Three Steals in the NBA Draft

This draft was deep. Real deep. There was legitimate first round value available in the second round this year. That doesn’t happen very often. Last year, first round value was hard to come by anywhere. But this draft was unusual. Teams weren’t as stupid as usual! We didn’t have any Charlie Villanueva or Dion Waiters-like unexpected picks, or Anthony Bennett for that matter. The lottery went, for the most part, as most people predicted. There were some minor hiccups. Noah Vonleh slid a little bit. Aaron Gordon went a tad higher than people expected. Maybe, some people thought Embiid would slide a few picks further. But other than that, things were pretty rational, and that’s saying a lot for NBA GMs! Toward the second half of the first round though, things got a little frisky, as always. Some obscure Brazilian guy no one had ever heard of was chosen 20th! No really, like no one even knew who he was. He didn’t even show up on a single one of Chad Ford’s ten mock drafts, or however many he ended up doing. And the Hornets inexplicably appeased LeBron’s demand that the Heat get Shabazz Napier. The Hornets drafted Napier, and before the entire basketball universe could rejoice over the future 30 for 30 documenting Napier and Kemba Walker reuniting in the pros, Napier was informed he’d been dealt to the Heat. But aside from some of those crazy story lines, there were a couple of very good players that slipped unnecessarily far in the draft.

Gary Harris
Harris inexplicably fell to the 19th pick, as part of a trade that sent him and the 16th pick Jusuf Nurkic, both Chicago picks, to Denver in exchange for Doug McDermott. Scouts apparently had concerns over Harris’ size, being a 6’5″ 205 pound shooting guard. Those measures don’t seem that small. He has a smaller frame than some other guards in the draft, but he’s one of the only true two-way players in this draft. Anyone who saw Harris knows he, not Adreian Payne, was Michigan State’s best player. Harris should have been a borderline top 1o pick last night. He might not have the potential of someone like Zach LaVine, but he is much more of a sure thing than LaVine. And Harris’ game is more rounded out and versatile than James Young’s game. Every year, NBA GMs overthink things with a couple prospects at the last second. Harris was projected as a lottery pick leading up to the draft, and then 24 hours before the draft, he slipped because of some lack about his size. The Nuggets got a guy who will make their rotation next season and stay in the league for years to come.

Anderson will do plenty of dishing out for open 3's in San Antonio.

Anderson will do plenty of dishing out for open 3’s in San Antonio.

Kyle Anderson
This was one of the most predictable picks in the draft. Of course, the Spurs get a Boris Diaw clone with the last pick of the first round. Everyone knew Kyle Anderson was underrated. He’s not athletic, and doesn’t score the ball. Those are the two most noticeable characteristics that fans judge their favorite team’s draft picks on. But Anderson knows how to play basketball. He’s a perfect for the spurs. He’s a great passer, and easily the most unique player in the draft. The Spurs almost always get that guy who slips way too far because he’s not as athletic. And then Spurs always make the rest of the league feel dumb for not seeing what they saw in that player. The Spurs already move the ball better than any team in the league. Adding Anderson to the mix will only make them more selfless.

Cleanthony Early
I think everyone was confused why Early was sliding last night. He should have been a first round pick last night, easily. The only thing going against him is his age. He’s 23 years old for the draft, that is very old. But Taj Gibson was 24 when he was drafted a few years ago. And he’s been more productive than most of the other players drafted in that 2009 class. Early will be able to contribute right away. Questions about the competition he faced at Wichita State are completely misguided. All you needed to see was how he played in the past two NCAA tournaments. Especially the game last year’s tournament against Kentucky’s NBA-loaded roster. Early scored 31 points off 12-17 shooting. He hit 3’s, he scored in the paint, and he held Julius Randle to 13 points.




9 responses

  1. I really thought Boston was going to grab McDermott or Napier. I like Napier over Smart…selfishly because Napier is more exciting….because Napier plays an electric point similar to Rondo but can spread the floor with his ability to hit from long distance. Napier would allowed Boston to trade Rondo for more picks and youth. If Rondo is in the long term plans than I would have loved to see McDermott sport the shamrock and would have played the perfect role as the teams 3rd option in 15/16 season should two stars become additions to Boston’s Youth core. I know many find it hard to wait until the 15/16 season but waiting until the 16/17 season sound even more enticing for a London term contender. In two years Boston would have potential to add 5-8 first rounders….5-6 currently…with trades. Adding this plethora of young talent can get the likes of Smart, Orlyk, and other young stars some seasoning better preparing them to play with the addition of FA superstars. Heck…Over the next two years if the Celtic take the Patriots and RedSox positioning on draft day and take the best player available Danny can have Two or Three guards better than Smart and Trade Smart for more Future first round picks.

    Essentially, I just went blah, blah, blah, blah blah for just wanting to say….Be Patient Boston Fans. If we can add youth for two more years we can with some favorable odds due to the sheer number of draft picks, find the next Durant/Westbrook combination or grab a Dirk and a Rose type player while adding the actual Durant and Westbrook via free agency….nothing but blue skies in Boston for Celtic and Sox fans as long as we can handle two years of the youth infusion into our pro teams. FYI….the last 5 days has been more exciting than any part of this season for Sox fans with Vazquez, Holt, Xander, JDJ, De La Rosa and Workman flashing the future. We are only going to get more youth while Gomes, Drew, Uehera, (healthy Victorino), Peavy, and potentially Lester and Lackey, (who should both stay and Lester for a fair deal….(not the 4 year 80 million $ insult). Next year the Boston Celtics may have added two more first rounders with potential one stud) and the Sox with an average player age below 26…. Tons of excitement….Now all we need is to make sure our Patriots find the next Brady….maybe Jimmy G Already is but it would be cool to see a few talented kids trying to get Brady’s job….

    Go Boston!

    • Love Napier and appreciate everything he did in college (which was spectacular). But over Marcus Smart at the NBA level? Forget that. Getting Smart at #6 might turn out to be the “steal of the draft” in 2 or 3 seasons.
      6’4″ 227 lb. Point Guard’s? Yeah, we don’t see that very often
      As in never.
      He’ll be a defensive problem for opponents from Day 1 and may become a triple-double machine as his game develops.

  2. Every team needs to wait and let Kevin Love play 1 more year in minny and get him for nothing.Wolves over playing their hand so they deserve zilch.Boston keep your players or Golden St same then add Love to your team and off you go to deep in playoffs.Flip is too cocky and will take the wolves down with him to # 1 pick after Kevin leaves.If the knicks had just waited 1 year for melo they would have been loaded for bear but they gave away the house and property and have what??? Player and teams would just wait the 1 yr and good things could happen.

  3. After watching some Summer League games, I can see now why Cleveland took Wiggins. But, I am invested in the Sixers. I like what I see.

  4. I like kevin love’s game, but cleveland shouldn’t give up so much for a player who is a bonafied star but no superstar. Think spurs, think young depth. Get love if you want, but not for a king’s ransome.

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