flashed a ton of promise as a senior as well.
Tier 8 and ¾ - Your Guess Is As Good As Mine (But Worse Than Dr. James Andrews’s)
26. Harry Giles, Big, Duke – Yes, I know his knees have more risk than a Jenga tower deep into the throes of the game, but this is the area of the draft where the risk is worthwhile. Giles is a 19-year-old former mega-recruit who very likely is still fragile psychologically about his injuries, and finding out whether he can rediscover his world-beater form from high school is a decent gamble.
Tier 9 – More Wings!
27. Justin Jackson, Wing, UNC – Obviously a lot lower here than most places. I was never very impressed with his shot selection, and whether Jackson can comfortably slide into a more defined role offensively is a major question. Defensively, he’s long, but he’s also incredibly thin and could get bullied. The legitimacy of his outside shot is crucial.
28. Davon Reed, Wing, Miami (FL) – I’m going to start sounding like a broken record talking about these wings, but Reed has what you want – a 7’0” wingspan that allows him to guard multiple spots, and he hit 40% from deep on a high volume this year.
29. Charles Cooke III, Wing, Dayton – I guess this is probably my most irrational love, but other than him being 23 and thus maybe having slightly limited upside, what’s not to like? He’s been exactly a 40% shooter from deep for two straight years with great block/solid steal rates (has a 6’11.5” wingspan), and he showed more off the dribble as a senior. GIMME SOME COOKE!
30. Wesley Iwundu, Wing, Kansas St. – Iwundu is perhaps the best defender in this tier, although his defensive numbers surprisingly don’t show it despite playing in an aggressive, turnover-forcing scheme. His jumper is a work in progress, but he could be very useful if he figures that out – he offers a modicum of play-making as well.
31. Damyean Dotson, Wing, Houston – Dotson is just CASH from deep, no beating around the bush. He was a ridiculous 108/244 from deep this year (44%), an extremely high volume. His defensive numbers were poor, though, so despite having some physical tools on that end, he needs work.
32. LJ Peak, Wing, Georgetown – Peak offers a little more ball-handling than the rest of this group, so for a team that needs a little more PnR creation from a wing, he could be a better fit.
Tier 10 – More Bigs!
33. Caleb Swanigan, Big, Purdue – He’s big, skilled, and highly-productive. Unfortunately, he wears concrete shoes and will probably struggle defensively if not protected by scheme. His developing perimeter jumper is extremely interesting, though.
34. Justin Patton, Big, Creighton – He’s big, raw, and was efficient in one year at Creighton. Unlike Swanigan, he has the mobility to play in the pace-and-space NBA, but I don’t trust his feel for the game.
35. John Collins, Big, Wake Forest - Collins has very acute strengths: he's a hyper-efficient interior scorer, a monster on the glass, and has potential to be very mobile. However, as it stands, questions exist about his rim protection (despite a strong block rate), his strength in post defense, and his ability to extend his range on offense. He's a throwback power forward in an era that's trending away from them, but he'll be very good in the right role.
36. TJ Leaf, Big/Stretch Big, UCLA – Leaf has basically every offensive tool you could ask for, and I came away impressed by his skill each time I watched him. However, Leaf doesn’t even guard the chairs he works out against, which I think is an issue since he’ll be playing against people and not chairs.
37. Johnathan Motley, Big, Baylor – Motley has a little piece of all of the above players – Swanigan’s productivity, Patton’s mobility, Leaf’s offensive talent (though a different game). But he’s an older junior and may not have very high upside, so I’m hesitant to leap him too much higher.
Tier 11 – Fours? Wings?
38. Cameron Oliver, Stretch Big, Nevada – Nevada’s versatile forward is an incredibly intriguing package. He has the stroke to shoot the NBA three, he’s an elite shot-blocker, and he dunks like the rim said something terrible about his mother. The potential for him to be a two-way freak is there, but his feel for the game/bball IQ is a big question mark. Get him in a great system and let him work.
39. Jonah Bolden, Wing/Stretch Big, UCLA/Europe – Here’s a fun little mystery box. Bolden is a skilled 6’10 forward who left UCLA because he hated the Ball family (kidding). Actually, he wanted a bigger opportunity overseas, but his ability to play and guard multiple positions while also flashing real offensive skill will likely tempt a team in the early to mid-second round.
40. Devin Robinson, Wing/Stretch Big, Florida – Robinson is a decent shooter on low volume who has appealing physical traits on the wing. He could also play some small-ball four if he adds more strength.
41. Alec Peters, Stretch Big, Valpo – Peters is the more defined, lower-upside version of Bolden. He’s a supremely skilled forward who ravaged the Horizon League for four straight years, and although his shot was a little shaky as a senior, there’s no question he’ll be able to stroke the NBA three - he was a sniper as a soph and junior. If he demonstrates enough athleticism to switch some on D, he’ll be an excellent role player.
Tier 12 – Mini-Mites
42. Frank Mason, PG, Kansas – Mason is very nearly in the 22-25 tier of ball-handlers for me, but his size is enough of a detriment that I don’t think he has the starter upside that those guys do – he’d just get beat up too much on D. Great scorer and ferocious competitor, though.
43. Derrick Walton, PG, Michigan – Another feisty competitor who played his best basketball at the end of his senior year, Walton’s versatility is what makes him stand out most. He’s a knockdown shooter, a phenomenal rebounder for a guard, he gets to the line, and he makes his teammates better. I’m actually not sure why he doesn’t get more love as a pro prospect – the size argument has been proven wrong repeatedly in the league.
