All posts by Troy Jefferson

2020 NBA Draft Preview: Cole Anthony 6’3 190 PG- North Carolina

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Anthony is a well conditioned athlete. The Tar Heels point guard missed six weeks with a torn meniscus in his right knee but never skipped a beat with his conditioning and he rarely looks tired. He averaged 34.9 minutes per game and the NBA workload shouldn’t be a problem for him.  A week after coming back from injury, he played 43 minutes against Duke.  Offensively, Anthony is best when asked to make plays off the high screen and roll, where he can drive, shoot the elbow jumper or make the correct pass (Boston College; 1st Half). An accurate barometer for if Anthony is playing well is if he is driving to the basket, he shot at least six free throws in 12 of 22 games played. In those games where he shot more than six free throws, Anthony averaged 21 points compared to 15 points when he did not. He also enjoys using the step back jumper and fade away. When asked to finish at the bucket, Anthony will shoot the ball high off the glass or go to a baseline reverse rather than dunks. 

Weaknesses: Not long and doesn’t possess a great wingspan. Duke point guard Tre Jones is also listed at 6’3” but his length was the difference as he overpowered Anthony to the rim on multiple occasions in their first matchup. Untimely turnovers are a problem as well (ACC Tournament: Virginia Tech; 1st Half). He averaged 3.5 turnovers per game. He was stripped with his team up two against Duke when he tried to split two defenders. Anthony also will need to tweak his shot selection, he is prone to settle for three pointers or fadeaways. The freshman has a fairly quick release but does start his shooting motion at his midsection, will this be effective at the next level?

Other Notes:

  • Attended Archbishop Molloy High School (NY) for three seasons before transferring to Oak Hill Academy (Va.) for his senior season. He was named the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game MVP after totaling 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists
  • Father, Greg, played 11 seasons in the NBA and won a championship in college at UNLV
  • Member of the U18 USA National Team and led team USA in scoring at the 2019 Nike Hoops Summit
  • Missed six weeks during his lone season at UNC with a torn meniscus in his right knee
  • 2019-2020 (22 games, 20 sts): 18.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4 APG, 38% FG, 34.8% FG3, 75% FT

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Cole Anthony plays with a competitiveness that many freshmen don’t possess. However, turnovers and shot selection will be a question mark for scouts. Can Anthony be trusted to make the smart play?  He would be best served playing for a team that has a veteran point guard who can show him the ropes. Look for him to be drafted around pick No. 7 like a Tar Heel point guard who came before him, Coby White. A pairing with the Detroit Pistons and Derrick Rose would be ideal. 

2020 NBA Draft Preview: Daniel Oturu 6’10 240 C- Minnesota

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Oturu projects best defensively as  a weak-side rim protector.  The Minnesota sophomore has the basketball IQ to know when to shade over from the weak-side to protect the rim (1st half, Arkansas State ’18). Oturu averaged 1.3 blocks per game in his freshman season and 2.5 blocks in his sophomore campaign. Offensively, he possesses a bag of moves that belies his age. The drop step over the right shoulder is his signature move (1st half, North Carolina A&T ’18). He also has a rip through move that he will use at the top of the key and a baseline spin that he can use at either side of the basket. Scouts will be intrigued by his raw shooting talent (37% from the three-point line). 

Weaknesses: Oturu struggled finding teammates out of the post and cashing in on assists (0.8 assists per game through his career). Worth noting, he wasn’t surrounded by sharpshooters. When forced to play against shorter, sturdier based opponents, Oturu has the tendency to lose his balance and shoot off-kilter (vs. Xavier Tillman, Michigan State ’19, 2nd Half). Scouts would like to see Oturu play more vertical and use his height rather than reach down and get into foul trouble. Can the Golden Gopher sophomore play against non-traditional centers like Nikola Jokic and Al Horford in space defensively?

Other Notes:

  • Attended Cretin-Derham Hall HS (Minn.) and helped the team win the Class 4A state championship during his senior season with a game- winning dunk against Apple Valley HS , which was led by fellow 2020 NBA Draft prospect, Tre Jones (Duke)
  • Was a consensus four-star prospect coming out of high school and received scholarship offers from Kansas and Baylor
  • Father,  Francis, who stands 5’5″, played table tennis for the Nigerian national team and moved the family to the United States to pursue his career in the sport
  • 2018-2019 (31 sts): 10.8 PPG, 7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 55% FG, 50% 3-PT, 61% FT
  • 2019-2020 (31 sts): 20.1 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 1.1 AST, 56% FG, 36% FG3, 70% FT
  • Career Stats: 15.2 PPG, 9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 55% FG, 37% 3-PT, 67% FT

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Oturu was overshadowed in the Big Ten by National Player of the Year candidate, Luka Garza from Iowa. Oturu’s drop step will remind Minnesota fans of former Golden Gopher, Kevin McHale. However, his lack of ability to pass from the post and play defense with his feet rather than his hands will concern scouts. His body frame is reminiscent of former NBA journeyman Nazr Mohammed, but Oturu possesses a more polished offensive game and has more “spring” off the floor. The sophomore big man will flourish in a system where he is surrounded by shooters and can use his myriad of moves on the low block and the pinch post. Look for Oturu to be selected in the Top 15 range of this year’s draft. 

Q&A with Tulsa DE Trevis Gipson: “Put in the work”

Tulsa defensive end Trevis Gipson totaled 13 quarterback sacks in college and in 2019 doubled his sack production from four to eight. DraftNasty’s Corey Chavous caught up with Gipson (6’3, 259) during the 2020 Senior Bowl media day to discuss his favorite pass rush moves and the chances of improving his draft stock.

Chavous: You worked so much at the four-technique (DL) and oftentimes you play bigger than your size, what do you feel like this week offers in terms of showing you can be as an edge rusher?
Gipson: I feel like that will show my versatility to scouts and general managers that will be observing our practice. Like you said, I came in sometimes four-I (inside shade of tackle), four (head-up versus offensive tackle) or sometimes even five (outside shoulder of offensive tackle), but just being on that edge showing I can bull rush or speed rush, speed-to-power, just showing a lot of versatility in my pass rush. I feel like that will help my overall draft stock at the end of the day.

Gipson finished his Golden Hurricane career with 25.5 tackles for losses and eight forced fumbles.

