The prospects have finally heard their names called to their respective teams. Now it’s up to them to show and prove that they belong. Will they become future stars or future busts? Only time will tell.
This years draft had quite a few surprises.
Here’s a look some of the guys who could turn out to be steals or disappointments.
The StudsUSA TODAY Sports
Emmanuel Mudiay PG, Denver Nuggets – He could be the biggest steal in the draft. A very athletic guard who can explode to the rim. He has the ability to pass and guard most of the guys he will face. He must improve his shooting but the ceiling is very high for this guy. He should start right away which probably means the end of Ty Lawson’s time in Denver.
Jerian Grant PG, New York Knicks – Grant is not perfect for this team but he’s not bad either. A combo guard that plays smart. He showed that he could lead at notre dame with his scoring and playmaking ability. The triangle is not easy to learn but Grant should adjust sooner than later. He will be looking to start right away as well.
R. J. Hunter SG, Boston Celtics – Hunter is the type of player Brad Stevens loves. Tall, smart, high character. