Picks 11-15: The Golden State Warriors picked up Klay Thompson, a guard that can shoot from anywhere and brings much needed size to their backcourt. Plus his athletic ability, along with his size, might help a porous defense.
The Jazz's second pick in this round is used on Colorado's Alec Burks. Burks put up some big time numbers in college, but is not a very good shooter. But his willingness to improve his game on both offense and defense might have won him over in Utah. The Jazz have had a very successful draft thus far.
The Phoenix Suns pick Markieff Morris with the unlucky 13th pick as his twin brother, Marcus, showed a lot of emotion when his sibling's name was announced. Markieff joins another twin, Robin Lopez (unless he gets traded away as many rumors would suggest) in the Suns' frontcourt. This is a nice addition for Phoenix as they needed an athletic big man at forward and is comfortable scoring via jump shots or banging on the inside. Plus he looks like a very hungry rebounder.
Speaking of Marcus, he immediately gets selected by the Houston Rockets. Marcus was getting a bad reputation for being a tweener player. Where Markieff was clearly a power forward, NBA scouts were not sure where Marcus' talent would make him successful as always the case with players like Marcus, he's either too slow to be playing at small forward, or undersized to be playing power forward. However, the experts also suggested that he's a better inside scorer than Markieff. Either way, Marcus Morris is a great fit in Houston.
The Indiana Pacers selected the very "long" and huge heart of Kawhi Leonard from San Diego St. Definitely a player that the Indiana Pacers needed. Unfortunately, Leonard would be traded to the San Antonio Spurs. More on that in a later post.
Picks 16-20: The Philadelphia 76ers feeling left out from picking a foreign player, but not wanting to pick a foreing player with an expensive buyout, select USC's Nikola Vucevic. This guy is really huge at 6'11" and 260 lbs. A guy with a decent mid-range game, Jay Bilas predicted that he can easily add a consistent 3-point shot to his arsenal. Plus he's a good rebounder. The 76ers have had good luck picking in the 1st round lately so I will consider this selection another slam dunk on their part.
Knick fans were anticipating a slam dunk of their own as their team was ready to make their pick. They were left disappointed when Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech was selected. A tall athletic guard, Shumpert impressed New York with his willingness to play defense. On a team where their two best players don't really care much about defense, this pick makes sense--even if the Knicks picked too high for this kid.
Chris Singleton (not to be confused with the former White Sox and Oakland A's player) from Florida State is selected by the Wizards. Like many players in this draft, Singleton has very little offensive skill and an even weaker jump shot, but he was picked for his size (6'9", 230 lbs, and wingspan of 7'1") and the potential to be a defensive force. Reminds me of Taj Gibson, but with less of an offensive game.
Tobias Harris out of Tennessee was selected by Milwaukee. Described as a "versatile" perimeter player with a "high basketball IQ," this player has a reputation for his hard work and for being a gym rat. On the downside, Harris was one of the few players in this draft whose lack of athleticism was a major concern. I think he will succeed right away, especially with Bucks' head coach, Scott Skiles, who loves to coach players like Harris.
And finally, after doing the math and using my powers of decuction to its fullest, it looks like the Rockets end up with Donatas Motiejunas at #20. A seven footer who Fran Fraschilla (ESPN's expert on foreign players) described as a player who needs to improve his rebounding skills (red flag) and has a very blase disposition as even his European coaches would be very upset at his attitude (double red flag). Despite all of this, Fraschilla admitted that Motiejunas would've been a top 15 pick in last year's draft. Wow!