The 2014 NBA Draft has come and gone, leaving its share of drama and optimism. Unfortunately for us die-hard draft fans, the NBA Draft consists of only two rounds. In this year’s mega-deep draft, several undrafted players could have been selected in most drafts, 2013 for instance? Here, we take a look at what might have gone down if a third round were to be added to draft night:
1) Milwaukee Bucks – Deonte Burton 34149 – PG – Nevada
For me, this pick was a no-brainer. Brandon Knight is the lone point guard on salary for the Bucks next year and he often seems more suited to play shooting guard (plus has underachieved quite a bit). Point guard is a primary need I had identified for Milwaukee, with Burton being a guy I thought the Bucks might take at 36 or 48. Burton gives them great energy, athleticism and effort off the bench. He might even start in the near future, as this Bucks team looks to add more talent in the backcourt.
2) Philadelphia 76ers – Artem Klimenko – C – Russia
Well, the 76ers obviously seem to be in no rush to actually, you know, win basketball games. One could argue that the only player of the seven they took that is A) healthy, B) anywhere near his full potential, and C) not stuck overseas for at least another year is… 58th pick Jordan McRae. The rest are international prospects (Saric, Micic, Dangubic) or big-time potential guys (Embiid, McDaniels, Grant). Since Embiid was their only big man taken, we will add another post player to the mix in Artem Klimenko, who played for Avtodor in Russia. He has great length and mobility for a man of his size, and most importantly for the "rebuilding" Sixers, won’t be helping them winning any games any time soon.
3) Orlando Magic – CJ Fair – SF – Syracuse
The Magic were aggressive and came out of the draft with two top 10 prospects in Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, along with a solid four-year wing in Roy Devyn Marble. What they failed to add in the draft was shooting. They traded one of the only decent outside shooters they had, picking a point guard whose perimeter jumper is lacking (and Aaron Gordon). So, here they take CJ Fair, perhaps the best prospect still on the board. Fair was not the most consistent shooter in college, though is a nice athlete who displayed some range in workouts. He will fit in well with the Magic’s young, athletic wing players and hopefully provide some ability to spread the floor that their current core seems to lack.
4) Boston Celtics – Jordan Bachynski – C – Arizona St.
The Celtics did a great job of getting a stellar point guard in Marcus Smart and a big, young, athletic, jump shooting wing in James Young. With those being there only picks, they still missed out on a much needed rim protector. Enter Jordan Bachynski, a prospect who was seemingly tailor-made for the Celtics need in the post. Seriously, look at this roster. Joel Anthony is the only center under contract next year that can play any kind of defense, and we all know he is not a very effective contributor in most other areas of basketball. Bachynski is the rare huge guy with four years of NCAA polish, so he is more than worth taking a flyer on.
5) Utah Jazz – James McAdoo – PF – North Carolina
The Jazz have some good pieces in place at all five positions, especially following the first-round additions of Dante Exum and Rodney Hood. Here, they add some forward depth in James McAdoo. Derrick Favors may be gone from Utah next season and McAdoo can play some power forward minutes in his absence. Plus, McAdoo is a guy who was expected to have a breakout year every year he was at North Carolina. He obviously never did, and that was why he found himself undrafted. With his athleticism and potential, along with a possible chip on his shoulder, he would have been well worth a pick in the third round.
6) Los Angeles Lakers – LaQuinton Ross – SF – Ohio State
On draft night, the Lakers went in, snatched up Julius Randle, said, “thank you very much”, than added Jordan Clarkson, and got out. They have the task of building an entire roster, basically, around those two, Kobe, Steve Nash and a high number of now free agents. LaQuinton Ross is a player who had first round potential, but had a shaky final season at Ohio State and faring poorly at the combine. He posted the highest body fat percentage, with athletic numbers that failed to impress. What he lacks in conditioning and attitude (he often looked passive at Ohio State), he has the potential to make up for in size and shooting ability. Another great find, in my opinion, for the Lakers.
7) Sacramento Kings – Fuquan Edwin – SG/SF – Seton Hall
The Kings took Nik Stauskas with their lone selection, thus shoring up the shooting guard position, perhaps their least deep. Here, they take another wing player who, unlike most of their team, is more defensive-minded. Edwin plays tough D, gets a ton of steals and offensively is most effective in transition. He should be a good fit for the Kings though would struggle for minutes in a crowded wing line-up.
8) Detroit Pistons – Ioannis Papapetrou – SF – Greece
Picking up Spencer Dinwiddie could turn out to be a strong choice as far as obtaining a combo guard with good size, though their were rumors that the Pistons wanted to shore up their long range shooting. Papapetrou is already a dynamic scorer in Greece and at 6’8” and 233 lbs., has great NBA size on the wing. He may take some time, though his potential as a shooter could pay off for Detroit down the line.
