What do Chandler Parsons, Isaiah Thomas, Lance Stephenson, Goran Dragic, Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Paul Millsap, Marcin Gortat, Monta Ellis, and Trevor Ariza all have in common?
They were all second-round selections in the last decade, and have surpassed expectations and produced more than most selected ahead of them. While nobody knows who will be left out of the first round on June 26th, there are a few players that will likely get drafted in the second-round that have a lot to offer.
Below is a list of the best potential second-round prospects and why they can make teams that pass on them pay.
Jordan Adams, UCLA, Shooting Guard- Jordan Adams is one of the better two-way players in the NBA Draft. Adams has the ability to finish at the rim with his craftiness, pulling up for a mid-range jumper, or shooting the three. The problem with the UCLA guard is that he has poor athleticism, as displayed at the combine when he posted a 29.5 inch vertical. Since the end of the college basketball season, Adams has shed 22 pounds and now weighs around 210. Adams is an above average defender that has the ability to force turnovers (2.6 steals per game). If Adams improves his handle he can become an absolute steal in the draft. Adams is one of the few players that is projected to go late first-round or early second-round that is ready to produce for an NBA team. I believe Adams can have a similar career to Wesley Matthews, who was not drafted himself.
Mitch McGary, Michigan, Power Forward/Center- Back problems that led Mitch McGary to miss 29 games this past season will likely cost McGary a top-20 selection in the upcoming draft. Going into the season McGary was seen as a potential lottery player, as he had a few monster performances in the NCAA Tournament as a freshman (2013). McGary posted 25 points and 14 rebounds against VCU; and 21 points and 14 rebounds against Kansas. The concern with McGary is whether or not he is healthy, and his shooting range. If McGary develops a 15-foot jumper, to go along with his rebounding, he can become a solid player for whoever drafts him.
DeAndre Kane, Iowa State, Point Guard/Shooting Guard- The fact that DeAndre Kane is turning 25-years-old on June 10th will make him a second-round selection. If age wasn’t a factor Kane would be a top-20 selection. Kane is similar to Marcus Smart, but has an extra inch of size at 6-foot-4 1/2. The difference is that Smart is only 20-years-old; he’ll likely go top-10. In the two match-ups between the two combo guards, Kane slightly outplayed Smart as he led his Cyclones to two victories — one in overtime and the other in triple overtime.
Kane averaged 26.5 points, 8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in the two contests against Smart’s Cowboys. Kane is as good of a rebounder as any guard in the draft (6.8 rebounds per game) and is an underrated playmaker (5.9 assists per game) on one of the better offenses in the country.
If Kane doesn’t improve his free throw shooting (64% last season), though, you may be hearing the phrase “Hack-A-Kane” a few times next season. Regardless of his age and problematic free throw shooting, Kane has the skill set to be a first-round prospect. And he’ll definitely be a nice gem in the second round.
Russ Smith, Louisville, Point Guard/Shooting Guard- One way to describe the lightning fast Russ Smith is: scorer. Smith is one of the better offensive players in the draft and he can get his own shot whenever he wants, despite only being a tad over six feet tall and weighing only 160 pounds.
Smith showed that he can create for his teammates as he had three games in which he recorded at least 10 assists during his senior season. The problem with Smith, however, is whether or not he can handle the point guard position at the next level and whether he can defend. Smith has proven he can create havoc on the defensive side of the ball, he averaged at least two steals in his last three collegiate seasons. Smith has sixth-man written all over him and has been drawing comparisons to Louis Williams.