By: Mike Wagenman (@mjwags23)
After yesterday’s first part of my NBA mock draft, I have gone all-out and finished the first round. I was thinking about doing a second round mock, but the second round of the NBA draft is pretty low-key. Catch the first part of my mock here, and the second half just below:
15. Milwaukee Bucks – Archie Goodwin, G, Kentucky: The Bucks need guards, regardless of what happens with Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick. There is just one other guard listed on Milwaukee’s roster: Ish Smith.
Goodwin is a bit of a stretch at 15 for three reasons. First, he cannot seem to understand that he is a shooting guard, not a point guard. Goodwin loves to run the offense through himself instead of getting open without the basketball. Second, Kentucky flopped, so his skills never saw the positive national limelight. And third, he is not strong enough to consistently drive to the rim, but is a below average three point shooter (26.6 percent).
Goodwin actually has some Ellis and Jennings in him as a quick, explosive scoring guard. Milwaukee has experience with those types of guards, and will stretch for Goodwin at 15.
16. Boston Celtics – Kelly Olynyk, PF, Gonzaga: Olynyk is a Celtic-type player. He is an “I don’t care how it gets done or how ugly it looks, but the job is going to get done” kind of guy. I mean honestly, just look at his hair.
Boston knows you can never be too young and big up front. With the possibility of Kevin Garnett retiring, Boston is going to want to replace his grit and intensity. Insert Olynyk. As a Knicks fan, I would hate to see one of my favorite college players go to my biggest rival, but so be it. Anyway, Olynyk’s knocks are his slightly unpolished offensive skills and his incredibly short arms. He is six-foot-10 with a six-foot-seven wingspan. He is a strong kid, but needs to realize that he won’t be blocking an abundance of shots anymore.
17. Atlanta Hawks – Rudy Gobert, PF/C, France: I am always wary of foreign players in the NBA draft, because very few can actually adjust to the NBA’s game and physicality. Gobert is no different. He has a good offensive game, and above average low post skills, but that was in France. He has to bring toughness night in and night out to succeed in the NBA.
The Hawks desperately want to get some flexibility with Josh Smith, so they can either play him at the small forward position and let him create in space, or keep him our of foul trouble. Gobert can pair with Al Horford down low and create a fearsome twosome, if all pans out.
18. Atlanta Hawks – Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State: Franklin is my selection for steal of the first round. Franklin can ball, and he plays a similar style to ex-SDSU star Kawhi Leonard. He is not an explosive scorer, but he is a good one. He is not a lockdown defender, but he is a good one. He is not the best finisher, but he is a good one. You get the theme here, he’s like a slightly lower-rated Otto Porter.
Franklin is perfect for the Hawks. It allows them to play him at the two, and give Devin Harris the backup point guard role. Or, Atlanta can bring Kyle Korver off the bench, where he is best, and play Franklin at the three.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers – Dario Saric, SF, Croatia: Saric is your typical European big man. At six-foot-10, he shoots and does not play down low. Which is fine in this case, because the Cavs already nabbed Nerlens Noel. Alonzo Gee is the polar opposite of Saric, as he is a high-flying slasher and defender, while Saric is a shooter.
For spurts, Saric’s height can be used at the power forward position against teams that like to play small and open offenses. His shooting touch will do wonders for Kyrie Irving.
20. Chicago Bulls – Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh: I have no idea who told Adams to enter the draft, but in my opinion, it was a mistake. He looked lost more often than not in his only season at Pitt. The Bulls have a huge front line, and won’t be looking for a starter or even a top big man option off the bench. They will take the athletic and beefed up seven-footer and aim to develop him.
Don’t be surprised if Adams spends more time in the D-League than the NBA. He is nowhere close to ready, but with good training, he could be a solid reserve big man in the future.
21. Utah Jazz – Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia: Apparently Karasev is “NBA ready”. Again, be careful with that. Karasev can shoot the lights out, and is exceptional in the catch and shoot game, but he did not have LeBron James and Kevin Durant running over to block his shot in Russia. The kid is just 19, so he has a long way to go, but I believe he is a good fit in Utah.
