Five Players You Want Your Team To Pick In The Second Round Of The NBA Draft

Much has been said about the depth of talent in the upcoming NBA Draft, particularly in the lottery. Looking at the board, you could easily see impact players throughout the top 10. But the depth of this draft goes far beyond the benefit of only those teams who missed out on the postseason or traded their way to the front end of the draft. There is plenty of talent to go around for teams later in the first round and even into the second round.

From time to time, savvy teams are able to pluck productive players, even All-Stars, out of the second round. While finding a good situation is key for second round picks to get their footing and allow them to develop fully, the 2017 NBA Draft will produce several opportunities for teams to snatch a diamond from the rough. Here are five candidates who could play the role of the steal of the 2017 draft.

Dillon Brooks, Oregon

In a Pac-12 conference loaded with talents like Lonzo Ball, T.J. Leaf and Lauri Markkanen, it was Brooks who took home conference Player of the Year honors. Brooks is a capable scorer around the rim. He also improved his three-point shot in each of his three years at Oregon, shooting 40% as a junior. If he can carry that outside shooting to the NBA and prove himself on the defensive end, he could be a valuable asset on an NBA team.

Jonah Bolden, Serbia

Bolden is perhaps the most intriguing prospect sitting outside of the lottery. He is oozing with potential and possesses attributes that leave NBA scouts drooling. But he has also been hampered by a concerning lack of consistency, making it difficult to project whether his talents will translate into production.

At 6’10” with a wingspan of 7’3”, Bolden certainly looks the part of an NBA player. He has impressive athleticism, allowing him to be effective above the rim and in space. Bolden is a surprisingly gifted ball-handler for a man his size, helping him create his own shot. Speaking of his shot, his ability to stroke from distance is perhaps his most intriguing skill. Bolden knocked down 40% of his three-point attempts en route to being named the Adriatic League Youth Player of the Year.

While it’s easy to see Bolden’s potential on an NBA floor, he comes with his fair share of risks. His shot disappeared at times, and he lacks strength in the post, where he would certainly find himself at times in the NBA. He has the tools to be effective on the defensive end but needs to demonstrate a willingness to do so.

His circuitous route to the draft has led to a lack of exposure that has limited his draft stock. Inconsistency, lack of strength and defensive question marks have contributed as well. But the pieces are there, and if he can put them all together, he could be the steal of the draft.

Josh Hart, Villanova

Hart isn’t going to wow you in any particular area. Instead, his value comes from his ability to do several things well and from his mentality. Hart worked hard to improve his jump shot in his time at Villanova. He is a decent rebounder for his size and a willing passer. More importantly, he is a committed defender.

Hart will need to demonstrate shooting ability at the NBA level and find a way to score against length. But he is a hard worker and a proven winner. His energy and willingness to do whatever is necessary to help his team are valuable assets to any basketball team. Hart is not afraid to hit the floor or do the dirty work and in the right situation, he could be play a key role and carve a nice niche for himself. (I’m looking at you San Antonio.)

Caleb Swanigan, Purdue

Swanigan was an absolute monster as a sophomore at Purdue, putting up 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game while leading Purdue to a Big Ten title. At 6’9”, he lacks the size to be a true big, and he lacks the foot speed to be a dominant wing. But he put in a ton of work on his jump shot, shooting 44% from three last season. While his decision-making needs some work, he managed to dish out three assists per game as well.

Rebounding is his most evident NBA skill, and he will have to build his career from there. But Swanigan has shown the ability to overcome obstacles as well as a willingness to put in the work. If his rebounding and perimeter shot can buy him some time to employ his work ethic to the rest of his game, things could get interesting. While teams may have to get creative in how they deploy Swanigan, he could add value in an evolving NBA landscape.

Johnathan Motley, Baylor

Motley finds himself in a similar position to Swanigan. He had a stellar junior season in which he nearly averaged a double-double with 17.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He powered Baylor to one of the most surprising starts in college basketball and the first No.1 ranking in program history.

At 6’9” he is a bit undersized to be a true big. But his 7’4” wingspan and 36” vertical leap help offset his size. He has a soft touch around the rim and the ability to make plays in the post going either direction. The key for Motley will be developing a consistent outside shot. While he worked on his jumper at Baylor, he hit just 26% from behind the arc. Although his shooting work didn’t bear immediate fruit, his form suggests an opportunity for it to get where it needs to be. If that happens and he can hold his own defensively, he becomes an intriguing option as a stretch four or a big three.

Other Names Who Should Pique Your Interest: Ivan Raab, Semi Ojeleye, Jawun Evans, Edmond Sumner, Monte Morris, Thomas Bryant, Sindarius Thornwell.

The 2017 NBA Draft should be one of the most fun and interesting drafts in recent memory. With a bevy of immediate-impact players at the top and a plethora of potential lurking outside of the lottery, there is ample opportunity for teams to add key pieces. Enjoy the draft and resist the urge to tune out after your team makes its first round selection. You might miss something important.

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