For the second round of the NBA Draft, I’m just going to give quick blurbs on each pick and how I think they fit. Do they have a shot to make the team? Can they make an impact next season?
31. Milwaukee Bucks — Damien Inglis, 6’8, F, France
Inglis is a lottery ticket. He already has an NBA-ready body at 6’8, 240 lbs with huge hands and a long 7’3 wingspan. His body looks like Kawhi Leonard, but as of right now he doesn’t have the athletic explosiveness to match. Sometimes that kind of stuff develops with age, other times it doesn’t. So it’s really hard to guess what’s going to happen here. It’s probably fair to say that Inglis reflects an extension of the Bucks’ previous draft strategies to select long players with potential such as Larry Sanders, John Henson, and Giannis Antetotounmpo. Inglis could develop into a starter with excellent “3 and D” qualities, or into a guy who spends his whole career in France.
32. Philadelphia 76ers — K.J. McDaniels, 6’6, F, Clemson
The Sixers were probably very excited when McDaniels was sitting there at 32nd overall for them. I had McDaniels around the 25th spot on my board, which was lower than most people had him. However, I can’t envision a circumstance where he should have not been drafted in the first round. At worst, the Sixers just drafted a guy who is going to work hard and defend well regardless of the circumstance that he’s placed in. I have questions about the offense, but it’s further along than some other defensive-minded picks in this part of the draft. It legitimately wouldn’t surprise me to see McDaniels start for the Sixers next year, as he’s a freak athlete that will defend and run in transition with Michael Carter-Williams. Barring injury, McDaniels is probably going to stick in the NBA for a while because of his tenaciousness and athleticism, which is all you can ask for from a second round pick.
33. Cleveland Cavaliers — Joe Harris, 6’6, SG, Virginia
Harris, a deadeye shooter, was a riser throughout the draft process to the point where he ended up being a borderline first round pick for draft experts like Chad Ford and Jay Bilas. I’m personally not a great fan of Harris. Shooters differentiate themselves through the other skills that they can provide outside of their shooting ability, and Harris doesn’t particularly have any. He has a short wingspan and doesn’t have great athletic tools, which means he’s going to struggle to defend despite his willingness. He’s a decent passer, but his role in the NBA isn’t going to be to create for others. His ball-handling leaves a lot to be desired. Harris might stick on a Cavs’ team that is desperate for shooting, but I think there were better options on the board.
34. New York Knicks — Cleanthony Early, 6’7, SF, Wichita State
Early will provide the Knicks with a solid spot-up shooting threat, as well as one who can post up smaller defenders if he ever gets to see them. He’s also a good, long athlete that shouldn’t have any issues translating to the NBA small forward position physically – although his defensive instincts there leave a bit to be desired. The biggest problems for his NBA translation are his ball-handling — which is quite weak — and his passing — which was non-existent. Far from a perfect prospect, Early’s professional potential will hinge on his ability to adjust to not being the center of attention of his team’s offensive sets.
35. Memphis Grizzlies – Jarnell Stokes, 6’9, PF/C, Tennessee
Stokes could eventually develop into a good rebounding backup big, but my guess is that his athletic deficiencies make him more of a candidate to play European ball for the next ten years. He’s a load inside, but a high-usage one that doesn’t possess a consistent jumper yet. Where he could stick is with his rebounding, which is excellent. He uses his wide frame to seal off defenders with box outs and then is able utilize his long wingspan (about 7’2) to go up and get the ball. His biggest issue might be on the defensive end, where he’s more of a center athletically and isn’t great at defending the perimeter. Given that the Grizzlies don’t have much in the way of a fourth big on their roster right now, it’s entirely possible that he sticks this season, but I don’t love him in the long term.
36. Milwaukee Bucks — Johnny O’Bryant, 6’9, PF, LSU
O’Bryant was stuck in an awful situation this season at LSU, where there was no consistent guard play to speak of. It’s difficult to figure out what to make of his prospects because of that. He clearly has skill and athleticism for the power forward position (he was a McDonald’s All-American in high school too), but I always came away from watching him thinking something was missing. Already possessing both the ability to step away into the midrange and knock down jumpers, O’Bryant has excellent potential on offense in the NBA. However, on defense he doesn’t move particularly well on the perimeter and he fouls a lot in the post. Improving those two aspects will be the keys to his potential NBA career.
37. Toronto Raptors — DeAndre Daniels, 6’9, SF, Connecticut
Daniels is the other Connecticut player who parlayed an excellent NCAA Tournament into being drafted. He has all of the potential in the world to become a “3 and D” role player, but he has a long way to go to get there. The measurements are there at 6’9 with 7’2 wingspan, but his defensive acumen was problematic. His effort level wasn’t always there, and his strength is really lacking. However, he did have a really strong three-point shooting season this year and he could parlay that skill into a career. My guess is that he spends a quite a bit of time in the D-League this year to work on his strength, and then we can revisit him next season after a year of development.
38. Detroit Pistons — Spencer Dinwiddie, 6’6, G, Colorado
Dinwiddie is an interesting pickup for the Pistons. He’s a versatile guard that has a variety of skills, including slashing, shooting, and passing. His ability to distribute the ball will allow him to play some point guard, and he is good at creating shots for both himself and others because of his solid ball-handling ability and above-average vision. This is his best shot to stick in the NBA, because his defense is rough around the edges. I’m not sure that he’ll be able to stay in front of NBA players, especially opposing point guard, despite his length. He also has a tendency to over-dribble, which can be problematic given the shortened shot clock. I’m a little bit worried he’s stuck between two positions and will never figure it out, but the skill set is there for him to succeed in a backup role.
39. Philadelphia 76ers –Jerami Grant, 6’8, F, Syracuse
Grant is an incredible athlete, but he’s another one of those guys that is stuck between two positions. He’s quite similar to Aaron Gordon athletically and stylistically, he just possesses none of the basketball skill Gordon does. Because of the fact that he can’t shoot, handle the ball, or make plays for others, Grant is probably going to be best as a power forward. The problem there is that he’s slightly under 6’8 and only 210 lbs. The good thing is that he’s energetic also knows how to use his athleticism to draw fouls inside. He probably needs to either put on 30 lbs and become a power forward (while still keeping his athleticism) or become more of a shooter from the outside. It’s an interesting project for the Sixers, but I don’t have high hopes of it working out.
40. Minnesota Timberwolves — Glenn Robinson III, 6’7, SF, Michigan
GR3 was projected as a lottery pick before the season started, but he really struggled without Trey Burke this season (or a competent point guard). He’s not quite able to create his own shot, so without someone to feed him on cuts to the rim his efficiency suffered. If he can improve his outside shot, he has a chance to really shine next to Ricky Rubio, who would love to feed him both in transition and on cuts. His athleticism also has the potential to make him an above-average defensive player. This could be a pick that we look back on and wonder how he fell to the second round in five years.
Some superlatives of this part of the draft:
Favorite pick: K.J. McDaniels
Least favorite: Joe Harris
Best chance to make an immediate impact: McDaniels
Best long-term prospect: Glenn Robinson III