15. Milwaukee Bucks – Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (5’11, 14.5 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.8 rpg)
With news that Dario 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 Shabazz Muhammad or Jamaal Franklin as an alternatives.
16. Boston Celtics – Shabazz Muhammad, SG, UCLA (6’6, 17.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.8 apg)
With Doc Rivers’ departure and rumors of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce potentially being traded, the rebuild has officially started in Boston. If Muhammad were to slip this far, it’s hard see Danny Ainge pass on him.
When on the court, Muhammad has shown he is a talented scorer and was solid for much of his freshman season. Unfortunately, he never dominated his opponents but has the skills and physique to do so.
While he has good bulk and a long wingspan, Muhammad still seems undersized to be a full-time NBA small forward.
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. Our AJ Mitnick is not at all enamored of the Greek Freak.
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) – Rudy Gobert, C, Cholet (7’0, 8.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
Its hard to envision Cleveland drafting two centers in the first round, but since the Cavs have had extensive talks with teams in the lottery about moving up and appear to be focusing on Sergey Karasev.
If Cleveland doesn’t move the pick, drafting an international player that can be stashed makes sense since Cleveland doesn’t want four rookies on their roster this season.
Gobert is an impressive specimen with a 7’9″ wingspan and explosive athleticism.
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) – Dennis Schroeder, PG, New Yorker Phantoms-Germany (6’1″, 8.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.3 apg)
With Mo Williams set to hit free agency and the Jazz playing most of the season with Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley, point guard is at the top of the list for Utah this offseason.
Schroeder is the explosive playmaker the Jazz have been lacking since Deron Williams left. He is still developing and will likely have some rough patches early on. But Schroeder’s physical skill set, unique talents and ceiling make him worth the pick.
With the league becoming more guard-oriented, having a player who can challenge and also defend opposing point guards is very important. If Schroeder gets past Utah, he won’t fall much farther.
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.