OK…feeling a little more human today, so I feel like I should probably finish this piece, or at least this part of this piece (there is a third part…woooHOO!!) before my day gets away from me. So anyway, let’s get right to it:
15) ATL: Juice Nurkic – I’m going to be straight up with you here. I know less than nothing about the Hawks. They’re the kind of team that makes my brain shut off as soon as someone starts discussing them. I honestly could not name one player on their roster anymore (I know they got rid of Josh Smith, and I’m pretty sure Joe Johnson is gone too, so yeah, that’s about it for me). They have been so relentlessly mediocre for so long that they elicit zero reaction from me whatsoever. Anyway, I love the Juice, I think he’s going to be better than Mozgov, and he should be going around here, so the Hawks are getting him.
16) CHI: James Young – I have a feeling either this pick, the 19, or both, are going to end up going to the Sixers for 10/Thad/2nd-rounders/whatever’s behind door #2. But for purposes of this discussion, we’ll assume the Bulls keep this one. Anyhoo, this is a team that could really use a dynamic, athletic scorer like Swaggy J. Derrick Rose is hurt almost all the time, and scoring-wise, they go as he goes. People love to compare him (disparagingly) to Nick Young. I think that’s what makes him beautiful…
17) BOS: Rodney Hood – I know everyone hates him, but I kinda don’t. I think he can shoot, and there’s a place in the world for that. Plus, he’s athletic, and long enough where he could learn to defend. He would be a nice player to be on the receiving end of some of Rondo’s crazy-ass passes for spot-up 3s.
18) PHO: Jordan Adams – Remember I said the Suns would take safer guys later? This is one of them. He’s another guy The Numbers Love, and he can’t really hurt you. He does lots of things reasonably well, and nothing really badly. He’s the perfect hedge for the insanity of picking his college teammate LaVine.
19) CHI: Tyler Ennis – Rose insurance, pure and simple. He’s a solid point guard who does what solid point guards do. I remember a point earlier this season where he was shooting up people’s boards, even up into the top 10. Clearly his stock has cooled off significantly since then, but he’s a quality pick at this point in the draft for a team that could use a quality backup at his position.
20) TOR: Clint Capela – I was going through the Raptors’ roster to figure out where their weak spots were, and y’know what? They look like a pretty solid team on paper. I’m not surprised they won the Atlantic Division. They have some pretty good guys. DX has them taking a point guard, I assume as BPA, but a team that’s winning divisions would go for fit. The best fit for their roster would be Capela, a long, athletic (but seriously raw) center with all kinds of potential. They have a smart guy (Masai) running the show up there now, and he is the kind of GM that would see the value in someone like Capela over yet another OK point guard.
21) OKC: Elfrid Payton – The rich get richer. Payton is a really nice point guard prospect who can both backup and play alongside Russ Westbrook. He’s a true point who is ready to play and contribute right now, which is what the Thunder need.
22) MEM: TJ Warren – The Griz’s list of wings isn’t exactly making anyone’s toes tingle, and most of them are really seriously old. Warren would be a nice young versatile addition to their roster at a position of what I would consider pretty desperate need, and represents really nice value at 22.
23) UTA: Shabazz Napier – The Jazz went big early in the round, this is where they take a swing at addressing the point guard spot. I’m not in love with Napier, for a number of reasons, but he is tough and can shoot. Really more of a combo guard, but he’s another guy that can come in and contribute immediately. Probably a reach in the first round, but that’s really more my gut than anything else. And he is a Proven Winner, which usually gives you at least a little bump to your stock late in the round.
24) NOL: PJ Hairston – He’ll make a nice backcourt running mate for Jrue Holiday. Put up big scoring in the D-League. Pels need a scorer to take the load off the Brow, so he’s a decent fit here.
25) HOU: KJ McDaniels – It’s a testament to the respect I have for Daryl Morey that I bestow upon him my favorite late-first-round prospect. I love me some KJ. He’s basically Aaron Gordon-Lite. A jumpshot away from being a lottery prospect. A serious athlete who plays defense and does grit and hustle things. A Serious Glue Guy. I love those kinds of players. Can’t help it. I wish there were some way I could legitimately justify his falling to the Sixers at 32, but that’s not gonna happen.
26) MIA: Kyle Anderson – Because Shane Battier is retiring and they need Shane Battier.
27) PHO: Jerami Grant – Another safe choice who is likely to be able to contribute in glue guy ways early on. Can’t shoot worth a crap, but has decent athleticism and pretty good glue guy skills. Won’t kill you with stupid moves.
28) LAC: CJ Wilcox – Set at the point and in the frontcourt, their wing rotation is beyond underwhelming. They need a guy who can come in and shoot. Wilcox shot 46% overall and 39% from 3. He’s a senior, and is physically ready to contribute. He’s not going to set anyone’s world on fire, but he best meets the Clips’ needs.
29) OKC: Jarnell Stokes – Someday they will finally be out from under Kendrick Perkins’s contract. They need a tough, physical enforcer to replace him, hopefully for a lot less money. Stokes and his 6’8 265 lbs seem to fit the bill here pretty well. He’s hugely strong and tough, and just a fantastic rebounder. I actually like him a lot. He’s not going to be a guy who scores a ton of points, since he can’t shoot at ALL, and does all his scoring at the rim and on putbacks from his terrific offensive rebounding. gets up and down the floor pretty well for a guy his size.
30) SAS: Cleanthony Early – What do you give the Team Who Has Everything? The guy who does everything. He’s 23, so people aren’t really looking at him as a “prospect,” but he’s a productive guy who can play right now, which is something the Spurs, more than other teams, can work with. Supposedly a great kid who will fit in with the Spurs Culture just fine. He can score in a lot of different ways, although his handle is beyond terrible.
There is just absolutely no way I can predict who will take whom in the 2nd round, but Part 3 of this little exercise will feature my Hot Sports Takes on some of my favorite guys likely to go in the 2nd, and who I want on the Sixers.