As lovers of the NBA Draft, count us in as being in favor of an additional round. Even if this is fictional, a number of top NBADraft.net contributors felt like there were guys whose names should have been called on June 25, 2015. So, as we’re done in previous years, we decided to make the additional draft choices for a ficticious 3rd round, where every team gets a chance to the rights of an additional player.
We decided to do a standard, linear draft. The draft order is was as follows:
1.Chris Patterson (Forum Legend)
2.Michael Visenberg (Contributor/Stock Watch)
3.Clayton Crowe (Contributor/SEC Blogger)|
4.Dave Ray (Contributor/Big 12 Blogger)
5.Jacob Stallard (Contributor/AAC Blogger)
Feel free to comment on how we did, who had the best picks and of course, on players who were snubbed a second time! There definitely is a lot of depth and we wish all of these guys as much as luck as possible in reaching their dream of playing in the NBA.
61. Minnesota Timberwolves: Cliff Alexander
This was almost unimaginable a year ago, when Alexander was #4 in the final HS Class of 2014 RCSI Rankings. Heading into the season he was seen by nearly everyone as a lottery selection. While he still is quite raw offensively and a tad undersized, he is a gifted rebounder with fantastic length. In Minnesota, he would have a chance to join a young, athletic core and be brought along at a good pace. It was a shock to see Cliff go undrafted and we only hope it serves as motivation for a prospect that still has NBA upside.
62. New York Knicks: Christian Wood
This pick might not help the Knicks fans warm to Kristaps Porzingis, though it may help them warm up to Phil Jackson’s rebuilding plans. Even if that last statement is wishful thinking, Wood has similar physical attributes to Porzingis with less polish. He showed up to the NBA combine in less than ideal shape and with questions surrounding his maturity. Even so, he showed a great deal of improvement in his skill set, has major length and is still only 19-years old. He was worth a pick and much like with Porzingis, would likely be the top guy on the Knicks board at this pick.
63. Philadelphia 76ers Matt Stainbrook
"Trust the process". That’s what you have to do with this pick. Outside of Philadelphia, no one knows what is going on with the 76ers and no one can make sense of what Sam Hinkie is trying to accomplish. Sure, fans will tell you that they do but try and get them to explain it in actual words and you’ll see that they are just as confused as the rest of us even though they won’t admit it. At some point in the near future Jahlil Okafor will likely be shut down for the rest of the season to ensure that the 76ers will be in the top three or four of the 2016 Draft. Stainbrook is the perfect replacement for Okafor in that, he’ll help ensure that this team doesn’t get any better next year. No offense to Matty but he’s just not an NBA caliber player. But then again how many on that roster have been over the last few seasons? See? Perfect fit.
64. Los Angeles Lakers: Treveon Graham
For a team desperate to upgrade, LA selects one of the most talented players left on the board. The MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational may not jump out of the gym, but he has NBA positional size, and a very mature all-around game. If this worked out, we might be looking at Kobe’s last whipping boy.
65. Orlando Magic: Robert Upshaw
Upshaw is a high risk-high reward pick, which is what the third round is all about. He’s a head case with a 7’5” wingspan, a guy who got dismissed from two programs in college who could end up being the best player by far in this third round. He doesn’t have a lot of offensive potential, but starting Magic center Nikola Vucevic doesn’t have a lot of defensive potential, so if Upshaw can get his head on straight (and that’s an “if” that’s bigger than he is), then he could certainly be a viable backup center for the Magic. He may be the only center with NBA size left available, so he’s a good value pick here for Orlando.
66. Sacramento Kings: Quinn Cook
Cook had a strong four-year career at Duke, with a lot of wins. Going to Sacramento would be hitting the real world, hard. Cook provides leadership and if anything, adaptability. We saw him play very well with another PG, Tyus Jones and except his role off of the ball. His lack of size and athleticism relegate him to a back-up role, which Sacramento could sort of use.
67. Denver Nuggets: Aaron Harrison
The Nuggets had Emmanuel Mudiay fall into their laps at 7 and get the overlooked Harrison brother at 7 here. The leading scorer of the 38-1 Wildcats was very streaky from the outside, but he hit big buckets. He would more than likely be doing that in garbage time rather than in games with championship stakes, and am sure he would be happy to do that with these young Nuggets.
68. Detroit Pistons: Brandon Ashley
Ashley is a guy I really thought would be taken in the second round. He’s a long, athletic big with some skill offensively. He’s got good touch around the basket and can step out and hit a mid-range jumper. He’s small-ish for a PF but what he lacks in height he gets back in wingspan. He was sort of the forgotten Wildcat these last few seasons with Aaron Gordon, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson getting most of the love. The Pistons knew they weren’t going to be able to retain Greg Monroe in free agency and Ashley provides some depth at the forward position to help fill that hole while the rest of this roster continues to grow and become competitive again. Not to mention this would allow him to team back up with the aforementioned Robinson which can only help with on court chemistry. And this late in the draft, it is the little wins that matter.