Chavous: Some of our notes on you include the right-hand post from the left defensive end spot and then using that same arm to dip and make the 90-degree turn against Cincinnati this year. When you go against bigger tackles, like the guys you’ll face this week, do you feel like your long arms will allow you to get some extension away from these big tackles?
Gipson: I feel like it will. I have certain moves for certain tackles. Taller tackles I like to dip the corner or use my speed because they are longer than me. It all depends on what type of tackle I’m going against and just being able to turn that corner…wearing that down. That will open my opportunities to do the bull rush or power pass rushes overall.

Chavous: Do you think if you show here what you showed against other Power 5 teams that you could move up into the first round discussion?
Gipson: Most definitely, my confidence in myself is out of this roof. I feel like once I show them my pass rush is unstoppable in my opinion then it will help my draft stock. Overall, run-stopping, also, I feel like that will help me. Just dominating in all aspects man, that’s a part of my game plan. Of course everyone wants their draft stock to rise, but you’ve got put in the work to do it. That’s my first milestone and I’ll cross that coming this afternoon (here at the Senior Bowl).

Chavous: You kind of touched upon it, you’re a good run defender. That separates you from potentially some of the other players. Why is it such a commitment to you in terms of holding the point or being able to two-gap?
Gipson: In order to get to third down, you have to stop first and second.

Chavous: Yeah.
Gipson: I feel like I have more fun rushing the passer but I can’t do that unless I stop the run first. Of course delivering big hits….just enjoying the physicality of the game, that’s part of the reason I do it man. I love the game. You can’t take physicality or you can’t take running away from the game. Everybody is gonna run the ball. Some teams more than others…like Navy.

Chavous: Right, right.
Gipson: I didn’t get many pass rushes versus them (Navy).

Chavous: Protect your legs….(laughs).
Gipson: Ah man, I had blood coming down my shins and everything. It was crazy man. But stopping the run is a big part of getting to that third down and that’s what comes first. So I take that more serious.

Chavous: You kind of remind me of those guys who are multi-dimensional, like Za’Darius Smith or Preston Smith, the guys that play up in Green Bay. Guys who can play the run and rush the passer. Who do you pattern your game after at the next level? Maybe a guy where you say that kind of reminds me of myself a little bit. I can work on developing some of what he already has in his arsenal.
Gipson: I like to compare myself to Marcus Davenport (New Orleans Saints), he’s 6-foot-7 (6’6″). But just his story, coming out of UTSA, a small school, he was underlooked.

Chavous: He kind of rose up during this week (Senior Bowl) too, right?
Gibson: Yeah, he did and that’s my plan. Seeing him become the 14th overall pick, it just gave me nothing but hope and pride. I’m going to try and kill this week and show scouts what I can do. Overall, perform at a high level.

Chavous: Thanks a lot man, we enjoyed watching you play. Best of luck.
Gibson: Thanks a lot.

The versatile Terrapin

If it looks like Antoine Brooks, Jr. is anticipating the play before it happens, as if he is a quarterback, it is because he was one.

Brooks, Jr. excelled at Duval High School in Bowie, Maryland, where he was a quarterback and a defensive back. As a quarterback, he took home the Prince George’s Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year in 2015 despite playing in just six games after suffering a broken wrist and leg.

Almost five years later, Brooks, Jr. sees how his experiences in high school have shaped him into a versatile defensive prospect.

“Honestly (playing quarterback) helped me a lot with the transition of being on defense,” Brooks, Jr. said during media day at the Senior Bowl. “Even with being a leader. It just shows I can communicate and get the right play down.”

The three-year starter was asked to digest a bevy of tasks within the team’s system. This allowed him to play a variety of roles from week-to-week.

At the University of Maryland, Brooks, Jr. played nickel back, safety and outside linebacker.

While he is known in College Park for his diving interceptions or hard sideline hits, the cerebral part of the game is not lost on Brooks, Jr.

Unprompted, Brooks, Jr. recalled a moment from this past year’s AFC Championship game when his favorite player to watch, Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, correctly diagnosed a read-option pass to Titans receiver Corey Davis over the middle of the field.

Mathieu knocked Davis two yards behind the line of scrimmage for a loss but this was after he saw the Patriots run the same play for N’Keal Harry, who broke Mathieu’s tackle and got a first down in the red zone in Week 14 of the regular season.

Mathieu then took to Twitter after the game and said film preparation helped him identify the play and correct his previous error.

“It just shows watching film is so important,” Brooks Jr. said. “Those are the little things that help me succeed.”

His film study made a huge difference for the Terps defense, who used him as a Swiss Army knife.

Brooks, Jr. broke out during his sophomore season when he transitioned from linebacker to defensive back in the offseason.

Brooks earned All-Big Ten honors three times in his career (2017 Honorable mention All-Big Ten, 2018 2nd Team All-Big Ten and 2019 3rd Team All-Big Ten).

In 2017, he had 9.5 tackles for loss, which were the most by a Big Ten defensive back in the regular season. He also led the Terps with 53 solo tackles, while also contributing a quarterback sack and two interceptions.

The success he had as a nickel back hasn’t pigeonholed Brooks, Jr. During interviews with NFL personnel at the 2020 Senior Bowl, he admitted that his preferred position is strong safety.

Like a terrapin, Brooks, Jr. is undersized but can adjust to different surroundings.

“You just have to ask me (where to play),” Brooks, Jr. said of the prospects of being asked to play multiple positions. “I’m going 100 percent and I win most of my battles.”

The numbers at the University of Maryland speak volumes. In his career, Brooks, Jr. had nine pass deflections, four interceptions, 27.5 tackles for loss and three-and-a half quarterback sacks.

Brooks Jr. knows his speed will be a question mark if he is asked to play in the secondary, but he trusts his 40-yard dash time will calm any doubts.

“I’m hoping to run in the low 4.4s,” said Brooks Jr., who ran a 4.5 going into college. Worth noting, he ran a 4.64 at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

Confidence wasn’t something that was lacking for Brooks, Jr. during Senior Bowl week. The former Terp could be seen on the practice field communicating demonstrably during the on-field drills and asking questions from the Cincinnati Bengals coaches, who led the South roster.

However, the three-time All-Big Ten performer is ready to put the questions and talking aside and get to what really matters.

