15. Milwaukee Bucks - Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (5’11, 14.5 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.8 rpg)
With news that Saric withdrew from the draft, the Bucks are back to square one. There is no doubt Milwaukee needs help on the wing, especially with Monta Ellis opting for free agency.
With the future of Brandon Jennings unclear as well, the Bucks might opt to play it safe and take Larkin, who had a spectacular season for Miami. Larkin would instantly be able to play in Milwaukee’s backcourt.
Keep an eye on a player like Jamaal Franklin as an alternative.
16. Boston Celtics – Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga (7’0, 17.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.7 apg)
With Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and many veterans from last season still on the roster, the Celtics could also choose to give it one more run. Regardless of what happens, the Celtics still need help inside, as evidenced by their pursuit of DeAndre Jordan.
Olynyk would be able to help right away, providing valuable minutes to an aging frontcourt. He is not a freakish athlete but is a solid defender who has a nice touch around the basket.
17. Atlanta Hawks – Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Filathlitikos (6’9, 9.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 apg)
GM Danny Ferry has positioned the Hawks well enough to where they could have only three guaranteed contracts on the books next season – Al Horford, Lou Wiliams and John Jenkins. While the 17th pick won’t weigh too much against the cap, every dollar counts when it comes to luring top-tier free agents.
Ferry has long been comfortable taking international players and has always done a good job of scouting Europe. According to sources, Adetokunbo is a player Atlanta likes a lot, so much so that it is very likely this could be as far as the “Greek Freak” falls as the Hawks look to be the team that gave him a promise.
18. Atlanta Hawks (From Houston) – Mason Plumlee, C, Duke (6’10, 17.1 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg)
Even though the Hawks will be going after big time free agents this offseason, having two first-round picks gives them the option to take a player that could help right away. In this case, the Hawks have long needed frontcourt size. With Zaza Pachulia and Josh Smith set to hit the free agent market, getting Al Horford some help is a must.
Plumlee could be the forgotten big man in this draft class because of the depth at the center position. Plumlee improved every year at Duke, produced at a high level, will be able to defend from Day 1 and tested very well athletically. He won’t be a star in the NBA but likely will have a very good career.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (From LA Lakers) – Sergey Karasev, SF, Triumph Moscow (6’8, 18.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.3 apg)
With a center at the top of their wish list, the Cavs will next look to address their hole at small forward. While trading up is a real possibility for Cleveland, which also has the 31st and 33rd picks, Karasev would be a steal if he fell this far.
Karasev’s name has been rising into the mid-first round for the past month. Even though Karasev has been seen as a player that will come over to the NBA this season, there have been recent rumors of him signing with another Euroleague team, which would keep him overseas for at least one more year.
Rumors of a promise for Karasev have begun to circulate, with Cleveland and Brooklyn reportedly the most interested teams. I would not be surprised to see him rise higher on draft night.
20. Chicago Bulls - Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State (6’5, 17.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.3 apg)
Franklin may not be a 20-point scorer, but he could do everything for his team. He is an improving shooter, as evidenced by his performance in New York last week.
Adding intrigue to Franklin in Chicago is his ability to defend and rebound — things that hard-nosed Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau demands from all his players. Franklin projects to be an immediate contributor.
21. Utah Jazz (From Golden State) - Rudy Gobert, C, Cholet (7’0, 8.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
Having addressed their need for a point guard if they tab Schroeder, it appears the Jazz will look for another big to replenish the rotation as Jefferson and Millsap are both free agents and Favors and Kanter are ready for more minutes.
Gobert is intriguing here because of his unique length and athleticism. While still very raw, Gobert has the potential to come in and contribute defensively almost immediately. Down the road, if Gobert develops, he could replace either Favors or Kanter.
22. Brooklyn Nets – Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan (6’6, 14.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg)
The Nets got great production from reserve forwards Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans but failed to get much from their guards off the bench. With that in mind, adding a shooter such as Hardaway who can help right away is what the Nets likely will be thinking with this pick.
Hardaway, a player the Nets really like a lot, can help space the floor and gives Brooklyn protection behind Joe Johnson.