44. Tyler Dorsey, Wing/PG, Oregon – Dorsey’s appeal is pretty simple – he gets buckets, particularly from range. He rained down hellfire in the Pac 12 and NCAA Tournaments, shooting a ludicrous 56% on 52 attempts in those events, and if he plays adequate defense, his shooting will get him on the court. If he’s able to add a little more creation off the dribble, look out.
Tier 13 – A Few Random Guys I Like
45. Kadeem Allen, Wing/PG, Arizona – Quietly one of the best perimeter defenders in the draft, Allen’s issue will be finding an NBA position. His shooting and distributing are both a little weaker than you’d hope, but his defensive potential is Tony Allen-esque to me (Tony Allen is his dad) (that’s absolutely not true).
46. Jeremy Morgan, Wing, Northern Iowa – In the vein of Charles Cooke above, Morgan is another irrational love guy for me. I just think he's a multi-talented, skilled player who can do enough on offense to make it worth having his borderline elite defensive potential on the roster. He’s long, has played in an extremely disciplined system at UNI, and he can hit open threes.
47. Dillon Brooks, Wing/Stretch Big, Oregon – Brooks may fill an unconventional role as a primary bench scorer who thrives at attacking mismatches from the elbow. He makes good decisions when doubled, and he can drive around or shoot over most second-string defenders. Needs to be in the right role, though.
48. Deonte Burton, Wing/Stretch Big, Iowa St. – It doesn’t have to make sense, folks! I love Burton as a prospect. His lateral agility needs work, but he’s second in my admittedly-weird strength eye test (to Ojeleye), and his crazy combination of a 7’0” wingspan, solid ball-handling, and deft touch around the hoop could make him a useful piece for a creative coach. If he extends his range to NBA 3, he could really be something.
49. Jake Wiley, Wing/Stretch Big, Eastern Washington – Wiley is a hyper-bouncy athlete and a late bloomer who spent all his time in the lane in college, dominating the Big Sky with his athleticism and finishing. He has the makings of a jumper, too, which could open up a higher ceiling for him.
50. Kyle Kuzma, Stretch Big, Utah – Another lanky wing/big combo that has enough of a skill-set to be a worthy gamble. His shooting needs work, but if it develops, his length and rebounding could make him a smallball 5 option.
51. Nigel Williams-Goss, PG, Gonzaga – He has decent size for the position, can shoot a bit, and is a dynamite defender (just watch him in the NCAA Tournament this year). He’s a little limited athletically, but he should be a harassing backup PG who can run an offense for many years.
Tier 14 – Another Tier, Idk Why
52. Bam Adebayo, Big, Kentucky – Slightly smaller than the Adonis he’s compared to (Dwight Howard), but with a similarly crude post game. I like him as a rim-runner a little more than the next guy, though, and he has legit potential on the glass and on D.
53. Tony Bradley, Big, UNC – I may be too low here. Bradley is a super long athlete at the 5-spot that played his butt off in bench minutes for the NCAA Champs. A terror on the offensive glass, he’s likely not 40 spots worse than Zach Collins, but he didn’t show the rim protection and/or shooting I want from an upside big.
54. Ivan Rabb, Big, California – I don’t really think he got much better in his sophomore year and didn’t own the go-to player role. Great rebounder, but not enough shot-blocking or versatility on D to interest me.
55. Tyler Lydon, Stretch Big, Syracuse – A bad NBA athlete who only played zone in college and has the draft's highest body fat %…I don’t really see an avenue to him being useful on the defensive perimeter. Could be useful as a spot-up/pick-and-pop shooter who showed some rim protection, but his cement feet scare me away.
56. Ike Anigbogu, Big, UCLA – Blech. No skill offensively, and I just don’t see how there’s any value in him over the first four years of his contract. Very good shot-blocker and super long, but he wasn’t even a presence as a rim-running roll man, despite maybe having the nation’s best shooting around him.
57. & 58. Edmond Sumner, PG, Xavier/Kobi Simmons, PG, Arizona – Similar players here – lanky, not-quite-point-guards who need the ball in their hands to succeed. Feel for the game is lacking, can't shoot, and you have to wonder about off the court issues for both of them: Sumner tore has ACL this year, and Simmons dug his way deeply into Sean Miller’s doghouse late in the season.
59. Dwayne Bacon, Wing, Florida St. – He’s a wing scorer who needs the ball and can’t really defend, pass, or shoot from the outside. No thanks.
60. Nigel Hayes, Stretch Big (I guess?), Wisconsin – This is a long-developed take watching basically all of Nigel’s games at Wisconsin, but I’m not buying his foot speed, and his shot is one of the ugliest things I’ve seen in a long time. Kids – don’t remake your shot if the remade version is utter garbage.
The Others: Jaron Blossomgame, Wing/Stretch Big, Clemson; Thomas Bryant, Big, Indiana; Ben Moore, Big, SMU; VJ Beachem, Wing, Notre Dame; Andrew White, Wing, Syracuse; PJ Dozier, Wing/PG, South Carolina;
Disclaimer: I haven’t watched enough of most of the international prospects to have an opinion. That includes Lessort, Ferguson, Hartenstein, Pasecniks, etc.