15. Pacers – Klay Thompson
G/F Washington StatePaul George
looks like the shooting guard of the future in Indy, but is still unproven. And given that they've continued to struggle to find a lock at the position, grabbing Thompson makes sense. I also think they'd like to get Fredette here, but he'll likely be gone. Thompson is expected to have some shot selection issues early in his career.
16. Sixers – Kenneth Faried
PF Morehead State
Faried has a great nose for the ball, is one of the best rebounders in college history and will dive for loose balls without hesitation. Hustle is a word that best describes him and with Elton Brand
likely declining with age and health, Faried appears to be a good fit. There's also talk the Sixers want USC center Nikola Vucevic
here, but I'm not sure he's really a Top 20 pick.
17. Knicks – Markieff Morris
Morris will be an undersized power forward, but can shoot it well enough that he might be able to play some small forward in the NBA. The Knicks really need a center, but can always slide Amare Stoudemire
to the five and start someone else, like Morris, at the 4. They're also said to be interested in Vucevic with this pick, so stay tuned.
18. Wizards (via Hawks) – Josh Selby
Selby has all kinds of potential but hasn't really lived up to the hype as of yet. The Wizards don't really need another shooting guard at this point if Jordan Crawford
and Nick Young
(restricted free agent) continue to play well. But if they take a small forward with their first pick, grabbing another shooting guard makes sense with this one.
19. Bobcats (via Hornets) – Chris Singleton
SF Florida State
Singleton has the potential to be another Josh Smith
or Gerald Wallace
, which I'm pretty sure, would make Michael Jordan
and company happy. I think he's another potential steal for such a late pick in this draft, and the Bobcats aren't exactly loaded at small forward. But if they don't get a center with their first pick, they'll probably be targeting on here.
20. Timberwolves (via Grizzlies) – Marshon Brooks
Brooks' stock is rising and he's 22 years old after averaging 24.6 points, seven rebounds and 2.5 assists, while finishing seventh in the nation in scoring. He's a silky smooth scorer and given the Timberwolves love of drafting guards, might work here for them. However, taking a big man like Donatas Motiejunas
or JaJuan Johnson
might be a more logical choice.
21. Trail Blazers – Donatas Motiejunas
Motiejunas surprisingly pulled out of last year's draft and then tore it up in the Italian league this season. He's a great shooter, both from the floor and beyond the arc, and appears to be one of the more NBA-ready players in the draft. However, he really struggled in a recent workout after a weight lifting session, which might have hurt his stock. And with the Blazers running a continuous knee operation clinic for their centers, getting a healthy one is probably a good idea. JaJuan Johnson
is also a real possibility here.
22. Nuggets – JaJuan Johnson
, F/C Purdue
Johnson was the best scorer in the Big Ten and was named the Big Ten Player of the Year. He averaged 20.5 points, 8.6 boards and 2.3 blocks per game and the Nuggets could use an offensive weapon other than Nene in the paint. His stock was shaky early, but it's starting to look like he should go somewhere between No. 20 & 25.
23. Rockets (via Magic) – Nikola Vucevic
There are rumors that the Sixers and Knicks both want Vucevic, who is the biggest player in the draft. He makes sense for both, but 16 or 17 still feels too early to me. With Yao Ming
's future in doubt and a cast of undersized and aging big men in Houston, Vucevic makes perfect sense for them. Maybe I'm naïve and undervaluing him, especially since he averaged 17 points, 10 boards and 1.3 blocks for USC last season. He's a guy I'm going to monitor closely over the next nine days.
24. Thunder – Nikola Mirotic
This 6-10 big man can score, rebound, block shots and steal the ball, but the Thunder already have that guy with Serge Ibaka
. However, Chad Ford believes the Thunder have already made a promise to him and they could certainly use more big bodies, which is good enough for me. But really, what are the chances two dudes named Nikola are drafted back-to-back? Probably not high.
25. Celtics – Reggie Jackson
PG Boston College
Jackson showed an improved jumper last season and would make for a nice-sized point guard at 6-3. He has shown playmaking skills and is unselfish, while also able to play off the ball. The Celtics have many needs as one of the oldest teams in the league, but getting another guard who could play both spots makes sense. And it doesn't hurt that he played at BC, and there are rumors that the Celtics want him with this pick.
26. Mavericks – Tobias Harris
The Mavs don't need guards or centers, nor do they really need forwards, either. Harris could easily go closer to No. 20, but would also be a potential steal this late. This seems like it would be a safe move for the champs. And with Chase Budinger
not exactly a lock to start at small forward next season for the Rockets, they will also be giving him a close look at No. 23.
27. Nets (via Lakers) – Charles Jenkins
Jenkins played in mere obscurity for Hofstra over the last four years, but is a dynamic scorer and the true definition of a sleeper pick. He may not end up being taken in Round 1, but we're guessing after teams get to know him via workouts, his stock will rise.
28. Bulls (via Heat) – Nolan Smith
Smith is a combo guard and it's still unknown whether he can be turned into a real NBA point guard given his turnover issues. But he was able to run Duke's offense when Kyrie Irving
was out and played well enough last season to be a lock for a first-round pick. The Bulls could certainly use more shooting guard options and Smith should be the best one on the board this late.
29. Spurs - Davis Bertans
Bertans has size, athleticism and is just 18 years old. He can run the court and has a nice jumper, clocking in at 6-10, 210 pounds. Chad Ford thinks the Spurs have made a promise to take him here, and while that may not make the most sense with Tiago Splitter
and DeJuan Blair
wasting away on the bench, it would not be at all surprising.
30. Bulls - Tyler Honeycutt
Honeycutt is nicely sized for a SF at 6-8 and should end up being a silky-smooth NBA player. He has decent athleticism and the Bulls should probably start looking for Luol Deng
's eventual replacement. Honeycutt just looks too good to fall out of Round 1.