Alright Marc, that was a strong day one yesterday (that nobody read because like a million other things happened, so let's plow through day 2. I'm sure you've got a solid pick in the holster for our first team up, the Boston Celtics at #16.
16. Boston Celtics - THON MAKER, C, HIGH SCHOOL
BECAUSE SCREW THE CELTICS AND THEY DESERVE TO WASTE AN ALMOST LOTTO PICK ON A PROJECT WHO CAN'T REALLY PLAY.
I honestly don't have much of an opinion on Maker. He looked awful at the Hoop Summit, but then again, Skal looked like a world beater and he's awful. Without any sort of reasonable statistical profile or worthwhile game film, he's pretty much a bet on physical tools. I would guess that it's a failing bet, and I'd like Boston to fail, so he'll be fine going here. Plus, it's not like the media would ever call out Ainge for a crappy pick at 16 (What's that? Oh! It's Terry Rozier's music!).
You're going to give me crap for picking Skal at 11 and then you're going to grab Thon Maker (who I also love, BTW, I'm consistent) at 16? You're out of control, Whittington.
17. Memphis Grizzlies - Jakob Poeltl, PF/C, Utah
Memphis is ecstatic with this scenario. An athletic big man who can play reasonable minutes to spell Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol before taking Z-Bo's spot in the lineup next season? Sold. He can score around the rim with a good post-up game, and also really improved his free-throw shooting this season. He's not an elite rim protector, but he usually has strong positioning that makes up for a lack of natural skills. If he falls this far, he could be the guy we look at a year from now and ask how it happened.
I DID IT TO SCREW BOSTON, I DON'T ACTUALLY LIKE HIM, MATT!! Also, oh my god, it's ridiculous that Poeltl went that low. If I actually wanted Boston to be good, they totally would have taken him at 16. BUT SCREW BOSTON, SO THEY GET THON MAKER.
18. Detroit Pistons - DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph's
Detroit needs bench depth above all else. Bembry is the best player on my board and can provide some extra playmaking off the bench, plus he could be a useful 6th man to plug into the starting lineup if the Pistons need a bit more firepower. Just someone I think fits Stan Van's wing-heavy mindset very effectively.
19. Denver Nuggets - Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
This is less a pick I would make and more a pick I think Denver could make. I'm not a fan, but it certainly seems like he's been rising up draft boards if the rumors leading up to the draft are true (and a green room invite seems to be a positive indication in that direction). His bad decision-making is concerning, but if you can correct some of his bad tendencies, he's got the size you're looking for at his position and he's a decent creator off the dribble. At this point, it might not be the worst idea to gamble on him. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but as I said, I'm not a fan and I certainly wouldn't be upset if he's off the board by the time Bryan Colangelo gets to go to work.
Wow. That's obviously about as lukewarm of an endorsement as it gets, but I just don't see it at all with Malachi. Can't score, can't create, can't defend.
In other news, that was also a RINGING endorsement of "Man of Action" Bryan Colangelo. Hoping crappy players won't be available when he picks so that he can't waste assets on them, what a time to be alive! Lucky for the Sixers he was head and shoulders above all the other candidates!
20. Indiana Pacers - Rade Zagorac, SF/PF, Mega Leks
So I just started to scout this guy over the weekend, and he looks great! He would fit in really well next to Paul George in the same sort of large wing, small-ball 4 role that George has been slow to embrace. Zagorac shot 37% from 3 the last two years, creates defensive events at a high rate, and has the size (6'9), length (7'0 wingspan), and quicks to switch between 2-4 on defense. I am starting to hope the Sixers stash him with one of their later picks as a great future complement to Simmons/Embiid.
21. Atlanta Hawks - Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
The Hawksiest pick that ever Hawksed. A senior wing who just screams "USEFUL ROLE PLAYER" so hard that it might legally become his middle name. He's a solid defender, and a good spot-up shooter. He struggled when he's asked to do too much, but he reminds me so much of DeMarre Carroll that I'll actually be kinda upset if he doesn't end up on the Hawks.
Nice. I like that pick for the Hawks. Of course, the sad news is that we're going to take all the players we liked before getting to the Sixers, and we'll leave the scraps for ourselves, but what can you do when you're as good of a GM as you and I are?
22. Charlotte Hornets - Patrick McCaw, SG, UNLV
This hurts. I really wanted him to end up on the Sixers', but he's far and away the best player left on my big board, so it's time to take him off. Charlotte adds another defender and shooter to a team that suddenly had a lot of similar players last year. He won't move the needle much for them, but he'll be a solid addition to a team full of solid, yet unremarkable players.
23. Boston Celtics - Juan Hernangomez, SF/PF, Estudiantes
I actually had Hernangomez going a few picks ago and changed course, I really like this pick for Boston, especially with the way this draft has gone thus far. In theory, they've fortified their backcourt with IT3, Smart, and Bradley, and now they have a few really fun frontcourt players in Bender, Hernangomez, and the D-League-bound Thon Maker. Hernangomez adds another versatile, high-energy wing with some athleticism and some shooting ability and would be some nice depth behind Jae Crowder.
The time has come Marc. Put on that nice collared shirt, let the humility wash over you, get on that cell phone and multi-task. RELEASE THE BEAS.