9) Cleveland Cavaliers – Patric Young – PF/C – Florida
The Cavaliers finally followed conventional wisdom with their high draft choice landing Andrew Wiggins, along with taking shooter Joe Harris, while trading Alonzo Gee for Wiggins’ Canadian comrade, Dwight Powell. With Dion Waiters likely on the trading block, the Cavs could still look to shore up inside. They select the renowned muscle man and enforcer, Patric Young, who hopefully can become a more effective offensive player in time.
10) New Orleans Pelicans – Melvin Ejim – SF – Iowa St.
The Pelicans traded away all of their picks after still missing the playoffs, so they have to make this one count. They have a great starting lineup, with very little depth, so here they grab Melvin Ejim. The 2014 Big 12 player of the year can score in all kinds of unconventional ways and rebound quite well at his size. His position may be in question, but could provide needed toughness for a team with little on the wing at this point in time.
11) Denver Nuggets – Jahii Carson – PG – Arizona St.
It was a solid draft night for Denver, parlaying the 11th pick of Doug McDermott into Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris (two guys who were projected to possibly go at 11), along with draft-and-stash big man prospect Nikola Jokic. Here they continue to fill out their bench with speedy point guard Jahii Carson. Carson’s stock fell due to his size and his lack of consistency in his final year at Arizona State. There are questions regarding his attitude, but he can develop behind seasoned veteran, Ty Lawson. Carson could possibly step in and be a spark plug off the bench for the Nuggets, who could be a terror on the break.
12) New York Knicks – Khem Birch – PF – UNLV
The Knicks picked a pair of small forwards in the second round (Carmelo who?), as well as loading up their backcourt with the Tyson Chandler/Raymond Felton trade. Khem Birch is a guy who could have possibly gone 30 picks before this. He is a pogo stick, shot blocking threat that competes on the glass even with his lack of bulk. He would provide some depth behind Amare Stoudemire.
13) Atlanta Hawks – Jabari Brown – SG – Missouri
The Hawks took a stretch 4 in Adreian Payne, a huge 5 in Walter Tavares, and Lamar Patterson, a small forward, in the draft. Kyle Korver and John Jenkins both are good, sharp shooting wings, though Jabari Brown is more of an all-around scorer. Missouri had a very up and down season, with Brown showing flashes as a scorer. He did not stand out much at the combine and will need to work on his defense, however it was a surprise that he was not taken not picked on June 26th.
14) Minnesota Timberwolves – Alex Kirk – C – New Mexico
With all of the uncertainty surrounding Kevin Love, it would only make sense that the Wolves would add depth to an already-shallow frontcourt in this draft. They did not do that in this past draft, taking high upside wing projects Zach LaVine and Glenn Robinson III. Alex Kirk is a player who was effective in college as a big man floor spacer. He had some weight concerns, slimmed down, and could possibly make a roster as a talented post.
15) Charlotte Hornets – Ojars Silins – SF – Latvia
It was a really strong draft for the Hornets. Noah Vonleh fell to them at 9 and they added a pair of great guards in PJ Hairston and Semaj Christon, along with some future picks. Silins is a good shooter and a smart player, a Latvian import who had success this past season in Italy. He could be a “draft-and-stash” contributor for the Hornets here.
16) Washington Wizards – DeAndre Kane – SG/PG – Iowa St.
The Wizards traded their lone choice, 46th pick Jordan Clarkson, for cash considerations to the Lakers. With an incredibly exciting young backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal, they ironically draft a player who is older than either player. DeAndre Kane is an already solid, albeit old, prospect that will provide good depth at both guard spots.
17) Brooklyn Nets – Cristiano Felicio – PF/C – Brazil
The Nets made some moves, ending up with three second-round picks, which they used on Markel Brown, Xavier Thames, and Cory Jefferson. These three will try to contribute immediately; so they go International here and take a big man prospect out of Brazil. As with many Brazilian prospects, Felicio is still very raw. His physical attributes and athleticism make him a risk worth taking here.
18) Toronto Raptors – Sim Bhullar – C – New Mexico St.
It is time for the Raptors’ selection, where they will try to take someone who is not “two years away from being two years away”, a la 20th pick Bruno Caboclo. They already took a pair of small forwards in Caboclo and DeAndre Daniels, so here they look for that rim protector to spell Jonas Valanciunas. Sim “Sim City” Bhullar, would be the first ever Canadian selected by the Raptors. Plus, his massive size would make him an instant fan favorite. The NBA’s speed may be too much for him and he might never play big minutes. As a back-up center, Bhullar still would be a very imposing match-up.
