16. Boston – Kelly Olynyk C Gonzaga
The Celtics need big bodies, as evidenced by the fact Kevin Garnett is finishing his career as a center instead of a power forward. Olynyk appears to be well suited for the Celtics’ half-court offense and averaged nearly 18 points per game last season for Gonzaga. If the Celtics pass on him, don’t look for the Hawks to do the same.
17. Atlanta – Steven Adams C Pittsburgh
The Hawks have needed a solid big man, well, pretty much forever. They also need a shooting guard, but finding a true center should be the top priority. Adams is going to be a bit of a project, but he’s 7’0” tall, athletic for his size and should thrive at running the floor. He’ll need to work hard to develop an inside game worthy of the NBA, but has enough upside that someone will grab him in the first round.
18. Atlanta (via Houston) – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG Georgia
The Hawks clearly have a need at shooting guard, as Lou Williams still came off the bench even when he was healthy. Caldwell-Pope, the SEC player of the year, averaged 18.5 points and should be a very good 3-point shooter in the NBA. And I’m guessing that unlike Dwight Howard, he wouldn’t mind playing in Atlanta after starring at UGA. He’s also a solid defensive player, and really looks like a perfect fit for the Hawks.
19. Cleveland (via Lakers) – Sergey Karasev SF Moscow
The Cavs may be looking at another small forward here, as that is easily their biggest need, and Karasev would likely be one of the best small forwards left on the board at this stage. He’s only 19 and has plenty of upside, along with a competent offensive game and high basketball IQ. Defense and a lack of athleticism are the biggest concerns with Karasev, but not enough that he won’t be taken in the first round.
20. Chicago – Dario Saric F Croatia
The Bulls are set at most positions and if they get a shooting guard with their first pick, taking the best player available here makes sense. Whether that will be Saric remains up for debate, but the 6’10” forward has a solid offensive game and high basketball IQ. He plays a lot like Andrea Bargnani, which means he’s not going to clean the glass, but the Bulls have Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer to do that.
21. Utah (via Golden State) – Tony Mitchell F North Texas
Mitchell is an athletic freak and is another guy that could help a Utah team stacked with big men, but lacking effective wing players. He’s another ‘tweener, but I doubt the Jazz would have a problem slotting him at small forward and turning him loose.
22. Brooklyn – Archie Goodwin SG Kentucky
The Nets clearly need wing players, as Gerald Wallace fell off a cliff this season, Joe Johnson and his feet aren’t getting any younger, and MarShon Brooks still hasn’t been able to rise to prominence. Goodwin may not still be available this late, but if he is, the Nets look like a perfect fit. He’ll have to work on his shooting and creating his own shot, but the potential is there.
23. Indiana – Jeff Withey C University of Kansas
Withey is a deceptively adequate athlete and a former volleyball player. Strength is a concern, but he’s a good shot blocker and knows what to do with the ball when he gets it down low. If he can bulk up, he could end up being a very good NBA center one day. In short, he’d be a solid potential backup for Roy Hibbert.
24. New York – Shane Larkin PG Miami
The Knicks’ greatest need is probably power forward, as Amare Stoudemire’s knees probably won’t last too many more seasons, but Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd are not going to be able to hold down the point guard position for too much longer. Larkin is very quick and looks like a good pairing with Carmelo Anthony, as the Knicks could really get out and run with Larkin running the show. He’s only 5’11”, but did a great job of running Miami’s offense last season.
25. L.A. Clippers – Allen Crabbe SG California
The Clippers have a need at shooting guard, with Willie Green getting a lot of starts and Jamal Crawford embracing the role of sixth man. Crabbe is a shot maker, like to run off screens and has a solid offensive game, which should work well with the Clippers’ offense.
26. Minnesota (via Memphis) – Lucas Nogueira C Brazil
Nogueira is a freakish athlete with raw offensive skills. Nikola Pekovic’s feet may continue to be an issue throughout the rest of his career and the Wolves, in addition to needing wings, could also use a quality backup center. This might be the year Nogueira gets drafted in the first round and shows up next year as a rookie.
27. Denver (via Memphis) – Mouhammadou Jaiteh C Boulogne
Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee have been able to hold down the fort in Denver, and while they might be better off drafting a shooting guard, getting a center makes sense. Jaiteh is only 18 years old but has grown recently to 6’11” and is already much stronger than he should be for his age. He’s going to be raw offensively early on, but looks like he should already be able to hold his own in the NBA.
28. San Antonio – Dennis Schroeder PG Germany
The Spurs have plenty of big men, including grandpa Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter and ACL-less DeJuan Blair, and while they could use some depth and upside in the paint, they could also use a point guard that stands out from the several backups they’re currently employing. The Spurs love drafting Euros and Schroeder is a nicely-sized 6’2” PG that would immediately make an impression on Gregg Popovich with his speed and ability to get to the rack.
29. Oklahoma City – Reggie Bullock SF North Carolina
Bullock hasn’t really been allowed to fully explore his offensive game, spending much of his time as a spot-up shooter instead of being allowed to create his own shot for the Heels. He’s not a lock for the first round, but is perfectly sized for an NBA wing position and my guess is his stock will rise in workouts. The Thunder still don’t have a suitable backup for Kevin Durant, and don’t really need one, but Bullock is talented and could serve a nice bench player for the Thunder next season.
30. Phoenix (via Cavs, Heat) – Giannis Adetokunbo SF Greece
The Suns could use help at several positions and small forward is one of them. Danny Ainge is reportedly a fan of Adetokunbo, but if they pass on him, he could be available at the end of the first round. He needs to have the ball in his hands to be effective and will likely need some time to adapt to the NBA game, but he’s a great ball handler and a stellar athlete. The 30th pick seems like a great time to take a flier on him.