They drafted Shane Larkin earlier and have some young backcourt pieces, but Utah’s big men will help out Karasev. The Jazz have a plethora of power forwards and centers who are great rebounders. With Karasev lurking on the perimeter, the kick-out pass will become a viable option.
22. Brooklyn Nets – Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany: Rajon Rondo or Ricky Rubio-type skills. Ok, fine. Once again, overseas. Don’t expect this kid to be a starter any time soon, but he can be a good backup and help take Deron Williams and C.J. Watson off the ball at times.
We all know the Nets second unit with Watson, Blatche and Brooks (if he isn’t traded) loves to shoot. Schroeder loves to pass. Could be a nice fit.
23. Indiana Pacers – Allen Crabbe, SG, California: Crabbe is a good shooter, and at six-foot-six he fits the Pacers motto of size. Crabbe can help spell Lance Stephenson, who is not the best shooter, and can pair with D.J. Augustin in the backcourt off the bench and take the pressure off him.
Also, Crabbe would add depth and allow Danny Granger to be expendable and Paul George to play small forward.
24. New York Knicks – Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas: Mitchell reminds me of a slightly less productive Kenneth Faired. Mitchell can rebound and defend, and he is physical. Three things the Knicks desperately need. Mitchell can inevitably step in for Amare Stoudmire when he gets hurt again, can spell Kenyon Martin’s old legs if he returns, and allow Carmelo Anthony to play small forward again. Everybody wins.
25. Los Angeles Clippers – Lorenzo Brown, PG, N.C. State: Brown may not be the most quality pick here, but it could pay huge dividends for the Clippers. Here are two scenarios:
First, if Chris Paul returns, the Clippers could deal Eric Bledsoe to help replace the inevitable departures of guys like Caron Butler, Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom.
Second, if Chris Paul does not return, Bledose starts and Brown backs him up.
Many people are going to be up in arms at this pick, but at the back-end of the first round, an impact big man or small forward just are not realistic. Usually.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Mason Plumlee, C, Duke: Plumlee slipped a little, but big men at Duke do not usually show much dominance in the NBA. The Wolves choose Plumlee over Jeff Withey because he actually can play some offense. The Wolves may lose Nikola Pekovic this offseason and Kevin Love is always hurt, so this is a safety net more than anything.
27. Denver Nuggets – Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence: Ledo will fit in nicely with the Nuggets up-tempo offense, seeing as he basically had to do everything on his own at Providence. Andre Iguodala probably will not be back, so Ledo is a nice fit at the back end of the first round. Low risk, potentially high reward.
28. San Antonio Spurs – Jeff Withey, C, Kansas: Gregg Popovich has fallen in love with playing two seven-footers at once. The problem is, one is going to retire soon (Tim Duncan). Tiago Splitter has played well, but Matt Bonner is a shooting big man. Jeff Withey is a rim protector. He will fit in nicely with the Spurs who seemingly always find a random scoring option without drafting him, so no need to waste a pick on one.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder – Tony Snell, SG, New Mexico: Snell can score, and while he won’t be nearly as productive in the NBA as he was in college, he can fill a need in case Kevin Martin leaves this offseason or next. Snell will allow Reggie Jackson to stay high in the rotation, and can be a scoring backup to Thabo Sefolosha. Also, with Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and DeAndre Liggins waiting in the wings, Snell could see some D-League time and gradually play the DeAndre Liggins-seven-minutes-per-game role.
30. Phoenix Suns – C.J. Leslie, F, N.C. State: Leslie is athletic and is versatile, and that’s what it has always taken to be a Phoenix Sun. He can play either forward position, which is nice because Phoenix has average players up and down the roster. Leslie’s stock has slipped a bit, but there is no denying he is a talented basketball player who can help the Suns at some point this season.
Let me know what you think!