19) Chicago Bulls – Andre Dawkins – SG – Duke
The Bulls made waves on draft night by trading up for Doug “Dougie McBuckets” McDermott, then they taking PF Cameron Bairstow in the second. The Bulls still need pieces to put around Derrick Rose (and possibly another big name Free Agent), with shooting still being a need. Dawkins was a deadly shooting specialist who played a strong role at Duke. He could be a player that fits a need quite well, providing another heady young player to the Bulls bench.
20) Phoenix Suns – Ronald Roberts – PF – St. Joseph’s
The Suns brought home a stash of picks on draft night, and selected a scoring wing (TJ Warren), a pure point guard (Tyler Ennis), a smooth international shooting guard (Bogdan Bogdanovic), and a stretch big man (Alec Brown). Here they take more of a traditional PF in Ronald Roberts, a tough rebounder who is athletic enough to get out on the break. Athleticism was not really addressed on draft night for the Suns and Roberts brings that in bunches.
21) Dallas Mavericks – Roscoe Smith – PF – UNLV
Dallas was shut out on draft night after trading both of their second round selections for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. So, the onus of being the top rookie in the organization falls on Roscoe Smith. He is a good rebounder who has a chance to play both forward positions. Fellow UNLV alum, Shawn Marion is an excellent guy for Smith to learn from, should he return. They have a similar skill set and few have gone beyond the “tweener” label with more panache than “the Matrix”.
22) Memphis Grizzlies – Axel Toupane – SG/SF – France
The Grizzlies added a pair of crafty prospects in Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes who should make an immediate impact, so it seemed logical to go international here to give long-term help to an already-loaded roster. Toupane is a decent athlete with some size on the wing. He could spend some time refining his skill set, than possibly come over and compete for a spot on the roster.
23) Golden State Warriors – Bryce Cotton – PG – Providence
The Warriors had no picks in the draft, so they take a seasoned college vet here in Bryce Cotton. Cotton has a good outside stroke and gets up and down the floor very quickly. He should fit in nicely with the Warriors, learning from Stephen Curry. Curry is one of the best guards in the league, and a player who Cotton can pattern his game after.
24) Houston Rockets – Kendall Williams – PG – New Mexico
The Rockets took international prospect Clint Capela in the first along with guards Nick Johnson and Alessandro Gentile in the second; they added some good value to an already solid roster. Jeremy Lin’s name has been thrown around in trade rumors like crazy, so here is an experienced point guard to add some depth to the position. Just in case.
25) Miami Heat – JaKarr Sampson – SF – St. John’s
Disclaimer: THIS PICK IS NOT LEBRON INSURANCE. Jakarr Sampson may have spent some time at LeBron’s alma mater of St. Vincent-St. Mary, but he is not ready to be an NBA starter. His size, athleticism and potential still make him an intriguing prospect. Sampson could be enough of a fit for Miami that they keep him around and get some value in this late third round choice.
26) Portland Trailblazers – Mike Moser – SF/PF – Oregon
The Blazers didn’t have a pick in the draft, so they take a local product that can stretch the floor in Moser. He is a “tweener”, though he rebounds well for his size and has a soft touch from the outside. Seems doubtful he gets minutes, however he should make for a tough match-up in practice.
27) Indiana Pacers – Sean Kilpatrick – SG – Cincinnati
The Pacers’ lone selection was an obscure international player in Louis Labeyrie, so here they take the leading scorer in the AAC last year, Sean Kilpatrick. He gives them more wing depth, which they need. With improvement in shot selection and defense, Kilpatrick can be a great scorer off the bench.
28) Los Angeles Clippers – Casey Prather – SG/SF – Florida
Athleticism on the wing is a need for the Clippers and Prather showed quite a bit of that in his breakout senior season at Florida. With a bevy of outside shooters, they can use a bit more toughness on the wing that Prather could probably provide. Under the guidance of Matt Barnes, this could be a pick that pays off down the line.
29) Oklahoma City Thunder – Juvonte Reddic – PF – VCU
The Thunder had a bit of a surprising draft. They took Mitch McGary slightly higher than expected, than took Josh Huestis much higher than expected. With the emphasis on adding some depth and size up front, they get a healthy player who fits the part in Reddic. The big man can move his feet, crash the boards and has a NBA type body.
30) San Antonio Spurs – Aaron Craft – PG – Ohio St.
By now, we are all expecting some brilliant personnel move out of the Spurs, even at the 90th pick. The Spurs decide to take one of college basketball’s most polarizing figures at 60 in Aaron Craft. His defense and leadership seem to definitely be qualities that would fit with the defending champs. Sure, it is hard to see him sticking around for a long time, but Craft seems to overcome the odds and might combine with Cory Joseph to spell Tony Parker with the likely departure of Patty Mills.