“I’m just ready to play football,” Brooks, Jr. said.

Tyler Hall 5’10 190 CB-KR Wyoming

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Has started at CB, nickel and KOR. His feet never stop moving in the down (either in the return game or at DB). Uses a catch technique in press-man on the goal line and looks over the inside shoulder of WRs to play through the ball (GL, 1st QTR, Missouri ’19; then PBU, 2nd QTR). Out of his shuffle zone-turn, he transitions with fluidity vs. speed outs (PBU, 1st QTR, Georgia State ’19). Contains a relatively smooth motor-press bump-and-run technique. Squeezes to the upfield hip when WRs establish inside releases. He also squeezes to the upfield shoulder of WRs and uses the sidelines as an extra defender when defending fade patterns (gets head around for PBU, 2nd QTR/4:38, Missouri ’19). Goes for the rip-and-strip as a tackler (FF, 1st QTR/5:34, Missouri ’19). Forced four fumbles in his career. Although he receives the contact, he is willing to come up as a rolled-up CB to tackle in two-deep zones (2nd and 7, 2nd QTR/7:24, Missouri ’19). On middle kickoff returns, he displays good contact balance and vision to hit the return in a forward motion. Possesses top-end speed in the open field (Texas State ’17).

Weaknesses: Didn’t show a level of recovery speed trying to chase down Utah State’s Saiosi Mariner in 2019. Watch getting opened so quickly in your motor-press man technique. Gets stuck on stalk blocks too long on the perimeter (Nance, Missouri ’19). Loses WRs in the second phase of the down when plastering (allowed TD, GL, Missouri ’19). Sudden jerks cause him to react too violently and he raises his frame in bump-and-run (3rd and 10, 1st QTR, Arizona Bowl ’19). Double clicks show up once he’s opened his hips to break back downhill in off-man coverage (3rd QTR, Missouri ’19). Missed the UNLV game in 2019 due to a concussion.

Other Notes:

  • Attended Juniper Serra HS (Calif.) and was named a 1st Team All-Mission League selection
  • 2017 (5 sts): 30 tackles, ½ TFL, 2 INTs and 4 PBUs; 33.9 yds/KR and 2 TDs
  • 2018 (11 sts): 39 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, INT and 9 PBUs; 22.4 yds/KR
  • 2019 (12 gms): 37 tackles, 72-yd INT-TD and 8 PBUs; 33.4 yds/KR
  • Career Stats: 107 tackles, 3 TFLs, 4 FFs, FR, 4 INTs (97 yds, TD), 22 PBUs; 31.7 yds/KR and 2 TDs (28 returns
  • 2020 Wyoming Pro Day: 5’10 190 18 reps-225 lbs, 4.4 40-yd, 38” VJ, 7.0 3-cone

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): We kept watching Hall and looking for negatives other than him being slightly undersized. It was hard to find many. He didn’t make the number of plays on the ball you would expect from a player with his level of footwork and movement skills. Hall transitions in-and-out of his breaks like a high-round pick. The former Cowboy finished third in the country in kickoff return average as a junior due to his foot speed and initial burst. He would have been among the nation’s leaders again in 2019 if not for just eight returns. Hall is the definition of an all-purpose player, but it is questionable if he can hold up as a full-time kickoff returner. If not, he has upside as a nickel back or outside corner. The California native has Day 3 value in this year’s draft.

DraftNasty Rewind: “Running with the Bills”- Josh Allen

Josh Allen was one of five quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Like fellow first round pick, Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Lamar Jackson, Allen can get a lot done with his legs. Under the direction of Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Allen plays with a uniqueness to the position.

In order to better understand this now NFL starter, let’s look back at our evaluation of the former Wyoming signal caller:

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Prototype size. 10 1/8” hands. Good instincts. Competitive. Tough” (Corey Chavous 2018 NFL Draft Guide).

Fast forward a year and a half and these same attributes are at the top of the list when describing Allen. Take a look at this scramble for a touchdown against Miami. Immediately, what jumps out is the large hands as well as the instincts previously described, Allen is able to scramble right, palm the ball and unlike some other quarterbacks, he doesn’t look to move the chains and dive. Allen goes into the teeth of the defense and even dips his shoulder against a linebacker as he runs into the end zone.

For his career, Allen has thrown 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with a 56.7 completion percentage. He’s also run for 1,070 yards and averages 5.8 yards per carry, while losing three fumbles.

“He’s like a running back,” New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during a press conference before playing the Bills this season. “He breaks tackles. He’s got good speed, good power, and he’s shifty. He avoids and breaks a lot of tackles. It’s another dimension, sixth receiver in the passing game if you will. Gives them another blocker in the running game when they have designed run plays for him.”

For his career, Allen has 17 rushing touchdowns compared to Jackson’s 12 and when the two met earlier this month, their combined 1,407 rushing yards was the most ever between two opposing starting quarterbacks. When looking more into Allen’s rushing touchdowns, you also see that he will run in it on each and every down, he has at least one rushing touchdown on each down with two rushing touchdowns coming on 4th and 5 or more.

Like a running back, Allen leaves himself susceptible to some big hits (see his scramble against the New England Patriots on third down in the fourth quarter, where he took a hit to the helmet). One of the weaknesses, we highlighted was “Allen’s reckless playing style has led to durability concerns.” Last year, Allen missed time with an elbow injury.

Digging deeper into the numbers, Allen has proven to be an effective runner on first and second down, where he averages 8.5 yards per attempt. This highlights what has been an effective recipe for the Bills offense when they’re successful: A big run on early downs, which allows for Frank Gore to get carries in short yardage situations and allows Allen to utilize the play action on second and third and short.

At the :23 second mark of the video below, we can see the athletic ability that Belichick is referring too. DraftNasty had Allen rated as the No. 4 quarterback in the draft and one reason why is that we felt his skills would have to be maximized by an offensive coordinator. Last year, during the opening week of the season versus the Ravens, DraftNasty highlighted in our in-game report some of Allen’s abilities. However, Allen had to sit behind Nathan Peterman and wasn’t given the reigns fully until the season began. A year later, Allen is the unquestioned starter and his coordinator has opened up more of the playbook. Daboll has mixed in run-pass options with deep shots to Bills speedster John Brown and uses Cole Beasley in the slot. Look at the similar play calling Daboll used when he was at the University of Alabama with then quarterback Jalen Hurts at the 2:20 mark.