I know you love you some Beasley, but I can't do it, Matt. I just scouted him again earlier this week, and I'm really not seeing it with his D. He's a plus shooter, but that's all I'm getting out of him. Would rather reach for someone who will bring more to the table than that.
24. Philadelphia 76ers - Gary Payton II, PG, Oregon State
Payton has two big red flags: He can't shoot, and he is really old. But I just like the dude. He's such a beast on defense that he'll drive opposing guards nuts. In his two years at Oregon State, he had two of the highest steal rates ever, and at 6'3 with a 6'8 wingspan, he's big enough to really rattle any point guard. While he's a poor fit next to Simmons, I'd love to plug him in as a second unit PG and hope he gets a couple of runouts a game for a quick 4-point swing while we get the starters some rest. If his shot ever develops at all, then you've got a great complement to Simmons, too.
You can take Beasley for the Clips if you want!
Good grief. We could not disagree more on this pick. Instead of a perfect complement to Simmons, they get a secondary ball handler who can't shoot to pair with a primary ball handler who can't shoot. Not everybody has to be able to shoot, but one guy who can shoot would be nice, without having to pay $16 million on the open market for an 8th man. Instead, they get a poor man's Michael Carter-Williams. If they pick GP2 over Beasley, you and I are going to have a hockey fight on draft night.
25. LA Clippers - Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Gonzaga
This would be a steal for the Clippers here, and there's almost no chance it actually happens. Sabonis is one of the best rebounders in the draft, and the Clippers have been searching for a backup big to give some relief to Blake and DeAndre since the Nixon Administration. He's nothing special as a rim protector, and his size isn't ideal, but as a third big who can score, rebound, and maybe even stretch the floor a little would be a great pick here.
Go ahead Marc, disappoint me again.
He doesn't need to play with Simmons! Simmons isn't going to be playing 48 minutes a game. There will be plenty of time for GPII to run the second unit. I'd much rather have him than the Hollis Thompson clone that is Malik Beasley.
26. Philadelphia 76ers - Isaia Cordinier, SG, Denain
Cordinier's stats make him look like the secondary creator the Sixers need to pair with Simmons. Hypothetically, he can shoot, run PnR, pass, and play aggressive D on 1's and 2's. The problem is he might not be good. I've only watched the DX video and the Hoop Summit, but he was really not good in the latter. Like, scarily not good. I think 26 is a decent spot to take a shot on his upside though.
Moreover, it makes sense for the Sixers to grab a Euro stash here. Colangelo can't help but blare his intentions to the world over a megaphone, but it makes sense to take a player they won't need a roster spot for at this third pick. Cordinier fits the bill.
I'm fine with Cordinier, but if you think Malik Beasley is a Hollis Thompson clone, you might need to get your eyesight checked again.
27. Toronto Raptors - Cheick Diallo, PF/C, Kansas
Diallo was barely even a basketball player at Kansas this year under America's leading squander of potential, Bill Self. (Although admittedly, I don't really blame him for Diallo, he had a weird NCAA eligibility situation, and I'll even back Bill Self over the NCAA.) I thought he'd consider going back to school for another year, but he tore up five-on-five's at the combine and established himself as a potential first round talent again. I'm intrigued by his package of skills, despite being undersized for a 4/5. In this exercise, the Raptors snagged Buddy Hield earlier, and they can afford to take a chance on a project like Diallo. He's not two years away from being two years away.
I've got no problem with your taking Diallo there. He has a reasonable path to becoming a serviceable small-ball 5, but he just wasn't good at Kansas, so he's got a long way to go.
28. Phoenix Suns - Robert Carter, PF, Maryland
The Suns still have a glaring hole at the 4, and Carter has enough skill that he's worth taking a shot on, especially this late in the game. He has shown potential and improvement as a shooter, and has one of the highest upsides as a face-up creator of anyone in the draft, thanks to his advanced handle and elite passing for a big. The biggest question is whether his defense will translate. He has the foot speed to defend in space, but struggles with weight issues and focus. I'll buy for now and hope that he can make it work.
29. San Antonio Spurs - Ante Zizic, C, Cibona Zagreb
Zizic is an interesting case because he says he wants to come to the NBA this year, and I'm not sure whether that helps or hurts his draft stock with so many teams at the back end being logical draft-and-stash candiates. But I love Zizic as the natural successor to Boban Marjanovic, who somebody is inevitably going to throw money at in this year's free agency wild west spend-a-thon. He was productive in the Adriatic League this year as a 19-year-old, and I think he'd be a great fit in San Antonio.
30. Golden State Warriors - Chinanu Onuaku, C, Louisville
With the last pick in the draft the Warriors take their future Bogut replacement in Onuaku. Fetus Ezeli arguably cost the Dubs Game 7 with his horrific play, and Onuaku gives them a chance to fix those issues. He was an elite defender when he was able to stay on the floor at Louisville this year as a 19 year old sophomore, and he's a brilliant passer on the offensive end. He can't do much else, but that's why he'll be their future Bogut.
Thanks for doing this again, Matt! Till next year, when we'll disagree every inch of the way again!
Truly a tradition unlike any other. I look forward to seeing who this year's Christian Wood will be.