69. Charlotte Hornets: LeBryan Nash
With Jeff Taylor sitting out a large portion of last season before hitting the free agent market, the Hornets could be in the mix for another defender to bring off the bench. Nash is a physical presence who is one of the best wing defenders outside of the lottery. The big question for him will be his jumper, but at this point, he’s worth the risk.
70. Miami Heat: Luis Montero
A relative unknown originally from the Dominican Republic, Montero tore it up at the JUCO level a year ago and entered his name into the draft despite the fact that he did not play last season (not to mention most basketball fans have no idea who he is). He was once signed to play at the University of South Florida but ended up staying in junior college; now he heads to Southern Florida as the third round selection of the Miami Heat. Dwayne Wade and Luol Deng only have so much left in the tank, so perhaps Montero could come in and shine in a back up role. It could turn out that a lack of exposure caused him to be undervalued; when he is, in fact, a serviceable NBA wing. Perhaps.
71. Indiana Pacers: Ryan Boatright
He is the classic mighty mite that thrives as the underdog! He and Joseph Young would bring back some memories of the 2013 UConn title run, albeit off of the bench. Boatright thrived with a larger role and while team success did not necessarily come along with it, he improved as a shooter. He is a blaze with the ball and will need to defend full court to earn that spot. This is still not a guy you could bet against doing what it takes.
72. Utah Jazz: Jonathan Holmes
Word was that Jonathan Holmes had impressed some teams with his inside-out ability. Not enough, apparently. Holmes still lost a lot of weight, improved his outside shot and showed PF worthy size at the combine. This is another player who you just plug into the system and see how it works. He could prove that teams were right to have liked him and wrong to have overlooked him.
73. Phoenix Suns: Trevor Lacey
Continuing with the theme of putting ex-college teammates on the same NBA roster, Lacey is reunited with T.J. Warren in Phoenix. Now, they never actually played together at NC State except during practices as Lacey was sitting out after transferring but you get the picture. Phoenix seems to love combo guards so Lacey can just add to the depth that the Suns have in that regard with Knight, Bledsoe and Goodwin. Not the most athletic player in the draft but Lacey has a pure shooting stroke and can score in bunches. While not the same physically, he reminds me a little of Jamal Crawford in that regard. Lacey is a strong guard who really needs to work on his PG skills before he’ll be successful at the next level but with so many guards ahead of him on the Suns’ roster, he can learn from two guys who have had to learn and develop that same type of thing during their first couple of years in the league.
74. Oklahoma City Thunder: Michael Cobbins
The Thunder have made a habit of drafting athletic defenders the last couple years in hopes they can develop in the D-League before being eased into a role. Cobbins has NBA level hops, and a 7’1” wingspan, a standing reach of over 9′, if he can learn to defend on the perimeter a little more, he could have some value. Plus, the Oklahoma State product is conveniently close by.
75. Brooklyn Nets: Alan Williams
The Nets take Alan Williams, aka Ken Pomeroy’s Man Crush, with this selection. Williams was one of the most dominant forces in all of the land as a junior, crushing opponents with typical stat lines in the neighborhood of 20 points, 12 boards, and 5 blocks. He suffered some nagging injuries during his senior year, thus depriving us of ever seeing Big Al in the NCAA Tournament at his peak, but if this undersized center/immobile power forward can make the jump from the Big West to the Big League, then his offensive prowess will make him an effective scorer off the bench as he tries to replace the recently-departed Mason Plumlee.
76. Boston Celtics: Mouhammadou Jaiteh
Jaiteh could be Anthony Bennett’s French brother. The big man had dominated ProB basketball at age 18, while being more than serviceable at the top level of hoops in France as well. He is a hustler and rebounder, who just happens to be glued to the court. His lack of hops and overall quickness would make it a difficult transition. Still, Boston probably remembers his getting under the skin of Joel Embiid at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit, with sounds of “stop pushing me!” bringing music to their ears for a potential division foe.
77. Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Qualls
Here is hoping for a quick recovery for Qualls, who tore his ACL while in a draft workout in Phoenix. He is all arms and hops, which give him a lot of upside as a wing defender and energy player once he is fully recovered. He can play above the rim and while his shot is a tad unorthodox, it did show improvement. Milwaukee at least adds another monstrous wingspan to their group of lengthy young Bucks’.
78. New Orleans Pelicans: JJ OBrien
O’Brien has seemingly been at San Diego State since I graduated high school back in 2005. I feel like he has been there from the Kawhi Leonard to Jamaal Franklin to Winston Shepard. But there are a lot of guys like that for the Aztecs recently. Xavier Thames comes to mind. But I digress, O’Brien’s never been the team’s go-to player at any point during his career but he’s always on the court. Probably due to his defense, motor and toughness. He’s that type of player that is always in the right place at the right time and just does the little things that don’t show up in the box score. The Pelicans, who have very little help on the wing behind Quincy Pondexter could really use a guy like this. They have enough stat stuffing players on the roster and O’Brien is the anti-stat stuffer.
79. Washington Wizards: Vince Hunter
A playoff team can always use a grinder willing to play hard fought minutes when his name is called, and Vince Hunter is athletic, and full of energy. He’s one of the best players left on the board at this point, and you know he’ll give it his all.
