21. Gorgui Dieng, Louisville – C – Wolves (from Jazz)
As mentioned before, Flip Saunders and Co. looked to be a bit flummoxed by the night’s events, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Dieng isn’t a good NBA prospect. With good size and athletic ability for an NBA center, the Big East Defensive POY is well on his way to being a solid rotation player. Limited offensively to clean-up duty and the occasional short-range jumper, he struggles with his back to the basket but the small improvements he has made shooting give some hope that he can continue to develop.
A relatively good decision-maker on offense, too, he profiled as one of the better bets to jump in and give backup minutes immediately in this range of the draft. Nikola Pekovic looks like a good bet to stick around for next year, and it seems likely that Dieng’s selection would make Greg Stiemsma’s team option expendable. Don’t be surprised if during the year Pekovic gets hurt and Dieng becomes a useful source of boards and blocks.
Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper Dynasty leagues
22. Mason Plumlee, Duke – PF – Nets
The four-year center from Duke lands in Brooklyn as the only true center behind injury-risk Brook Lopez, but he’ll need to work on his lateral quickness and strength before he’s given any rotational minutes. Teams would regularly attack him on the pick-and-roll in college and that spells doom for him in the NBA if he can’t get it cleaned up. His offensive game is very limited and he struggles across most fantasy categories, which doesn’t exactly mesh with a lack of overall upside.
Recommendation: Only on the radar in truly massive formats
23. Solomon Hill, Arizona – SF – Pacers
The Pacers surprised many folks with this selection as Hill was pegged as a second round prospect in most drafts, but it’s clear that they liked what they saw from him as a mature 3-point shooter with good basketball IQ. He has lateral quickness deficiencies and defense will be an issue at the next level, but his work ethic and efficiency on both sides of the floor will go a long way toward covering that up.
A pick that serves as insurance for Danny Granger if he gets hurt or traded, it also bodes well for Hill that the Pacers have very little team-wide depth. His 3-point shooting and relative efficiency will give him a leg up providing fantasy value compared to other low-minute players if he can make the NBA leap.
Recommendation: Worth monitoring in deeper Dynasty leagues and a good preseason could put him on super-deep redraft radars.
24. Tim Hardaway, Jr., Michigan – SG – Knicks
Hardaway enters the league with perhaps a bigger name than his game, but in the end he still profiles as a guy with the chance to one day be a solid rotational player in the league. With middling to above-average attributes in most categories, and an improving shot with 3-point range, he has a shot to contribute if the Knicks can’t re-sign J.R. Smith. If the team is sitting on just Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Iman Shumpert after the free agency period, there could be some borderline deep league appeal for owners.
Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper redraft formats if J.R. Smith leaves and the Knicks don’t add a guard.
25. Reggie Bullock, North Carolina – SG – Clippers
In terms of a late-first round pick, Bullock is everything the Clippers could have asked for and then some as one of the draft’s best shooters and potential to be a serviceable defender. He was profiled as a spot-up shooter at North Carolina, and that’s where many draftniks believe his upside ends, but it’s possible that his surrounding cast kept him from profiling other parts of his game.
Indeed, he will need to bulk up a bit and work to advance beyond a Danny Green-like offensive skill-set, but with good intangibles he has a shooter’s chance as a role player next season if the last legs of Caron Butler don’t hold up.
Recommendation: Worth a look in massive re-draft formats and super-deep Dynasty leagues
26. Andre Roberson, Colorado – SF/PF – Thunder (from Wolves)
Roberson appears to be the Thunder’s draft day attempt to find a successor for Thabo Sefolosha on the defensive end, albeit more slanted to cover the 3s and 4s (think LeBron James). He can defend the shooting guard position, too, and is also a plus-rebounder for his position. The bad news is that he really struggled shooting the ball (55.1% FTs) and he’s a bit undersized for his offensive position as a power forward. With no clear shot at a rotation slot and a lack of fantasy upside, owners can safely ignore him.
Recommendation: Ignore in all formats.
27. Rudy Gobert, France – PF/C – Jazz (from Nuggets)
At 7’1” tall with a 12-foot max vertical leap, Gobert has upside as a defensive presence in the NBA but at just 237 pounds he has a long ways to go gaining the strength necessary to bang down low. Other than soft hands and a decent free throw stroke (70% last year), his offense is very limited and his athleticism is sub-par. Gobert will likely play overseas or in the D-League next season, and with the Jazz frontcourt stocked the upside equation doesn’t justify fantasy attention this year.
Recommendation: Ignore in all formats
28. Livio Jean-Charles, France – SF/PF – Spurs
When the pick was called the first words out of Doc’s mouth was “that was a very Spurs-like pick.” Known for their draft scouting and overseas work, Jean-Charles is a credible pickup in a section of the draft where the success rate is low. He took over the Nike Hoops Summit and subsequently got a promise from the Spurs, and did not work out for any other teams.
Ball-handling and building his strength are the areas he needs to work on, and he will likely be stashed overseas for at least a year. That means he should be available in almost all Dynasty leagues, so owners can watch his development from afar, but this is the type of player that does the little things and those guys have a knack for showing up on the floor under Gregg Popovich.
Recommendation: Worth a look in massive Dynasty leagues
29. Archie Goodwin, Kentucky – SG – Suns (from Warriors by way of Thunder)
Goodwin had a tale of two seasons last year as a freshman for Kentucky, and at 18 years of age he was the youngest American selected Thursday night. A prototypical upside pick, he has the athleticism and size to make an impact at his natural shooting guard position down the road, but overall inconsistency and some question marks about his mental makeup caused him to fall this far.
The good news is that he seemed to play better against good opposition before an in-conference slump dragged him down, and the Suns apparently view him also as a point guard. It wouldn’t be shocking to learn that they hope he can be the answer for disappointing Kendall Marshall as the backup to Goran Dragic. With Phoenix having some of the worst depth in the league, Goodwin is a stone throw’s away from deep league relevancy.
Recommendation: Worth a look in super-deep Dynasty leagues
30. Nemanja Nedovic, Lithuania – PG – Warriors (from Suns)
After a few small trades that saw Archie Goodwin and Malcolm Lee pass through the Warriors’ possession, they settled on Nedovic as a backup point guard with the last pick of the first round. Nedovic has good athleticism and playmaking ability, but his fundamentals, handle and decision-making need work and that will keep him anchored to the bench for most of this year.
That said, if the Warriors cannot re-sign Jarrett Jack then a late-season role as the swing backup at guard is within his reach, depending on who the Warriors may pick up to backup the point.
Recommendation: Worth a look in massive Dynasty leagues if Jarrett Jack skips town