25. Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut, 6’1″, 180 lbs
Napier helped himself more than any other prospect in the Big Dance in leading his Huskies to a title. The star point guard showed flashes of another Huskies point man, Kemba Walker, carrying his team offensively down the stretch. Napier showed this season that he does it all. While he may not be a natural point, that is where he will wind up in the NBA. His ability to score, rebound and defend will be a commodity few teams this late can pass up on. Napier is a great option for the Rockets.
26. Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri, 6’5″, 185 lbs
Anyone who watched the Heat this postseason knows that the PG situation was a mess, with the soon-to-be-departed Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. Clarkson is a versatile guard with the length and athleticism to play and defend SGs or matchup with PGs. Clarkson’s stock has steadily risen during pre-draft workouts. Clarkson must improve as a shooter but is efficient in the pick and roll and his length could allow the Heat to preserve Dwyane Wade’s knees by strategically matching him up against smaller or slower guards.
27. Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA, 6’5″, 210 lbs
This pick is available to the highest bidder and I would be stunned if the Suns keep it on draft night. I am slotting Adams here as he is a bubble prospect that teams at the top of round 2 are hoping slips to them. Teams see Adams as a spark plug off the bench with enough of an offensive arsenal to eventually be a starter in the league. While he is not an elite athlete or quality defender teams are taking a flier on Adams for what he brings offensively.
28. Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan
The Clippers could go in many different directions on draft night but with DeAndre Jordan possible trade bait if the Clippers want to clear cap space, McGary could be a great addition. One year ago there was talk of McGary as a lottery pick but he lost the whole season due to injury and that he had an issue with marijuana. McGary has a relentless motor and is a hard worker and in time could develop more skills but could give a team some quality time as a rookie.
29. Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State, 6’8″, 215 lbs
Early is NBA-ready and for a team like the Thunder now focused on a NBA title this pick makes sense. At 23, Early has the strength to step in and contribute on either end as a rookie. Early is the type of prospect that does a lot of things but is not elite at anything. However, teams have taken notice of Early’s performance in the NCAA Tournament and his improvement as a shooter this season. Early would be an instant contributor and the Thunder must upgrade their bench as was evident after this postseason.
McDaniels is prospect who capitalized on a strong junior season. The thing that stands out about McDaniels is his tenacious brand of defense and ability to lock down on opponents. As athletic as McDaniels is, it’s easy to see why he translates to a plus defender. If he can improve as a shooter, he could be a Danny Green-type of wing. The Spurs could use an infusion of youth in their backcourt and with Manu Ginobili slowing down finding an athletic lockdown defender.
(POSITIONLESS PLAYERS PAR FOR THE COURSE IN TODAY’S NBA)
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Joe Kotoch is the Editor-in-chief of Pro Basketball Draft, a leading scouting service in the world of professional basketball. Before Joe created PBD he served as an NBPA & FIBA certified agent and scouted players all across the world. Born and raised in Cleveland, Joe also contributes to Fox Sports Ohio and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Follow Joe on Twitter @Probballdraft.