16. Houston Rockets – Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s
With three picks, Houston will be one of the more aggressive teams on draft night as GM Daryl Morey must propel the Rockets into the playoffs. Don’t be surprised to see Houston package a combination of these picks to move up for a player like Andre Drummond. If the Rockets stand pat, Harkless was the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year and is a great rebounder and defender. He also has the athleticism to get to the rim and finish but still needs to improve as a shooter.
17. Dallas Mavericks - Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
Dallas really likes Terrence Ross but if he is not available look for Marshall to be the pick. Marshall reminds some around the league of a young Andre Miller as he is a bigger PG with great vision and a very skilled passer. Playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki certainly would help Marshall.
18. Houston Rockets – Perry Jones, PF, Baylor
Jones is perhaps the biggest enigma in the draft because he has great size and special talent but never played to his potential in college. However, he is very skilled and comfortable facing the basket. If the Rockets actually hold onto all of these picks Daryl Morey can afford to take a gamble.
19. Orlando Magic - Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
Moultrie has the versatility to play either power forward or center. With so much uncertainty surrounding Dwight Howard and his future in Orlando, taking a chance on Moultrie – who has great athleticism, can rebound and block shots – is worth the stretch.
20. Denver Nuggets – Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
With Andre Miller a free agent and no depth behind Ty Lawson, Denver could opt to take the top point guard on the board. Teague, the brother of Atlanta Hawks point Jeff Teague, is a quick, score-first point but showed the ability to subjugate his game for the benefit of his team at Kentucky.
21. Boston Celtics – Royce White, PF, Iowa State
The Celtics want to come away with a big with one of their first-round picks and reportedly have promised to take White at 21. White has lottery talent but concerns about an anxiety disorder and fear of flying may be overblown. When watching his film, White displays the ability to score inside or out and has good vision, passing and ballhandling skills for his size.
22. Boston Celtics – Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Sullinger has seen his stock fall sharply over the last few weeks due to medical red flags. Despite his struggles with length and athleticism, there is no denying Sullinger is productive and should be a solid post scorer and rebounder in the NBA. Sources have indicated that the Celtics are willing to draft Sullinger if he falls to them.
23. Atlanta Hawks – Evan Fournier, SG, Poiters (France)
Newly hired president and GM Danny Ferry will likely pull a page from his Spurs days and target a player that can be stashed for a year or two and continue to develop before arriving to the NBA. In France, Fournier has been very productive at creating shots for himself and his teammates at the highest level. He is only 19, speaks English pretty well and has great size.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers - Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
The Cavs likely will target a big here. While some feel a true center like Fab Melo or Festus Ezeli make sense for Cleveland, Nicholson is a very skilled shooter and has the size to be a dominant rebounder and shot-blocker. Nicholson can play alongside Anderson Varejao or Tristan Thompson.
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Tony Wroten, PG, Washington
With the so much money tied up among Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph, it seems like the Grizzlies will need to make a trade to create financial flexibility. If Mike Conley is moved, adding a player with Wroten’s potential is essential. If the Grizzlies keep Conley, they still need a quality backup point. Wroten has excellent size and athleticism and while he is a poor jump shooter has the abilities to be a very good point man. One source tells me that if Memphis doesn’t select a point guard, it will target shooters.
26. Indiana Pacers - Draymond Green, PF, Michigan State
Word is that the Pacers are narrowing in on Green as they would like to add more offense to their frontcourt. Green is more of a power forward but could play some small forward a la Anthony Mason. Green may not project as a star but should be a productive player for a long time.
27. Miami Heat – Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
The NBA champions struggled at times against length. Selecting Melo would certainly help. He is raw offensively but in Miami won’t be needed to score – just to rebound, block shots and defend. Playing alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will also help Melo mature and develop.
28. Oklahoma City - Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
There has been talk that OKC is trying to trade into the top three and nab Bradley Beal as a cost-effective replacement for James Harden, who likely would be the price for that jump. The Thunder don’t have any glaring needs, so they are in a position to take the best player available. 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 - Will Barton, SG, Memphis
Barton was in Chicago for an individual workout this week and is among the names rising of late. His offensive game is very polished as he can slash or shoot and is very long. While Barton has a slender frame, he is very productive and confident.
30. Golden State Warriors – Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor
Golden State is likely to be actively shopping its picks since it has four total and this one comes with guaranteed money. Miller has lottery talent but appeared to still be recovering from an ACL injury. He has the versatility to play either forward position and is skilled as a scorer.