The successful marriage between offensive coordinator and quarterback has led to a 9-4 season for the Bills and has them in the running for an AFC East division title, which they haven’t won since 1995. Another strength DraftNasty highlighted of Allen was his ability to run a pro-style offense with multiple shifts and two-tight end sets in Wyoming. Daboll has utilized his quarterback’s ability to handle multiple formations and has adopted the philosophy of his former mentor, Bill Belichick, who has been known to alter his schemes from week-to-week. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, through the first 10 games of this season, the Bills used 246 different offensive personnel combinations which is the fourth-most in the league behind the Dolphins, Lions and 49ers. Worth noting, the Lions and Dolphins both have head coaches who have ties to Belichick.

These multiple formations not only serve as window dressing for the defense but allow Allen to simplify his reads.

Look at how Daboll uses a motion man in the opening drive vs. the Redskins to manipulate the linebackers and allow Allen to decipher if it’s man or zone defense while tilting the formation for running plays. It’s important that the Bills play well early in situations because Allen has thrown nine interceptions to just five touchdowns with a 51 percent completion percentage when trailing. As opposed to four touchdowns and three interceptions with a 53 percent completion percentage when ahead.

As the Bills jockey for playoff positioning, we see how much Allen means to Buffalo’s offense. And almost two full NFL seasons later and we think this analysis of Allen still rings true.

“While he could use a year or two of development behind a bridge quarterback, he may be able to transition to the NFL game at a faster pace than expected. He’s an emotional, fiery player who will need to hone his footwork, timing and trajectory as a passer. We feel he’s an early-round talent capable of competing for a starting job early in his career,” according to our 2018 assessment of Allen.

DraftNasty feels like the Bills have found an adequate coordinator in Daboll, who can maximize Allen’s abilities. If the signal caller is to continue to ascend look for an improvement in his mechanics and to be more judicial when running.

Corey Chavous’ 2020 NFL Draft guide/Free Agency Recap (HARD COPY)

NOTE:

Our 2020 NFL Draft Guide/Free Agency recap dives into free agency through April 2, 2020. We also provide analytical breakdowns of which positions have been drafted the most over the last decade. Our scouting reports feature extensive in-depth analysis on every prospect through each of the positional groups.

2020 NFL Draft Guide, Hard Copy edition ($39.99). This hard copy purchase comes with a free ONLINE 2020 NFL Draft Guide. See receipt email after purchase for more details.

What now? DraftNasty looks at the NBA free agency landscape after the draft

With the NBA Draft in the rear view mirror and the free agency period set to start at 6 p.m. on Sunday, DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson breaks down some of the compelling storylines and offers his best fits for the scenarios.

Where do the star players of the NBA Finals go next?

Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson are all free agents. Durant was the marquee name of the free agency period before he tore his achilles in the NBA Finals. However, the two-time Finals MVP is still a highly sought-after name and will receive a max contract from whoever signs him.  Kawhi Leonard was able to shift the balance of power away from the Western Conference  to the East when he joined the Raptors and won a championship this past season.  Klay Thompson is a five-time NBA All-Star and just barely missed out on the NBA supermax deal because he was not named to an All-NBA Roster.  To make matters worse, he tore his ACL in the NBA Finals and it remains to be seen how much time he will miss next season.  Each of these players are probably future Hall of Famers and will make whoever they sign with considerably better. Leonard and Thompson are both LA natives but I expect Thompson to stay in northern California.  Thompson plays his best when running off screens and setting picks for backcourt mate, Steph Curry, and their synergy is hard to replicate. Thompson was drafted by the Warriors and his skill-set is perfect for the Warriors free- flowing offensive attack.  Leonard could either return to the Raptors, which would put Toronto back in the driver’s seat in the Eastern Conference, or he could return home to play in Los Angeles.  Both the Lakers and Clippers could offer him a max deal, so it will come down to a matter of preference for Leonard.  Doc Rivers has shown before that he can maximize star talent and the Raptors proved they could put a team together around Leonard.  I think the Raptors or the Clippers are the likely landing spots for Leonard. Durant could miss all of next year but he, too, has plenty of suitors. He could return to the Warriors or leave the Western Conference like Leonard did last year and join a weaker Eastern Conference. The Knicks and Nets have been linked to Durant. The Knicks would probably be a playoff team with a fully healthy Durant but does a guy who spent the last three seasons competing in the NBA Finals want to play the waiting game with a young core?  The Nets made drastic strides last season as a playoff team, but they still need a star. If they are able to sign Kyrie Irving and pair him with Durant, this would probably make them the team to beat in the East. 

Troy’s predictions

Kawhi Leonard- L.A. Clippers

Kevin Durant- Brooklyn Nets

Klay Thompson- Golden State Warriors 

Does Brooklyn re-sign Russell or sign Kyrie?

As mentioned above, Kyrie Irving -a New Jersey native- has been linked to the Brooklyn Nets.  The Celtics enjoyed some success with Irving but could not make it to the NBA Finals and it seems their time together is over.  Brooklyn has the cap space for two max deals and have a need at point guard. They have a point guard in D’Angelo Russell, who made the All Star team this past season and could re-sign him.  Irving has had the better career to date though. I think Brooklyn would be better served signing Irving and trying to use that second max slot to sign another star player like Durant. However, Brooklyn could be in the same position as the Celtics if they strike out and can only bring in Irving, who would be the lead star.  In his past stints, Irving’s teams have not flourished when he played the role as the “lead dog”, see his early career in Cleveland and the last two years in Boston.

Troy’s predictions

Kyrie Irving- Brooklyn Nets 

How do the Lakers fill out their roster?