80. Toronto Raptors: Chris Walker
I imagine that the Raptors, like myself, were surprised to see Chris Walker’s name on the list of available players. The one-time high school phenom never came close to putting it all together at Florida, and here he is, a fringe third round NBA draft pick. It’s almost certain he’ll never be good enough to play in the NBA, but he’s a super-athlete and the Raptors will try to rekindle the dying embers of his potential.
81. Chicago Bulls: Michael Frazier
The Bulls were not a bad shooting team, they just can still use more buckets. That is where Frazier could make a living in the NBA, as he was a high volume and percentage shooter from long distance. Deciding to forego his senior season did not pay off with him being drafted, but with solid dimensions and his ability to fill it up, he might end up finding a place.
82. Dallas Mavericks: Dez Wells
Monstrous athlete, built like a tank and after four years in college, still wildly inconsistent. He improved as a shooter, yet was never dependable enough as an all-around player to turn into a real star. He always had a body to go with serious springs, plus the dimensions that fit into him being a 2-guard. What might end up working is him not having to force the issue, which would probably make the Mavericks a nice potential fit.
83. Portland Trail Blazers: Wayne Blackshear
Does anyone really know what position Blackshear plays? He’s listed as a shooting guard but I feel like he’s spent the majority of his college career as an undersized wing/forward hybrid. His lack of position and lack of size really prohibit him from being anything other than a role player in the NBA, but then again, he’s been that for four years at Louisville so he should feel right at home. The Blazers need all the help they can get at this point and have always had obscure college guards that no one ever remembers (ie Elliot Williams, Nolan Smith, Will Barton). Blackshear has some value as a long defender and a capable three point shooter but that’s about it. But when you get to the bottom of the third round, pickings start to get pretty slim. But you can bet he has been well coached in college and will be capable of making an impact on a Summer League roster from Day 1.
84. Cleveland Cavaliers: Youssou Ndoye
Draft and stash time! With a massive 7’5” wingspan, and a standing reach just 8 inches below the rim, the Cavs roll the dice on a NBA sized rim protector in hopes he can contribute before Lebron’s tenure with the Cavs is over.
85. Memphis Grizzlies: Travis Trice
Amongst mid-major stars, high-major supporting characters, and international unknowns being selected in the late stages of this third round, we have Travis Trice, a guy with tremendous heart and ability who carried his Michigan State team to the Final Four last season. He can score, he can distribute, and he can pressure opposing ball handlers…but he also may stand at less than 6 feet tall and could get manhandled at the NBA level. But still, why not take a chance on a guy who has had so much success at the college level? Mike Conley has no established backup, so Trice will get a shot to be that guy.
86. San Antonio Spurs: Tashawn Thomas
Thomas is the classic, tough nose PF who is being almost systematically eliminated from the NBA. A solid three-year contributor during his time at Houston, he moved to Oklahoma and showed he was up for Big 12 competition. San Antonio seems like the next logical step for his basketball journey. If a team wants to go with toughness or grit as opposed to the “stretch 4” that is the new trend, Thomas would be as old school as the original Kurtis Blow, “Basketball”.
87. Houston Rockets: Kevin Pangos
Almost every Canadian I know would have picked Pangos in the actual draft and are probably fuming at how he slipped into the last few picks here. He was the consummate PG for Gonzaga, who is as fundamentally sound as one can find. The thing that counters his deadeye shooting and decision making ability is maybe the only wingspan Jay Bilas cannot bring himself to talk about. Yes, Kevin has the dreaded alligator arms and may not have the NBA level athleticism to make up for it. Even if it is not in the NBA, do not bet against Pangos being a solid pro. Or against him making a Canadian Men’s Team over guys with NBA contracts.
88. Los Angeles Clippers: Ralston Turner
J.J. Redick will eventually need a replacement right? Turner could eventually be that with the same type of development that Redick showed during his first few years in the league. And since Redick is already on the Clippers roster, who better to mentor Turner than the man himself? With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin commanding constant double teams, why not add another sharp shooting wing to the fold? Turner is best when coming off of screens and can really knock down that corner three ball at a high rate. He’s not a great defensive player and will struggle to do anything other than shoot threes at this point but as we have seen throughout the course of Redick’s career, as long as you have one thing you are great at, with time you can learn how to do the rest.
89. Atlanta Hawks: D'Angelo Harrison:
Scoring oriented are both a dime a dozen, and a type of player that can often fight his way on to a roster with the sole purpose of dropping buckets. Atlanta is a team in San Antonio’s mold, and the Spurs have long valued do it all combo guards with a knack for scoring points.
90. Golden State Warriors: LaDontae Henton
And for Mr. Irrelevant (in a draft that’s relevance is questionable), the defending champs take someone who many East Coast college basketball fans will have actually heard of. A versatile small forward, Henton can shoot, rebound, slash, and get steals, posting outstanding per game averages of 19.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG (7.9 and 8.3 his first two seasons) and 1.4 SPG last season for the Providence Friars. If he was a few inches taller and a little bit more athletic, he might be a first round selection. As is, he’s a do-everything guy who could potentially learn a thing or two from Draymond Green and become another weapon in Steve Kerr’s positionless offensive arsenal.