You’ve seen the Eastern Conference. Here’s the West.
Dallas Mavericks: No picks
Due to a trade, the Mavs didn’t end up with a draft pick, but did acquire Rudy Fernandez from the Trail Blazers, who will bring solid guard play to the team. Losing the fan favorite could have some Blazers fans crying.
Denver Nuggets: 1-22 — Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehouse State, 1-26 — Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas (via Blazers through Mavericks), 2-26 — Chukwudiebere Maduabum, PF, Bakersfield (via Lakers)
Faried is a beast on the boards and that skill usually translates well from college to pros, especially when a player has the motor that Faried has. There’s still a question, however, about the competition he faced in college while playing for Morehead State. Faried is instantly likeable and the effort he puts forth will make him loveable to everyone in the Nuggets organization.
Hamilton could be a different story, however, depending on how often he decides to chuck. He’s a volume scorer that can get caught up with tunnel vision, so he’ll need to improve his shot selection, but he has a pretty good offensive game to put points on the board.
Maduabum has an excellent name and will need to work hard to be an NBA player. Have more belief in the former.
Golden State Warriors: 1-11 — Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State, 2-9 — Jeremy Tyler, C, San Diego (via Charlotte Bobcats), 2-14 — Charles Jenkins, PG, Hofstra
Thompson made a late surge on a lot of mock drafts and it was due to his ability to shoot from the outside. He’s thisclose to Jimmer Fredette in terms of pure shooting acumen and will fit nicely with Stephen Curry. Yes, that’s intimation that Monta Ellis is probably being traded, and whether or not Monta sticks around will affect Thompson’s time on the court.
Tyler is a high-risk, high-reward type of player and someone that the Warriors could use if he turns out to be the latter. Considering the upside, acquiring Tyler’s draft rights could be a steal. Jenkins isn’t a need for the Warriors, but he’s a talent that was too good to pass up and it’s very possible he ends up being Curry’s back-up.
Houston Rockets: 1-14 — Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas, 1-20 — Donatas Motiejunas, SF/PF, Lithuania (via Timberwolves through Rockets), 2-8 — Chandler Parsons, SF, Florida
It seems the Rockets are enamored with tall wing players, and most importantly, complete players. At least that’s the case with Morris, who is multi-talented offensively, but not to the degree that he thinks. What’s not up for debate, however, is Morris’ swag, intensity and toughness, particularly on defense.Motiejunas will likely live along the perimeter and will need to add some muscle and toughness. Perhaps he can take some of the latter from Morris.
I’m a big fan of Parsons and if he ever gets some cockiness, probably more than Morris has, he could really be something on offense, as he truly has a rich skill set and will be taller than other threes. A lot of upside with these picks.
Los Angeles Clippers: 2-7 — Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia, 2-17 — Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia
If Thompkins takes his conditioning seriously, he can be a solid contributor off the bench. However, that’s a big if, which will hopefully turn into a “yes” when Thompkins learns he has to earn his contract. Using Blake Griffin as a paragon would be a good thing for him. Leslie is arguably the most athletic player in the draft and can dunk on anyone. However, he has doesn’t have a consistent perimeter game at all, but he’ll do enough with his slashing and driving and be an excellent complementary player.
Los Angeles Lakers: 2-11 — Darius Morris, PG, Michigan, 2-16 — Andrew Goudelock, PG/SG, College of Charleston, 2-28 — Ater Majok, PF, Sudan
Morris fell out of the first round where many thought he would have been taken, but things worked out quite nice for him. He’ll join a contender that is in need of a point guard, with Derek Fisher getting older and Steve Blake not doing as well as the Lakers hoped. Morris is a big guard with good court vision and should keep Kobe Bryant, err, the Lakers happy.
Goudelock is a solid player with an excellent jumper. He can fill a bench role, but will his tweener size get in his way to an NBA contract? Majok was nothing more than a home run swing which will likely end up being an infield pop fly.
Memphis Grizzlies: 2-19 — Josh Selby, PG/SG, Kansas
Selby was highly-touted coming out of high school, but for all intents and purposes failed at the college level. There’s still the proverbial upside with Selby, but is he point guard or shooting guard? His problem is that he has poor playmaking ability, poor shot selection, and lacks any sort of consistency. However, he’s athletic, strong and quick, and will need to translate his skills from one level to the next better than he did from preps to college.
Minnesota Timberwolves: 1-2 — Derrick Williams, F, Arizona, 2-13 — Malcolm Lee, PG/SG, UCLA (via Bulls), 2-27 — Tanguy Ngombo, SF, Qatar (via Mavericks)
The T-Wolves took part in a lot of transactions during this draft, but probably not in the one they most wanted to. With Michael Beasley already being on board, as well as Ricky Rubio, there wasn’t a dire need for either Williams or Kyrie Irving, the generally viewed top two picks of the draft. However, they get a very skilled big man that can play either in or out and get to the line with an NBA-ready body. I thought Williams was the best player available and the Wolves will work out their rotation.