The Lakers traded away three players including last year’s first round draft pick, Mo Wagner, to the Wizards in order to free up enough space to sign another player to a max deal.  Right now, the Lakers are comprised of LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis as well as a few unproven youngsters.  General manager Rob Pelinka and the Los Angles Lakers could sign a player like Kawhi Leonard to a max contract and then fill out the roster with players on the veteran minimum or sign a  second tier star like Tobias Harris and then spread out the money to others that would make more than the veterans minimum. I actually think the best case scenario is for the Lakers to look to their past, they have a need at point guard and could bring back Russell. Russell saw his game rise to the next level last season and showed his ability to break down defenses and get to the rim. Signing Russell would allow James to play less at point guard and give the Lakers someone who could push the pace in transition. The Lakers ranked fourth in transition points per game last season and with what figures to be a roster of newcomers in 2019, Los Angeles needs as many easy buckets as they can muster. With the money they save by not using their max contract slot, the Lakers could also target free agents like J.J. Redick or Trevor Ariza, both sharpshooters and the type of players that have enjoyed success with James in the past. 

Troy’s predictions

D’Angelo Russell as well as a few second tier free agents- Los Angeles Lakers

What does Dallas do with their cap space?

Dallas acquired former New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis in the middle of this past season and saw Luka Doncic take home the rookie of the year award. The duo will serve as the centerpieces for the Mavericks going forward in the post Dirk Nowitzki era and they have enough money to bring in a max player this offseason. The Mavericks have a clear need at point guard and I look for them to try luring a guy like Kemba Walker. First order of business will be resigning Porzingis, who is a restricted free agent. I don’t see Porzingis leaving the Mavericks at all. However, I don’t see Walker signing with Dallas because it isn’t a great fit to have Doncic/Walker and Porzingis all on the floor together, there would be a natural overlap in the need for each player to have the ball. I do expect however for Dallas to target a true center because we’ve heard at times that Porzingis doesn’t like playing the 5. Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic is the name I expect to see sign with the Mavericks. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Mavericks target a defensive minded point guard like Patrick Beverly as well. 

Troy’s predictions 

Nikola Vucevic and a starting point guard – Dallas Mavericks 

Who will play alongside of Harden in Houston in 2019-2020?

The Rockets have been on the door step of the NBA Finals the past few seasons but this is a crucial offseason for them. Houston could stick with their same roster from last season and try and take advantage of the Western Conference, which is in flux. The Lakers have star power but will need time to gel and the Warriors have stars but Durant is a free agent and so is Thompson and even if they keep both, they won’t be ready by the start of next year. There are benefits in opting for continuity if you’re the Rockets. However, the opposite argument could be made, Houston couldn’t beat the banged up Warriors this season so why would anything change next season? If the Rockets want to bring in another max contract player like Jimmy Butler, they would probably have to trade center Clint Capela and Eric Gordon, to make the financials work. Butler would bring toughness and a defensive presence to the Rockets however I can’t see him coexisting with Harden and Chris Paul, all three need the ball in their hands to be successful. Paul and Harden already have times where they look like they’re taking plays off when the other is dribbling, Butler would only complicate matters. The best case scenario for brining in Butler would be getting rid of Paul and acquiring a spot up shooting point guard in the mold of former Heat point guard, Mario Chalmers. 

Troy’s prediction

The Houston Rockets should keep the team as presently constructed

Where will Kemba end up?

If Durant, Thompson and Leonard are in the “first tier” of free agents, Walker is not far behind. The former UCONN point guard is a one man offensive weapon that has only missed six games over the past four seasons. Whoever signs Walker is getting someone that can score (averaged 25.6 points per game last season), lead and possesses rare durability. I think the Celtics, who will probably lose Irving to free agency are the team to watch. Unlike the Mavericks. Walker fits in a lot better from a scheme standpoint with the Celtics, who possess a plethora of wings like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Romeo Langford, who can not only mask his defensive decencies but don’t need to handle the ball every possession. 

