Following up on the group from 31 to 45 from earlier today, here is my Draft Board from 21 to 30. Not that it is terribly consequential, but I like penning these every year.
30. Jerami Grant (Syracuse, SF) – He possesses great length and athleticism for an NBA wing, but has limited offensive skills and will need to transition from Syracuse’s zone on defense.
29. James Young (Kentucky, SG) –It is hard to project 18-year olds who weren’t overly productive in college. Nothing particularly stands out about him, and with limited athleticism at the two-guard, I am putting him here.
28. Adreian Payne (Michigan State, PF) – I am not as high on Payne as many. I want to be, as I know the value of big men shooters . He is relatively old for a collegiate player though, turning 24 by next season’s All-Star break. He was not a particularly great rebounder or shot blocker at Michigan State, never having been praised for defense. Combine that with a lung issue that may impact him playing starter’s minutes and I have him towards the end of the first round.
27. Khem Birch (UNLV, PF) – A great offensive rebounder (41st in NCAA for o-rebound rate) and shot blocker (33rd in NCAA for block rate), according to statsheet, UNLV was +254 when Birch played and -54 when he sat. He also made 69% of his free throws, getting to the line nearly six times per game due to hustle and scrappiness around the rim.
26. Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee, PF) – He ranked 8th in the NCAA for rebounds per game last year and tallied a 117 offensive rating on usage of 26. He improved significantly every year at Tennessee, and not turning 21 until January 2015, he is a very young junior. He converted 70% of his 230 free throws this year; if that translates to a decent jumper in the future, that will be a big bonus.
25. P.J. Hairston (D-League, SG)
24. Mitch McGary (Michigan, C) – He has a great motor, with fabulous rebounding and steal rates for a center; his steals per possession ranks best of every center in the DX database for 2014 (this would also be true of his 2.2 steals per pace-adjusted 40 minutes from 2012 – 2013). Combine that with solid pick & roll defense and “pride in setting picks” (per draftexpress), and McGary brings a lot of uncounted skills to the table.
23. K.J. McDaniels (Clemson, SF)
22. Nikola Jokic (Serbian, C) – He is 6’ – 11” in shoes with a 7’ – 3” wingspan, just turning 19 in February. He possesses a refined post game and nice passing ability (1.3 to 1 assist to turnover), and also hoists threes. In the Serbian League, he made 7 of 22. Add it all up, and his Adriatic League PER was 21, nearly on par with lottery darling Dario Saric, who is one year older.
21. Shabazz Napier – (Connecticut, PG) – It sounds as if Miami is hot on Shabazz. Much of his offense in college came via isolation or the pick & roll, where his stellar shooting off the bounce can be a weapon in the NBA also. At a minimum, he appears able to fill a role as tolerable bench offense.
Tomorrow, this will get wrapped up, with my top 20, but more importantly the main event, the 2014 NBA Draft.