Lee is a solid combo guard that understands how to use his height to his advantage. He excels in transition and can either end up finishing off of Rubio passes or finding the open man on the break. Since the T-Wolves will want to run on offense to maximize Rubio’s ability, this will work out in Lee’s favor as well.
Tanguy? Love the name, but he’ll probably continue to be the best draft pick out of Qatar and nothing more.
New Orleans Hornets: No picks
No player comes back to them through trade. Just future cash considerations and probably some ire from Hornets fans that don’t like the team’s lack of activity.
Oklahoma City Thunder: 1-24 — Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College
Jackson is blessed with athleticism, quickness and a ridiculous 7-foot wingspan, all of which he uses quite skillfully. He improved every facet of his game this past season, but his main sklll is getting to the rim. Jackson should also be adept at stealing the ball. Wait a second, he’s starting to sound like Russell Westbrook!
The difference is that Westbrook was able to become a solid playmaker and Jackson still needs to prove he can transition to the lead guard position because of his height. It’s possible he ends up jumping Eric Maynor on the depth chart. Eventual successor should Westbrook move on? Intriguing.
Phoenix Suns: 1-13 — Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
Surprisingly, Markieff was taken ahead of his more versatile brother, Marcus. Perhaps it’s because there is no doubting what position Markieff plays and at 6-foot-10 he’s a bit taller than the average power forward. He’ll play with a nasty streak and will make a nice pick-and-pop option for Steve Nash. He should do everything that other twin on the team, Robin Lopez, was supposed to do last season before getting hurt — solid scoring, very good rebounding and excellent attitude and tenacity.
Portland Trail Blazers: 1-21 — Nolan Smith, PG, Duke, 2-21 — Jon Diebler, SG, Ohio State
The Smith pick was a surprise as most projected him to go lower in the first round or in the early second. Smith is a character guy, a winner, will work hard and he can ball too. He can score, set others up, play defense and inspires confidence in his teammates. He’s a solid player, but with some others on the board, maybe a bit too early.
Diebler is a straight-up shooter and if he sets his feet, it’s automatic. He’ll need to work on other facets of the game in order to stick in the L, but a role as shooter from the bench should earn him a shot to keep a roster spot.
Sacramento Kings: 1-10 — Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU (via Bucks), 2-5 — Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA, 2-30 — Isaiah Thomas, PG, Washington
So, they got their much-needed point guard after trading away Beno Udrih. However, was it the right one? If the team stood pat and kept the seventh pick, Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker were there for the picking. But those guys would not have been the box office draw that The Jimmer would be. If he can continue to shoot lights out and create a little more, Fredette should be a solid player and mix well with backcourt bro Tyreke Evans. Just don’t tick off DeMarcus Cousins by not passing him the ball and everything will be just fine.
Honeycutt was a pleasant surprise that fell to the Kings. He should immediately jump into the mix of wing rotation players and contribute off the bench. Thomas is a good college player, but doesn’t seem dynamic enough at his height to do more than provide a few minutes of rest for the starter and occasionally wow the crowd during garbage time.
San Antonio Spurs: 1-15 –Kahwi Leonard, SF, San Diego State (via Pacers), 1-29 — Cory Joseph, PG/SG, Texas, 2-12 — Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia (via Pacers), 2-29 — Adam Hanga, SG, Hungary
The Spurs did it yet again. It almost gets boring at how well they draft/trade. Acquiring the do-it-all Leonard is a coup and a great piece to start with as the Spurs transition into a new group of personnel. Joseph has some really nice upside as a point guard and will likely be the heir apparent to Tony Parker.
Stashing Bertans for a year or two in Europe would be a wise move, and at only 18 years old, he is only going to get better. Really like that pick. Hanga has some nice guard skills at 6-foot-7. He has a nice overall package of ability and, again, the Spurs prove their ability to outscout other NBA teams.
Utah Jazz: 1-3 — Enes Kanter, C, Turkey, 1-12 — Alec Burks, SG, Colorado
Out of all the combinations of picks, what the Jazz did is probably my favorite. They get a big man in the middle who will allow Al Jefferson to relax and play the four, while forming a nice trio of Jefferson, Kanter and Paul Millsap in the bigs rotation. We haven’t seen much of Kanter playing US player, but when he did, he was outstanding. He’s a hard worker and should succeed at the NBA level.
Burks was considered by most to be the best shooting guard in the draft, and he’s always had a chip on his shoulder from being underrated. Being drafted lower than most thought, and having Klay Thompson picked before him, will only drive Burks to succeed. Don’t doubt it.
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