Troy’s predictions

Kemba Walker- Boston Celtics 

DraftNasty’s 2019 NBA Draft recap: Pick-by-pick

Selection Player/ Position School Draftnasty Take
Round 1 Pick 1: New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson/ Forward Duke Williamson was the consensus best player in the Draft and DraftNasty agreed. The former Duke standout should be an instant performer on the boards and on defense.
Round 1 Pick 2: Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant/ Point GuardMurray StateWith longtime point guard, Mike Conley being traded, Memphis now has its point guard of the future.
Round 1 Pick 3: New York Knicks R.J. Barrett/ Small Forward Duke The Knicks have plenty of holes and work left to do but R.J. Barrett is an immediate contributor offensively.
Round 1 Pick 4: Atlanta Hawks De'Andre Hunter/ Small Forward Virginia Hunter can score without the ball in his hands and should be a great complement to offensive standouts like Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish.
Round 1 Pick 5: Cleveland Cavaliers Darius Garland/ Point Guard Vanderbilt Cleveland now has two small point guards. John Beilein might've wanted to draft his own guy at point guard instead of work with Collin Sexton.
Round 1 Pick 6: Minnesota Timberwolves Jarrett Culver/ Shooting Guard Texas Tech Culver provides Minnesota with a defensive specialist on the wing and can take offensive pressure off Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns.
Round 1 Pick 7: Chicago Bulls Coby White/ Point Guard North Carolina White should bring stability to the Bulls point guard position and allow them to move on from Kris Dunn.
Round 1 Pick 8: New Orleans Pelicans Jaxson Hayes/ CenterTexas Hayes and Williamson will combine to form a stout defensive duo on the low block.
Round 1 Pick 9: Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura/ Power Forward Gonzaga DraftNasty predicted the Wizards to take an international player but not Rui Hachimura. Hachimura is small for the power forward position but has a polished offensive game.
Round 1 Pick 10: Atlanta Hawks Cam Reddish/ Small Forward Duke Reddish was up and down at Duke last season but he is used to playing with top offensive talent. The Hawks should be a place where he can grow into his potential.
Round 1 Pick 11: Phoenix Suns Cameron Johnson/ Small ForwardUNC Phoenix is getting a sharpshooter, who will space the floor for Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.
Round 1 Pick 12: Charlotte Hornets P.J. Washington/ Small Forward Kentucky Washington will play alongside last year's first round pick, Miles Bridges. The duo provides toughness and versatility on the wing.
Round 1 Pick 13: Miami Heat Tyler Herro/ Shooting GuardKentucky DraftNasty predicted the Heat would take Washington but they ended up with another Wildcat. Herro is an excellent shooter, who can also put the ball on the floor occasionally.
Round 1 Pick 14: Boston Celtics Romeo Langford/ Small Forward Indiana The Boston Celtics have a lot of wing players already but Brad Stevens is very familiar with basketball in the Hoosier state and must have a role for Langford.
Round 1 Pick 15: Detroit Pistons Sekou Doumbouya/ Small Forward French Doumbouya, Drummond and Blake Griffin will be hard to defend in transition. This pick gives Detroit athleticism on the wing, which they lacked.
Round 1 Pick 16: Orlando Magic Chuma Okeke/ Small Forward Auburn Okeke is coming off an ACL injury but DraftNasty had him as a first rounder because of his ability to score in bunches.
Round 1 Pick 17: New Orleans Pelicans Nickeil Alexander-Walker/ Shooting Guard Virginia Tech Alexander-Walker is best when playing with a traditional point guard and should fit nicely alongside Lonzo Ball.
Round 1 Pick 18: Indiana Pacers Goga Bitadze/ Center Georginan Bitadze joins a crowded room of skilled big men in Indiana which features guys like Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. However, this marriage gives him time to develop.
Round 1 Pick 19: San Antonio Spurs Luka Samanic/ Power Forward Croatian DraftNasty mocked the Spurs grabbing a skilled big man such as Nic Claxton but Samanic fits the mold as well.
Round 1 Pick 20: Philadelphia 76ers Matisse Thybulle/ Small Forward WashingtonThybulle is a classic "3 and D" prospect. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris are free agents and the 76ers needed another wing just in case.
Round 1 Pick 21: Memphis Grizzlies Brandon Clarke/ Power Forward Gonzaga Clarke is an athletic prospect, who gives the Grizzlies another scoring punch in the front court with Jaren Jackson Jr.
Round 1 Pick 22: Boston Celtics Grant Williams/ Power Forward Tennessee If the Celtics lose Marcus Morris in free agency, Williams can fill in with his experience, toughness and shooting ability.
Round 1 Pick 23: Oklahoma City Thunder Darius Bazley/ Small Forward N/A Bazley decided to not attend Syracuse but has the physical tools (6'9, 200) to play in the NBA. The former McDonald's All-American is a mystery because scouts haven't seen him play in a competitive game in a year.
Round 1 Pick 24: Phoenix Suns Ty Jerome/ Point Guard Virginia The Suns needed a point guard and DraftNasty had them drafting one in the Top 10. Jerome is used to playing with top level talent and putting them in positions to succeed.
Round 1 Pick 25: Portland Trail BlazersNassir Little/ Small Forward North Carolina Al-Farouq Aminu is a free agent and Moe Harkless is in his last year of his contract. Little fits the mold of a NBA small forward and could provide depth if one of the two leaves.
Round 1 Pick 26: Cleveland Cavaliers Dylan Windler/ Small ForwardBelmont Windler is an efficient scorer who could take pressure off whoever is running the point guard position in Cleveland.
Round 1 Pick 27: Los Angeles Clippers Mfiondu Kabengele/ Center Florida State Kabengele is a stretch big man and should help the floor spacing playing next to Montrezl Harrell.
Round 1 Pick 28: Golden State Warriors Jordan Poole/ Shooting Guard and Small Forward Michigan Poole had an inconsistent season at Michigan but he is talented and should get a chance to develop since the Warriors' depth is unclear at the present moment.
Round 1 Pick 29: San Antonio Spurs Keldon Johnson/ Small Forward Kentucky Johnson slipped in the draft but the Spurs may have gotten a steal because of the former Wildcat's defensive- minded, physical game.
Round 1 Pick 30: Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Porter Jr. / Shooting Guard USC The Porter, Jr. and Windler selections are evidence that Cleveland valued shot makers and shot creators to fill out their roster.
Round 2 Pick 1: Brooklyn Nets Nic Claxton/ Center Georgia Claxton is a rim protector but also has good mechanics on his jump shot. This is a good spot for him to develop.
Round 2 Pick 2: Miami Heat KZ Okpala/ Small Forward Stanford Okpala gives the Heat some size on the wing, where behind Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow, the Heat need someone to produce.
Round 2 Pick 3: Boston Celtics Carsen Edwards/ Point Guard Purdue The Celtics point guard position is murky with Kyrie Irving being rumored to test free agency. If Irving leaves, Rozier will be the starter, but Edwards has the potential to compete for bench minutes.
Round 2 Pick 4: Atlanta Hawks Bruno Fernando/ Center Maryland The Hawks drafted a bruiser who is a throwback low post scorer. Fernando's game should complement fellow Hawks big man John Collins.
Round 2 Pick 5: New Orleans Pelicans Marcos Louzada Silva/ Small Forward Brazilian Silva might be able to crack the young Pelicans roster because of his sharp three- point shooting (47 percent).
Round 2 Pick 6: Charlotte Hornets Cody Martin/ Small Forward Nevada Martin can play forward but also showed his ability to play point guard. He is another tough-minded wing, which general manager Mitch Kupchak has shown to covet, by drafting the likes of P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges.
Round 2 Pick 7: Detroit Pistons Deividas Sirvydis/ Small Forward Lithuanian The Pistons went overseas to draft another wing player in the second round. Sirvydis, 19, could spend a few more years overseas before joining the Pistons.
Round 2 Pick 8: Chicago BullsDaniel Gafford/ Center Arkansas Gafford is a rim protector who is best when out in transition. Look for Gafford to get significant playing time in the Summer League.
Round 2 Pick 9: Golden State Warriors Alen Smailagic/ Center Serbian Smailagic, 18, caught scouts eyes in the G-League. The Warriors showed a need for young athletic big men after center Kevon Looney injured his shoulder in the Finals.
Round 2 Pick 10: Sacramento Kings Justin James/ Small Forward Wyoming James has an offensive repertoire that made him worth a selection. How he plays within a team setting at summer league could determine his roster fate.
Round 2 Pick 11: Golden State Warriors Eric Paschall/ Small Forward Villanova His toughness and ability to defend, despite being just 6'7", could remind folks of Draymond Green. DraftNasty had him going in the first round.
Round 2 Pick 12: Washington Wizards Admiral Schofield/ Forward Tennessee Schofield is a physical player but, at 6'5", he doesn't have a true NBA position. Size limitations aside, Schofield can contribute as a spot-up shooter with a high motor.
Round 2 Pick 13: Minnesota Timberwolves Jaylen Nowell/ Shooting Guard Washington The Pac-12's Player of the Year was an efficient scorer, posting 16 points per game on 50-percent shooting and 44-percent from beyond the three- point line.
Round 2 Pick 14: Denver Nuggets Bol Bol/ Center OregonThe Nuggets don't mind taking players with injury risks (see the Michael Porter Jr. selection last year). If Bol Bol is healthy, he could be an impact floor spacer with his shooting.
Round 2 Pick 15: Detroit Pistons Isaiah Roby/ Small Forward Nebraska Roby showed a little bit of everything offensively at Nebraska, with his ball handling, shooting and rebounding skill. However, too many times he was inconsistent. The Pistons put a premium on drafting wing players in this draft and Roby will get a chance to prove his worth.
Round 2 Pick 16: Los Angeles Lakers Talen Horton-Tucker/ Small Forward Iowa StateThe Lakers could trade Horton-Tucker to save money in order to fill out the rest of their roster, but if he is retained, he brings position versatility.
Round 2 Pick 17: New York Knicks Ignas Brazdeikis/ Small Forward Michigan Brazdeikis plays with a confidence and swagger that Knicks fans will appreciate. However, his defense is the reason he slid this far.
Round 2 Pick 18: Los Angeles Clippers Terance Mann/ Small Forward Florida State DraftNasty had Mann going in the first round. His height (6'7") and position versatility could give him a chance to make the Clippers roster.
Round 2 Pick 19: San Antonio Spurs Quinndary Weatherspoon/ Shooting Guard Mississippi State Weatherspoon enjoyed a productive senior season. We've seen the Spurs draft four-year college players and turn them into starters, and former Michigan State shooting guard Bryn Forbes comes to mind.
Round 2 Pick 20: Utah Jazz Jarrell Brantley/ Power Forward Charleston Brantley is one of two CAA players drafted in the second round by the Jazz, Hofstra's Justin Wright-Foreman is the other. Brantley was one of the most productive mid-major players in the draft and was named All-CAA for four years.
Round 2 Pick 21: Boston Celtics Tremont Waters/ Point Guard LSUWaters pushes the pace offensively and will join Purdue's Edwards in competing for a roster spot and potential minutes.
Round 2 Pick 22: Charlotte Hornets Jalen McDaniels/ Power Forward San Diego State McDaniels averaged 15 points and almost nine rebounds per game at San Diego State. He has a thin build but being drafted at this stage gives him a chance to develop his body and overall game.
Round 2 Pick 23: Utah Jazz Justin Wright-Foreman/ Point Guard Hofstra Wright-Foreman was the definition of a "bucket getter" at Hofstra, averaging 27 points per game. I'm interested to see how he performs in the summer league, where he won't be asked to take 20 shots a game to keep his team competitive.
Round 2 Pick 24: Philadelphia 76ers Marial Shayok/ Small Forward Iowa State Shayok is another athletic wing that the 76ers could use depending on how free agency shakes out for them.
Round 2 Pick 25: Sacramento Kings Kyle Guy/ Point Guard Virginia Guy, like former Kings second round pick, Frank Mason, is undersized but confident and has excelled in big moments. Guy will have to play well to distinguish himself on a point guard-heavy roster.
Round 2 Pick 26: Brooklyn NetsJaylen Hands/ Point Guard UCLA Hands is a former McDonald's All American, who got better in his second season after an inconsistent freshman campaign.
Round 2 Pick 27: Detroit Pistons Jordan Bone/ Point Guard Tennessee Bone impressed on a talent- rich roster at Tennessee with his leadership abilities and intelligence in clutch situations.
Round 2 Pick 28: Utah Jazz Miye Oni/ Point Guard Yale The Jazz didn't target players from major colleges in the second round. Oni averaged 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. He got better every year in college and the Jazz hope to see that trend continue in the pros.
Round 2 Pick 29: Toronto Raptors Dewan Hernandez/ Center Miami Hernandez, at 6'10", has terrific length and plays with a lot of energy. The Raptors have been one of the best organizations in player development recently and Hernandez has a chance to crack the roster in the future because of it.
Round 2 Pick 30: Sacramento Kings Vanja Marinkovic/ Shooting Guard and Small Forward Serbian Marinkovic, 22, is a little older than most "draft-and- stash" European prospects. However, he is experienced and can shoot, which gives him a chance to be successful at the next level.

