Recent history has shown us that some serious NBA talent can drop to Round Two and the teams that find those hidden gems can reap the benefits for years. Paul Millsap, Marc Gasol, Carlos Boozer, DeJuan Blair, Monta Ellis, Gilbert Arenas, and the list goes on. Some players have been All-Stars. Others have turned into solid role players.
Either way – teams can pick up championship pieces in the second round.
So that begs the question: what players could be this year’s hidden gems? Who could contribute immediately coming off the bench for a contender?
Our “Experts” weigh in…
- Jon Leuer, Wisconsin – Leuer has a great shooting stroke for a 7-footer and has better athleticism than he is given credit for. He reminds me a lot of Tyler Hansbrough (sorry for the Caucasian on Caucasian comparison). Hansbrough went 13th overall. Leuer in the 2nd round would be phenomenal value.
- Isaiah Thomas, Washington – Need instant energy and offense off the bench? Isiah’s your guy. What Isiah doesn’t have in size, he makes up for in heart and drive. We’ve talked about how much we love Isiah before but rightfully so – he’s going to be an instant contributor at the next level.
- Demetri McCamey, Illinois– McCamey may not have elite athleticism but he has pretty good size and is a natural point guard unlike some of the other scoring “point guards” in this draft. When his head is screwed on straight, he can run a team and be very effective. We’re guessing a paycheck will help him keep his focus at the next level.
- Jordan Williams, Maryland – Williams coming out after his sophomore year and going in the second round makes you wonder why he came out at all, but that’s the way it is looking. He didn’t test well at all at the combine but if you go to the tape, you’ll see that this guy is true and pure low-post scorer. Not many of those in the league right now, and if he falls to the second, he could be considered a great steal in three years.
- Malcolm Lee, UCLA/Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech – 6’6″ point guards who can legitimately guard the position? Yes, their offensive games are works in progress thus far but the size and athleticism at that position has to be too much to pass up in the second round, or even the late first.
- Chandler Parsons, Florida – Parsons has “point-forward” written all over him at the next level. Not only can he stretch the floor with his shooting, but he can also put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. His length, skills, and basketball IQ make him very valuable at the next level and if someone snags him in Round 2, I doubt they will be disappointed.
- Norris Cole, Cleveland St. – This might be a surprise to some people, seeing that Cole played at a small school, not even considered a mid major by some. But, the kid’s got skill. He can score in bunches, nearly at will, and is a great rebounder for a point-guard. Give him some burn early on and by mid-season we could be looking at some Monta Ellis comparisons.
- Justin Holiday, Washington – Justin doesn’t have near the same offensive skillset as his brother, Jrue, which is one of the primary reasons he’s looking at a second round grade. But, the elder Holiday is an athletic freak (6’5″ with a 7-foot Wingspan and 8’8″ Reach) and has learned to use his length effectively on defense. Holiday may never be a serious offensive threat but his defensive presence alone will definitely land him a spot on some teams roster.
- Jimmy Butler, Marquette – Coming out after his junior year may not have been Butler’s best move, especially considering his second-round grade. But, scouts seem to like Butler’s game and even have been comparing his possible impact to that of Knicks’ guard Landry Fields and former Golden Eagle Wes Matthews. Long, athletic and a good defender, Butler should be a steal anywhere in the 2nd.