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This is it, the last chance for NBA front offices to make that final dig for those special players in the Second Round of the NBA Draft. We have seen a lot of one-dimensional players, we have seen players with very limited upside, but every once in awhile, we see that special prospect with physical attributes or impressive skills that jump out and scream “pick me—I’ll be good in a few years!” With that being said, here are the last six picks of our Second Round Breakdown.
55—Joffrey Lauvergne, 6’11”, 240 lbs, PF/C-France: The Denver Nuggets traded “The” Kosta Koufos for Darrell Arthur and Lauvergne. He has good size along with solid athleticism to go with his stature. He is also surprisingly quick and agile. The Nuggets were an up tempo team last season and Lauvergne would have fit in perfectly with his unforeseen speed. His speed does not limit him to fastbreak opportunities as his half-court awareness is adequate enough where he’s not a deficiency and is always ready to crash the boards. Size and quickness make him a versatile defender.
Here’s where NBAdraft.net is concerned: his jump shot is very limited. Had he been armed with a reliable jump shot, he might have been taken ahead of a guy like Ryan Kelly or Erik Murphy. Then again, Lauvergne doesn’t have much of a post game either. Plus he also lacks lower body strength to hold his ground in the paint. He also has weak ball-handling skills.
So the big French man is still a work in progress, but with his quickness and speed and ability to finish strong in transition, he could provide a spark on a team’s second unit.
56—Peyton Siva, 6’1”, 181 lbs, PG-Louisville: The darling of the NCAA Tournament this past season, Siva goes to a team, the Detroit Pistons, that could use a true point guard because the ones listed on the current roster, have not been doing the job. Siva brings experience and plenty of other intangibles. His heart and hustle can be contagious so perhaps this is the kind of player the Pistons need on their squad. But he’s not just an emotional leader. He can show off his athleticism and quickness on the floor as well and his ball-handling really help him maximize his point guard skills.
But in today’s NBA, being a floor general is not just about heart, desire, emotion, and willing a team to victory (#TWTW). NBAdraft.net compares him to A.J. Price. Siva, just like Price, lacks size and strength to defend bigger guards, especially when they want to take advantage of him in the paint. And as much as he gets praised for being a true point guard, Siva can get very sloppy with the ball as turnovers have been a problem throughout his amateur career, but showed improvement last season.
The most disappointing thing about Siva is the fact that even though he has the speed and athleticism to do so, he simply is just not a scorer (and even worse shooter) especially from 3-point land where his 28.8% rate from beyond the arc is one of the worst among 2013 NBA draftees. His 2-point% is at least better than Michael Carter-Williams and Lorenzo Brown (h/t DraftExpress.com). Unlike Siva, MCW and Brown are actually big guards that can handle the ball too.
Nevertheless, Siva’s intangibles and PG abilities might make him a deep sleeper in this draft and I can see him running the point for the Pistons’ second unit this season.
57—Alex Oriakhi, 6’9”, 255 lbs, PF/C-Missouri: The Phoenix Suns might have acquired an NBA ready player this late in the draft. Solid strength, size, and athleticism, Oriakhi also comes with a long wingspan of 7’3” which combined with his physical attributes, helps him rebound and block shots. And a rarity among centers, Oriakhi is dependable at the free-throw line.
But when I say the word “center,” I’m talking about a center on the “smallish” side. His frame has NBAdraft.net wary enough to think that he “may be too small to make an impact on defense. Plus he is still trying to develop his offensive game which also lacks a decent jump shot.
Nevertheless, we’ve seen guys with large wingspans and decent size make an impact in this new NBA. The Suns are a team that love to run, so perhaps Oriakhi can find some success in his rookie year getting cheap transition points while he develops his offense in practice.
58—DeShaun Thomas, 6’6”, 220 lbs, F-Ohio State: Despite the lack of size, Thomas is still listed as a combo forward. It helps to have a wingspan of 6’10” to overcome such disadvantages. His best skill is his jump shot and can even play as a stretch 4. He is also a pure scorer so he’s not one-dimensional like some of the other stretch 4’s we’ve analyzed all ready. Not surprising, he’s a good free-throw shooter. He is unselfish and knows how to integrate himself in an offense, which should help him adapt to an efficient, but precise San Antonio Spurs’ team.
But the thing that stands out the most about Thomas is his intangibles. The guy is full of character and leadership qualities. An anecdote from Ken Rodriguez tells the tale of Thomas writing a letter to the school newspaper, urging them to pay proper respect to the other Ohio State athletes that do not get the recognition they deserve because they play under the huge shadow that’s cast by the mighty football and basketball programs.
But getting back to his physical attributes and even though he has impressive length, he is still a “tweener.” This obviously makes him a questionable defender as lack of size, combined with average quickness and strength might prevent him from entering games. The lack of physical tools might prove to be a problem on offense, too. And of course, he’s not very athletic.
A glimmer of hope for Thomas is that he’s with the Spurs; a team that seemingly gets the most out of their players and his offensive skills are somewhat similar—perhaps a poor man’s version—to current Spurs, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green (wingspan, outside shot, etc). Defense is of the utmost significance in San Antonio so it doesn’t look promising for Thomas’ rookie campaign.
59—Bojan Dubljevic, 6’9”, 235 lbs, PF/C-Montenegro: Just like Alex Oriakhi, Dubljevic is 6’9” and is listed at power forward and center. Unlike Oriakhi, Dubljevic actually has a pretty good offensive game. He is equipped with an outside shot and can score in the post. He also uses his high basketball IQ to score in creative ways. And it always helps to have a 7’1” wingspan.
What he has in skill, he sorely lacks in strength and athleticism. NBAdraft.net has predicted a scenario where Dubljevic will have “a problem when stronger, [more] athletic defenders are guarding him.” He is also a slow player so that, combined with his other physical deficiencies, will be a major issue on defense. Despite his height, he is also a weak rebounder.
It was mentioned that Dubljevic may be “best suited for a half-court, slower team.” What better team to go to than the Minnesota Timberwolves to play alongside Ricky Rubio? Ideally, the T’Wolves would prefer to go up tempo, but when they have to slow it down on offense, I can see these two running the pick and roll offense in half-court sets. Many believe, including DraftExpress.com, that he will “likely [be] two years away from joining a (sic) NBA team.”
60—Janis Timma, 6’8”, 226 lbs, SF-Latvia: NBAdraft.net describes Timma’s shot as being “one of the quickest releases in Europe.” Not bad for a guy that is being picked dead last in this draft. But he’s not just simply a shooter, but can create his own shot off the dribble and knows his way around an offense without the ball as well. He’s also not afraid to take the ball to the hoop with the ability to finish strong. He is also a willing defender.
As much credit he gets for being a tough kid, in a dualistic twist, he also gets criticized for being too mentally soft when things do not go his way. Rebounds are hard to come by despite his athleticism and stature. And just because he can create his own shot, he still needs to work on handles. He also lacks quickness so his faster counterparts can blow by him rather effortlessly.
Not sure how Timma fits in the “Grindhouse,” but the Memphis Grizzlies would probably prefer if he stays in Europe for a while longer.
And there you have it, 30 picks up, 30 picks down; I end this piece with notable players selected after the 55th pick of the NBA Draft:
- Ramon Sessions (2007)
- Patrick “Patty” Mills (2009)
- Jeremy Evans (2010)
- E’twaun Moore (2011)
- Isaiah Thomas (2011)
- Robert Sacre (2012)
The next stop for a lot of these guys is the NBA Summer League.
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