DraftNasty’s NBA 2019 1st Round Mock Draft

As draft night approaches on Thursday, DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson takes a look at how he believes the first round will pan out.

Editor’s note: the mock draft doesn’t necessarily reflect the top 30 players on the DraftNasty big board but takes a peek into how each individual team will draft based on their need(s).

1. New Orleans Pelicans- Zion Williamson 6’7 285 PF-Freshman Duke

Willamson is the consensus best player in the draft and will serve as the face of the franchise in New Orleans now that Anthony Davis has been traded to the Lakers.  Williamson and new point guard Lonzo Ball should be a terror in transition.

2. Memphis Grizzlies- Ja Morant 6’3 174 PG-Sophomore Murray State

With longtime point guard Mike Conley rumored to be on the trading block, it’s time for the Grizzlies to find a new face of the franchise. 

3. New York Knicks- R.J. Barrett 6’7 203 SF- Freshman Duke

The Knicks missed out on Zion Williamson but fans should be happy about his Duke teammate R.J. Barrett.  The godson of former two-time MVP Steve Nash, Barrett is polished and has a number of offensive tools to work with.

4. New Orleans Pelicans (From Los Angeles Lakers)- De’Andre Hunter 6’7 225 SF- Sophomore Virginia 

The Pelicans will use their other top five pick, which they acquired from the Lakers,  to bring in a small forward who can do a little bit of everything.  Jrue Holliday, Ball and Williamson will command the bulk of the offensive load while Hunter can crash the glass and serve as a spot-up shooter.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers- Jarrett Culver 6’7 195 SG- Sophomore Texas Tech

Culver should be able to contribute right away for new Cavaliers coach John Beilein.  The former Michigan coach should be very familiar with Culver, who scored 22 points, four assists and four rebounds against his Wolverines in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

6. Phoenix Suns- Darius Garland 6’2 174 PG- Freshman Vanderbilt

Garland would add to a young core that already features Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.  Garland is a masterful passer who should make life easier on the Suns star players.

