16. Houston Rockets – Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
The Rockets struggles to replace Yao Ming have been well documented. Having swung for the fences with their previous pick, Houston can play it safe and take Zeller. The 7-footer moves well for his size and has good hands and is efficient in the post but lacks the high-end upside to be an elite starter at his position.
17. Dallas Mavericks – Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
The Mavericks need to infuse youthful talent on their aging roster. Ross is one of the top shooters and athletes in the draft. With his length and athleticism Ross could be a good defender eventually. Playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki could certainly help Ross. Moe Harkless is said to be under consideration for this pick as well.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves – Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s
Harkless was one of the better freshmen in college last year with his versatile skillset and high motor. Harkless will provide toughness, defense, rebounding and is improving offensively. This pick is likely to be dealt on or before draft night, but if the Wolves pick for themselves look for them to target a perimeter player that won’t command the ball to be effective and can blend in with Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio instantly.
19. Orlando Magic – Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
The Magic are in limbo with the current Dwight Howard situation. Regardless of what happens, they need to take the best player on the board. Moultrie could crack the lottery, but falling this far would benefit the Magic, giving them a young, viable big that is physically ready for the NBA and polished enough to help on both ends of the court.
20. Denver Nuggets – Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
With Andre Miller a free agent and 36, the Nuggets could tap Marshall to replace him. Ironically, Marshall compares favorably to Miller with his size and court vision. Marshall has very good court awareness and is a very skilled passer. Denver can go in a lot of directions on draft night and will likely take the best player available. Marshall is a lottery-caliber prospect and would blend in well in Denver and compliment Ty Lawson.
21. Boston Celtics – Royce White, PF, Iowa State
White is a very interesting player with his unique game for his size and position. He has lottery talent, but off-court concerns could drop him down the 1st round. The Celtics would benefit from him falling as they need to add young talent on their aging roster. White really impressed execs at the combine with his performances in the gym and interviews. With back-to-back picks, Boston can afford to take a gamble –especially with this kind of upside.
22. Boston Celtics – Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor
Miller’s torn ACL held him back during his freshman season, but make no mistake he has lottery abilities and is a very skilled player for his size. Miller is versatile enough to play some PF as well. Learning behind Paul Pierce could only help Miller with his development. The Celtics would be getting a very good value pick here.
23. Atlanta Hawks – Tony Wroten Jr., SG, Washington
The Hawks are one of the oldest teams in the league and need to improve their depth. Wroten is a very talented player who could fill multiple roles for the Hawks coming off the bench. While Wroten is far from a finished product, he has the athleticism to be able to contribute right away, but his jump shot really holds him back.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson is a good value pick in the late 1st round. He can contribute on the boards and provide scoring off the bench. Nicholson also has very good range for a player his size, possibly could be a stretch-4. With the Cavs needing more scoring to ease the burden on Irving, Nicholson could make a lot of sense. Evan Fournier, Royce White, and Quincy Miller are all possibilities if they are available at this point.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
With the so much money tied up between Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph, it seems like the Grizzlies will need to make a move for flexibility. Mike Conley could be the player moved, and if that is the case adding a player with Teague’s potential is essential. Teague is a quick, score-first PG but showed the ability to subjugate his game for the benefit of his team at Kentucky. Hearing Will Barton, Doron Lamb, and John Jenkins are under serious consideration as well.
26. Indiana Pacers – Evan Fournier, SG, Poiters
The Pacers could look for a big here but adding a player like Fournier would be wise. Indiana appeared to struggle in the playoffs to create offense, and the crafty Frenchman would be able to give the Pacers a penetrating guard that can also distribute. Fournier is only 19 but has played well on the big stage in France.
27. Miami Heat – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
Miami struggles with length and doesn’t have a true shot blocker to protect the rim. Melo would fit well with the Heat as his best skills are on the defensive end and rebounding. While he may have inflated stats due to the zone, Melo is an intriguing specimen who if he develops any offensive game would be a very good starter. Melo does have red flags with respect to his character, but joining a team with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade should help expedite the maturation process. Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green are other names to keep an eye on here.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
The Thunder don’t have any glaring needs, so they’re in a position to take the best player available at their slot. Taylor is a polished, mature player who was very productive in the SEC. He can contribute on both ends and has good athleticism.
29. Chicago Bulls – Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky
The Bulls are in a unique position in that Derrick Rose is likely to miss a significant portion of next season while recovering from a torn ACL. Chicago has the talent to compete for the playoffs without Rose but still need to pair him with more scorers to ease the burden on him. Lamb is a great fit for Chicago in that he is one of the best shooters in the draft and also can play some PG.
30. Golden State Warriors – Draymond Green, PF, Michigan State
Continuing to beef up their frontcourt, the Warriors will look to take a NBA-ready player like Green. Green is more of a PF but could play some SF. Green is a talented scorer with range and a very good passer. While Green may not project to be a star, he should be a productive player for a long time.