The draft is nearly upon us, which makes me unbearably happy because I get to talk about NBA stuff being (too far) off track. The draft is the perfect mix of college and the pros. People that love the college game get to fantasize about their favorite players on the biggest stage. NBA fans get to observe the young prospects and see if their teams are going to get better. When thinking about this, everyone always talks about the first round. Of course Markelle Fultz is going to make a roster and an impact. Lonzo Ball is probably going to ball out in his pirates-treasure-worth sneakers. The lottery is sprinkled with guys that will be important parts of the team that chooses them.

But, what about that other round? The latter of the two. There are thirty picks there, too, but they are not nearly as much of a lock. A lot of times, this is where the draft-and-stash international players are taken. It’s the round where the Sixers always seem to have like 600 picks. Every once in awhile, a team strikes gold in the lesser of the two rounds, though (unfortunately not the Sixers). Think Malcolm Brogdon’s faux-veteran presence from last year. The unicorn we call Jokic was drafted 41st in 2014. Draymond Green got taken in the second round in 2012, and Isaiah Thomas infamously got taken with the last pick in the 2011 draft.

This goes to show that every pick matters. Every second of scouting matters. Anything from picks 1-60 can be either a star or a dud (remember Anthony Bennett?). This draft season is no different. There are couple guys that are projected* to go in the second round that might be able to make a splash in the Association.

Josh Hart

Let me open with the fact that in no way is this Villanova bias. I do love myself some Wildcats, but if anything, this makes my analysis on Hart even stronger. I’ve watched this kid play in probably 120 of his 146 career games. I know every aspect of Hart’s game, and the kid can ball. Is he an elite athlete? Nope. He isn’t exactly spry, either, having already turned 22. But, I mentioned Brogdon earlier, and I’m going to bring him back up as what Josh Hart can be for some lucky middle-of-the-road team.

He is extremely smart, more than capable from beyond the arc, a really good rebounder for a guard, and is capable of playing the one to the three on both ends of the floor. After being a tail-end-of-round-one guy initially, he has slid all the way to 46 due to reasons that I am completely unaware of. If Hart is still on the board in the forties, someone is going to have gold literally fall into their lap (again, much like the Bucks with Brogdon). Here are Hart’s highlights from the magical tournament run that fulfilled all of my basketball hopes and dreams.

Johnathan Motley

I don’t like Baylor very much. Due to this, I also often do not love their stars. This led to an irrational hatred of Taurean Prince last season. Similarly, I felt this way about Motley this most recent season. Still, I am not the type of fan that loses sight of a guy’s talent because of my hatred, though. I firmly believe that Motley is going to carve out a very meaningful niche for himself in the NBA on the glass and the defensive end of the floor. Especially on the glass.

Standing at 6’9″ with a 7’3.5″ wingspan, he is more than capable of playing a small-ball four, or maybe even a five. I really see him feasting on the boards with those long arms and his tireless motor. Also, I’ll leave this highlight tape here of his 32 and 20 game against Texas, who I should point out had Jarrett Allen last season (I’ll also point out that he is projected to be chosen in the lottery).

Honorable Mentions

I only didn’t say Sindarius Thornwell because I feel like either him or Hart. They are very similar players and their roles in the NBA will be along the same lines. I just like Hart more.

I feel obligated to at least mention Frank Mason on this list because, well, he’s a fucking killer (to put it lightly). It would be massively disrespectful to not at least mention his name.

Jaron Blossomgame is pretty good, but he’s also pretty old.

Monte Morris simply doesn’t turn the ball over. I’m not sure if you watched him in college, but when he turns it over, the announcers love to bring up that he has a completely ridiculous assist to turnover ratio.

 

*note: all projections from DraftExpress

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