8. Washington Wizards – Alex Len, C, Maryland (7’1, 11.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
With Nene another year older, the Wizards should target a center to surround John Wall with. Just up the road at Maryland, Len had an excellent sophomore season in which he really blossomed offensively.
Len was already a very good rebounder and shot-blocker, but several NBA scouts felt he could have been even better with a quality PG getting him the ball. If paired with Wall, that won’t be an excuse. A legit 7-footer, Len will miss workouts after having surgery to repair a partial stress fracture in his left ankle.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State (6’5, 17.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.3 apg)
The Wolves missed the playoffs yet again. With Kevin Love inching closer to free agency, new GM Flip Saunders must do something to get this team closer to winning. I would not rule out the Wolves packaging this pick, which they actually must make this year, with Derrick Williams for some veteran help. With Nikola Pekovic breaking out, the Wolves could use more wing help.
But if they keep the pick, Franklin is a true sleeper and worthy of a lottery selection. He is one of the most well-rounded wings in the draft and can make an impact on both ends.
With the success former Aztec Kawhi Leonard has had in San Antonio, and Franklin having some very similar skills, watch out for his ascent over the next month.
10. Portland Trail Blazers – Cody Zeller, C, Indiana (7’0, 16.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
If you are GM Neil Olshey, it will be hard to match last year’s home run selection of Damian Lillard. It does not appear the Blazers intend to resign J.J. Hickson. Is Meyers Leonard ready to step up? That’s what makes Zeller a worthy pick.
Prior to the season, Zeller was among the prospects in the conversation to be the top pick but was outperformed by college teammate Oladipo. He is an energetic big who is skilled offensively but struggles with length and athleticism. If paired with Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge would be in a better situation.
11. Philadelphia 76ers – Rudy Gobert, C, Cholet (7’0, 8.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
With Andrew Bynum a free agent and a high price tag to likely accompany him, the 76ers would be wise to draft insurance.
Gobert would give the 76ers a young, long and promising big man. While Gobert is still very raw offensively, his freakish wingspan make him a force in the paint.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (From Toronto) – Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Filathlitikos (6’9, 9.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 apg)
The Thunder already have two young promising players on their roster in Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones and probably don’t need more rookies. While Adetokunbo has blown up around NBA circles, he remains an unknown commodity who is still raw.
With freakish physical measurables, Adetokunbo is a perfect fit for the Thunder who can bring him along slowly or leave him overseas to develop for another season.
He already has a contract with Zaragosa (Spain) that includes an affordable buyout.
13. Dallas Mavericks – Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse (6’6, 11.9 ppg, 7.3 apg, 4.9 rpg)
Carter-Williams truly blossomed this season. He will remind some of Shaun Livingston with his length and skill set.
What Mavs fans should note was Carter-Williams averaged over 7.0 assists per game and has the ability to be a disruptive defensive force against smaller NBA point guards.
14. Utah Jazz – C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh (6’3, 23.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 51.6% 3pt)
With few choices on the board, the best player available could be McCollum, who missed part of the season with a broken foot. When healthy, McCollum is a tremendous scoring guard who can light it up in a hurry. McCollum has decent size and could play some SG in the NBA in the right situation. Workouts will go a long way in verifying what he can do defensively, as the the thought of him defending the Russell Westbrooks of the world is scary.