NBA Draft: First-round analysis
30. Phoenix SunsNemanjia Nedovic6-4, 200, PG, SerbiaBreakdown: This pick will be traded to Golden State. Nedovic is athletic and a good shooter. Not sure how he fits into a loaded Warriors backcourt. But he could carve out a niche if Jarrett Jack leaves this summer via free agency. Nedovic is mature and the Warriors plan to evaluate him during summer league.
29. Oklahoma City ThunderArchie Goodwin6-6, 217, SG, KentuckyBreakdown: Can score the basketball. Nobody doubts that. Still, had a roller-coaster freshman season at Kentucky and saw his stock drop. Turns the ball over at an alarming rate at times. Is best getting to the rim, but forces things way too much. This pick goes to Phoenix in a trade.
28. San Antonio SpursLivio Jean-Charles6-9, 217, SF, FranceBreakdown: Has a long way to go and needs to define himself a position in the NBA. Jean-Charles scored 27 points in the Nike Hoop Summit and projects as a player with plenty of potential down the road. It's doubtful that he comes to the NBA this season. Is a classic draft-and-stash prospect.
27. Denver NuggetsRudy Gobert7-2, 238, C, FranceBreakdown: This pick is coming to Utah in a trade for a second round pick and cash. Gobert is the longest player in the draft, with a 7-foot-9 wingspan. He may come to Utah right away, or he may stay overseas for another year. He has a chance to be a special player down the road, but is a project at this point. Needs weight and strength.
26. Minnesota TimberwolvesAndre Roberson6-7, 213, SF, ColoradoBreakdown: This pick moves to Golden State. Roberson was one of the best rebounders in college basketball over the last few years. Took a risky gamble by leaving school early and it pays off with a guaranteed first round contract. Roberson needs to transition from power forward to the perimeter. But now he has the time to expand his game.
25. Los Angeles ClippersReggie Bullock6-7, 220, SG, North CarolinaBreakdown: Good need pick for the Clippers. Can play either wing position and is primarily a catch-and-shoot guy. Playing with Chris Paul, you need shooters to complement his penetration and Bullock will fit right into that role. Bullock needs to develop the other parts of his game, but his shooting fills a real need for Los Angeles.
24. New York KnicksTim Hardaway Jr.6-5, 210, SG, MichiganBreakdown: Could signal the end of the J.R. Smith era in the Big Apple. Can really shoot the ball and has NBA bloodlines, as he's the son of the famous point guard. The younger Hardaway rebounds well for a guard and can shoot it from mid-range as well as from deep. A good need pick for New York.
23. Indiana PacersSolomon Hill6-7, 220, SF, ArizonaBreakdown: May have been the best player in the Pac-12 Conference this season. Began his career as a power forward and developed perimeter skills over time. Does a little bit of everything and is a mature player coming to a mature roster that's ready to win instantly.
22. Brooklyn NetsMason Plumlee6-11, 235, C, DukeBreakdown: Exceptionally athletic for a big man. Blocks shots, rebounds the ball and improved over his years at Duke. Can step in and back up Brook Lopez instantly. Has a weak base, however, and struggles to score in traffic. Is a non-shooter outside of five feet. Will make his money in the league by being active.
21. Utah JazzGorgui Dieng6-11, 235, C, LouisvilleBreakdown: The Wolves get this pick from the Utah Jazz for the Trey Burke pick. Dieng is one of the most underrated prospects. Rebounds and blocks shots with the best of them. Greatly improved his jumper from the perimeter and is an undervalued passer. Dieng has the talent to contribute in the league from the first day of workouts.
20. Chicago BullsTony Snell6-7, 202, SG, New MexicoBreakdown: Has a bundle of talent, but played below that talent level at times in college. Is athletic and can create his own shot. Came out of college early and played his way into the first round through workouts. With Richard Hamilton not likely to return to Chicago, Snell has a chance to work his way into the Bulls' rotation.
19. Cleveland CavaliersSergey Karasev6-8, 202, SF, RussiaBreakdown: A left-handed kid with upside who can shoot the ball. Can play shooting guard or small forward. Can handle the ball and plays well in transition. Projects as a backup in Cleveland behind Dion Waiters. Has the ability to instantly help the Cavs off the bench.
18. Atlanta Hawks5-10, 175, PG, MiamiBreakdown: One of the smallest players in the draft. Also one of the most athletic players in the draft. Has a 44-inch vertical leap. Has tremendous speed and can get into the lane off the pick-and-roll. Larkin will be traded to Dallas before the end of the first round. Larkin was one of the best college point guards in the country this past season. Is the son of baseball legend Barry Larkin.
17. Atlanta HawksDennis Schroeder6-2, 160, PG, GermanyBreakdown: Was a target of the Utah Jazz. Schroeder is lightning fast in transition. First burst onto the radar when he dominated American high school point guards in the Nike Hoop Summit a few months ago. Needs to add weight and strength. Needs to develop shooting from the perimeter. But could turn out to be a steal.
16. Boston CelticsLucas Nogueira7-0, 215, C, BrazilBreakdown: Athletic and a great shot-blocker. Runs the floor with the best of them and is only 20 years old. That's the good news. On the other hand, he's painfully thin and devoid of strength. He needs skill development and to acclimate himself to the American culture. This pick could be traded before the end of the first round.
