Five potential second-round draft picks who can help teams immediately.
by Ed Isaacson / @nbadraftblog
Last week, we looked at the current trend of NBA teams looking to maximize the value of their second-round picks. Stronger development systems, difficulties in getting international players to commit, and the ability to add players who can help the team immediately have all forced teams to re-evaluate how they view the second round.
The biggest question I have gotten about the second round is, “Why do so many seniors not get picked until the second round?” Considering the talent level between the end of the first round and the first half of the second round is generally negligible, the answer lies in a player’s “upside.”
The general theory is that the first-round picks still have more developing to do, but eventually could be better than a player with the same, or better, talent who has already developed more as a playerphysically and skill-wise. Not that the second-round player won’t improve, but there is a good chance the growth won’t be as great.
On the flip side, the more developed second rounder is more prepared to benefit a team quickly. With that in mind, let’s look at some potential second-round picks who could be impact players next season.
John Jenkins is one of the top shooters in the Draft, and his ability to stretch defenses from the NBA three-point line will make him very much in demand. He possibly falls into the second round because he isn’t very versatile on the offensive end and his defense is in need of a few adjustments. But the fact that he can shoot so well—and find ways to get the looks he needs—most likely will land him as one of the first few picks of Round 2.
Doron Lamb offers a game somewhat similar to Jenkins’. Lamb is a better defender than Jenkins, especially on the ball, but he doesn’t have Jenkins’ ability to create his own shot from the perimeter, so the number of teams where he could have impact is a much smaller group.
Kevin Murphy may not be as well-known as many of the seniors in the Draft, but the Tennessee Tech guard has great size, is versatile on the offensive end, and should be able to guard a couple of positions at the NBA level. He can be a good fit with many different teams, and should be able to provide a great immediate scoring option off the bench.
William Buford is coming off a great career at Ohio State, and not only does he have the skills to be an immediate contributor, but he also knows what it takes to be a winner. While Buford may have been overshadowed at various times during his Buckeye career, he focused on what he could do to help the team win games. He has the ability to score from the perimeter, runs the court well and is an above average defender, all of which could earn him the chance to break into a rotation early in his career.
Jae Crowder is sort of an anomaly on this list. He has the maturity and skills to be an immediate contributor for almost any team, but still think there is a lot of room to grow still as a player. People may moan that they don’t know what position he will play, but it isn’t going to matter to NBA management and coaches. He is extremely tough, can rebound well on both ends, defends multiple positions, and can finish at the basket in a variety of ways. He provides a lot of energy, and I have no doubt he will play a lot of minutes right away for whatever team he plays for.
This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list. This year’s second round may be one of the best I have ever seen, and not only will teams be able to make valuable additions to their team, but there will also be a lot of very good players who don’t get picked solely because there are only 60 total picks.
The players I highlighted have qualities which lend them to be able to help teams immediately. Scoring, defense, basketball IQ, winning mentality, the ability to play multiple roles; teams will always need these in one form or the other, and each of the players can do just that.
Will there be another Isaiah Thomas- or Chandler Parsons-type season among this group? Possibly not, but that doesn’t mean they can’t provide an impact in other various ways. What they will do is help win games. And if a team’s second-round picks are helping them win games, then that team found value in Round 2.
Ed Isaacson is the owner/writer of NBA Draft Blog. Check out the site for the latest in player scouting reports and more.