 

7. Chicago Bulls- Coby White 6’5 185 PG-Freshman North Carolina 

The Bulls are trying to solidify their point guard position after underwhelming results from Kris Dunn.  Chicago could look to Chapel Hill, which has given them a good return on investment in the past.

 

8. Atlanta Hawks- Cam Reddish 6’8 208 SF- Freshman Duke 

Reddish’s inconsistent play could cause a slight slide to the Hawks with the eighth pick.  Offensively, Reddish possesses enough skill to take pressure off of Trae Young. 

9. Washington Wizards- Sekou Doumbouya 6’9 203 SF- France

Under former executive Ernie Grunfeld, the Wizards had  a tendency to draft Europeans.  Names like Jan Vesely (2011 NBA Draft, 1st Round, 6th overall) and Tomas Satoransky (2012 NBA Draft, 2nd Round, 32nd overall) immediately come to mind.   However, in terms of fit, Doumbouya exhibits the ability to defend at a high level and he excels in transition. Washington could use a player that plays hard and doesn’t take plays off.  Doumbouya is that guy.

10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks)- Brandon Clarke 6’8 215 PF- Junior Gonzaga

Clarke is the more NBA-ready forward between him and his Gonzaga counterpart, Rui Hachimura. The Hawks could package this pick for a veteran player, but if they decide to keep it look for them to take a player ready to contribute from the onset. 

11. Minnesota Timberwolves- Nassir Little 6’7 220 SF-Freshman North Carolina

Little will bring grit and effort to the Timberwolves. Little’s offensive game needs polishing, but head coach Ryan Saunders has made his name in player development. 

12. Charlotte Hornets- Nickeil Alexander-Walker 6’5 205 SG-Sophomore Virginia Tech 

If the Hornets lose Kemba Walker in free agency, they will need someone to pick up the scoring load.  Alexander-Walker has a lot of tools in his toolbox and averaged 16/4/4 last year at Virginia Tech.

13. Miami Heat- P.J. Washington 6’8 228 SF-Sophomore Kentucky

Pat Riley likes two things: toughness and Kentucky basketball. Washington fits the mold of a Riley pick and would be an immediate contributor. 

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings)- Tyler Herro 6’5 195 SG-Freshman Kentucky 

The Celtics have to try and retain Kyrie Irving but whether he leaves or stays, Boston has shown how much they value three-point shooting (finished seventh in the NBA).  Herro (35-percent from the three-point line) fits the bill.

15. Detroit Pistons- Jaxson Hayes 6’11 220  C-Freshman Texas 

The Pistons have an abundance of big men and guard may be a  bigger need. However, Hayes would be the best prospect on the board and hard to pass up.

16. Orlando Magic- Romeo Langford 6’6 216 SG-Freshman Indiana

The Magic need someone who can create on the perimeter and Langford can do just that.  His shooting will be questioned (44- percent overall and 27-percent from the three-point line.)

17. Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn Nets)- Rui Hachimura 6’8 230 PF-Junior Gonzaga

If the Hawks decide to take two Zags in the first round, Hachimura would be a great complement to Brandon Clarke and John Collins.

18. Indiana Pacers- Keldon Johnson 6’6 211 SF-Freshman Kentucky 

Johnson could provide another weapon for the Pacers to take pressure off Victor Oladipo.  He averaged 13 points on 46-percent shooting from the field and 38-percent from the three-point line.

19. San Antonio Spurs- Matisse Thybulle 6’5 201 SF-Senior Washington

Thybulle boasts a 7’1″ wingspan and is a terror on defense. Thybulle (35-percent from the three-point line) projects as a “3 and D” wing.

20. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers)- Bol Bol 7’2 236 C- Freshman Oregon

If he stays healthy, Bol Bol can have a productive career.  A 7’2″ center who can shoot and run the floor is hard to find, and if he’s here at this pick Boston could take a chance.

 

21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Bruno Fernando 6’10 240 C-Sophomore Maryland 

Fernando is a bruiser in the mold of Steven Adams. The Maryland big man could provide a low post threat for the Thunder, who have opted to use draft picks on wing players and guards in the past. 

22. Boston Celtics- Ty Jerome 6’5 195 PG- Junior Virginia 

Jerome would give the Celtics another option behind Terry Rozier and could be a solid backup if Kyrie Irving leaves via free agency.

23. Utah Jazz- Cameron Johnson 6’9 210 SF- Graduate Senior North Carolina 

Johnson is an experienced silky smooth shooter.  Utah could look to draft an immediate contributor who can help them take the next step in the Western Conference.

24. Philadelphia 76ers- Eric Paschall 6’9 255 F-Senior Villanova

The 76ers don’t have to look far for depth in the front court.  Paschall can do a little bit of everything and would be good glue guy off the bench for Philadelphia.  His game is reminiscent of Paul Millsap’s (Denver Nuggets). 

25. Portland Trail Blazers- Kevin Porter Jr. 6’6 218 SG/SF- Freshman USC 

Portland could look to stay on the West Coast and add bench scoring from the perimeter with an athletic wing like Porter, Jr.

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston Rockets)- Goga Bitadze 6’11 251 C-Georgian

Bitadze is a skilled big man that already has an NBA body. Beilein has been known to value international players and Bitadze is an intriguing prospect. 

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver Nuggets)- Chuma Okeke 6’8 229 SF-Sophomore Auburn 

Brooklyn has three small forwards that will test free agency this season (DeMarre Carroll, Jared Dudley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson). Okeke averaged 12 points on 49-percent shooting during his sophomore year at Auburn.

28. Golden State Warriors- Terance Mann 6’7 215 SG/SF-Senior Florida State

With injuries to Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, the Warriors will need immediate contributors to start the season.  Mann played four years at Florida State and can play shooting guard or small forward.

29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto Raptors)- Nicolas Claxton 6’11 220 C- Sophomore Georgia

Claxton finished 10th in the nation in blocked shots per game (2.53) in 2018-19.

Claxton is an effective passer who can guard multiple positions, He fits the mold of a Spurs big man.

30. Milwaukee Bucks- Grant Williams 6’7 236 PF-Junior Tennessee

Williams can contribute right way for a team that’s equipped to win now.  He can score in a variety of ways within the three-point line.