Five potential second-round steals in NBA Draft
FIVE POTENTIAL SECOND-ROUND STEALS
BOSTON – No matter how well teams scout players, there’s always someone who slips into the second round that soon proves they were better -- much better -- than where they were selected.
In Thursday’s NBA draft, no team has more opportunities at finding a second-round steal than the Boston Celtics.
Boston comes into Thursday’s draft currently armed with eight draft picks, five of which are in the second round.
That gives them the best shot of any team at finding that second-round stud, such as Draymond Green of Golden State (second round, 35th overall) or Normal Powell of Toronto (second round, 46th pick overall) or Miami’s Josh Richardson (second round, 40th overall) or the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson (second round, 46th overall).
Here’s a look at five players likely to wind up being second-round steals.
Power forward from Weber State
After putting up some off-the-chart measurement numbers at the NBA pre-draft combine in Chicago last month, Bolomboy went from a borderline draft pick to a solid second-rounder. His speed and athleticism make him a player who could easily find a home in this era of hybrid bigs with small-forward quickness who also possess the length to defend bigger players. His ability to switch out and defend smaller players on pick-and-rolls was certainly a trait that potential teams like about Bolomboy. He has also used the workouts to showcase a perimeter game that’s still a work in progress. But his athleticism and defensive potential make him a player worthy of being selected somewhere in the second round.
Point guard, Oakland (Mich.) University
People sleep on his chances in the pros because of his diminutive 5-foot-9 frame, but Felder has the kind of talent to open eyes quickly. He led the nation last season in assists (9.3) and was fourth in scoring (24.4). And despite being at a mid-major school, Felder was at his best against major programs. In a 99-93 overtime loss to then-No. 1 Michigan State, he had 37 points and 9 assists. And in a 97-83 win at Washington two days earlier, he lit the Huskies up for 38 points and 9 assists. Considering what he has done at the college level and how he has stepped his game up against the best of the best, it would be surprising to think that 60 players will hear their names called and he would not be among them.
Power forward, New Mexico State
There are few players who have improved their overall game the last two years as much as Siakam, a 6-foot-10 freakish big man who averaged 20.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per game. What he lacks in experience he more than compensates for with a 7-3 wingspan. His offensive game needs a lot of work, with much of his scoring being generated by his hustle and effort at both ends of the floor. He projects as a second-round pick who will come into the league as a high-energy player who is at his best when attacking the offensive glass.
Small forward, Iowa
Brad Stevens tried to recruit Uthoff out of high school in part because he brought a similar skillset to an earlier player for Butler, Gordon Hayward. Those same traits were on display during Uthoff’s time at Iowa. At 6-fot-10, he has a size advantage over most small forwards and, because of his ability to shoot from the perimeter, he has the potential to be a reliable stretch four (power forward) in the NBA. He is one of the more versatile wing players in this draft who doesn’t have off-the-charts athleticism, but by no means is he a stiff on the floor. And because of his length, Uthoff has the potential to be a decent defender as well who will likely hear his name called somewhere in the middle of the second round.
Shooting guard/small forward, Virginia
One of the more decorated players in this draft, Brogdon is a solid NBA prospect in just about every category. The reigning ACC Player of the Year, Brogdon showed he can knock down the long ball when he connected on 39.1 percent of his 3s. He has been among the game’s top defenders for the past couple of years, so that side of the ball shouldn’t be too big of an adjustment for him at this level. His game is very much about substance over sizzle, which is part of the reason he’ll likely slip into early to middle portion of the second round. But as we’ve seen in the past, four-year players with solid character on and off the court with skills similar to Brogdon tend to find a home in the NBA quickly. And while there will certainly be a number of players who hear their names called prior to Brogdon, the 22-year-old has a very good chance to be among the best first-year players when all is said and done.