15. Milwaukee BucksGiannis Antetokoumpo6-9, 205, SF, GreeceBreakdown: A true point forward. Needs strength and maturity. A real upside pick and project at this point, but can turn into a steal four years down the road. Has a thin body, but is athletic and can shoot it. Can eventually turn into a Scottie Pippen type of player.
14. Utah JazzShabazz Muhammad6-6, 223, SG, UCLABreakdown: This pick goes to Minnesota as a part of the Trey Burke deal. Muhammad is one of the more overrated players in the draft. Doesn't handle the ball well, doesn't shoot it that well and isn't a great teammate, either. Has baggage out of college, but plays hard and knows how to score. Needs to make some big improvements, on and off the court.
13. Dallas MavericksKelly Olynyk7-0, 255, C, GonzagaBreakdown: This pick will be traded to Boston. Olynyk can help the Celtics right away with his size and skill. Can play in the paint, or on the perimeter. Can score, can shoot it and put the ball on the floor. Needs to rebound better and still needs more athleticism. But a solid pick here. Has a chance to be a 10-year pro.
12. Oklahoma City ThunderSteven Adams7-0, 255, C, PittsburghBreakdown: Adams wowed NBA executives in workouts, showing the ability to hit shots from the perimeter. Still, Adams is a project and isn't yet ready to play in the league. Has the body for sure, but not the skill. Needs polish, but won't ever be asked to score in OKC. Just needs to rebound, defend and set screens to be effective.
11. Philadelphia 76ersMichael Carter-Williams6-6, 187, PG, SyracuseBreakdown: Will replace Jrue Holiday in Philly, who was traded on draft night. Carter-Williams is athletic, can get into the lane off the dribble and can really pass the ball. Still, he's turnover-prone and he isn't a shooter at all. Has significant holes in his game that need to be shored up. Has good upside, however and is still very young.
10. Portland Trail BlazersC.J. McCollum6-3, 214, SG, LehighBreakdown: Best combo guard in the draft. Can score and get his own shot. Was an NCAA Tournament star two years ago, leading Lehigh over Duke. Will make Portland's backcourt better with Damian Lillard running the point guard and the offense.
9. Minnesota TimberwolvesTrey Burke6-1, 187, PG, MichiganBreakdown: Since Minnesota already has Ricky Rubio one of the best young point guards in the league it remains to be seen how long Burke wears this hat. As a player, Burke is the best point guard in the draft. Can score, can run the pick-and-roll and can get his teammates involved. He can create his shot in the league from day one.
8. Detroit PistonsKentavious Caldwell-Pope6-5, 204, SG, GeorgiaBreakdown: Great shooter with deep range. Has a high release point and can get into the lane and score off the dribble. Good fit here with Brandon Knight at point guard. Caldwell-Pope averaged 18.5 points per game and was one of the best players in the SEC this past season. Worked out well and saw his draft stock rise.
7. Sacramento KingsBen McLemore6-5, 189, SG, KansasBreakdown: Considered by many to be the best overall talent in the draft. Explosive athlete and great shooter. Can score easily. Has good potential, but lacked consistent effort at times when in college. Has a chance to be a multiple-time All-Star, but where is the fit in Sacramento? The Kings have enough shooters. A point guard would've been much better here.
6. New Orleans PelicansNerlens Noel6-11, 206, C, KentuckyBreakdown: Assuming he returns healthy, this is a great pick. Noel and Anthony Davis form a great shot-blocking duo. Noel is a freakish athlete. Needs to develop a lot of offense. Has a jump hook with each hand, but little else. Comparisons to Tyson Chandler at this point are spot on.
5. Phoenix SunsAlex Len7-1 255, C, MarylandBreakdown: Can really score in the paint. Has a go-to move, as well as counter-moves. Led the ACC with 78 blocked shots. His issue? A foot that's given him problems in the past, and he hasn't always been consistent. If he's healthy, he gives the Suns a guy who can score in the interior, much needed. Still, he's a bit of a risk.
4. Charlotte BobcatsCody Zeller7-0, 230, C, IndianaBreakdown: One of the most athletic big men in the draft. Needs strength and can be pushed around in the paint. But has post moves, can hit a 15-foot jumper and blocks shots. Dominated college basketball for two years and rejuvenated the Indiana program. Has big upside, but big bust potential as well. A risky pick for Michael Jordan with Noel still on the board.
3. Washington WizardsOtto Porter Jr.6-9, 218, SF, GeorgetownBreakdown: Maybe one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft. Porter fits perfectly with the Wizards, next to John Wall and Bradley Beal. Lacks explosion and ball-handling. Outstanding mid-range shooter and defender. Very long, plays well defensively and rebounds well for his size. Good passer and is a local DC product.
2. Orlando MagicVictor Oladipo6-5, 213, SG, IndianaBreakdown: One of the most explosive athletes in the draft. Lacks consistent perimeter shooting and ball-handling. Is an elite-level defender. Can rebound and lead the break. Improved at a fast rate in college. The Magic need everything, so tough to knock this pick. But why not Nerlens Noel?
1. Cleveland CavaliersAnthony Bennett6-8, 240, PF, UNLVBreakdown: A stunner at the top as Cleveland bucks traditional thinking and takes the canadian by way of UNLV. Is similar to an athletic Larry Johnson at this stage. Has extremely long arms. Can shoot from the perimeter and can score from inside and on the perimeter. Played just one season with the Rebels, but is physically ready for the league for sure.
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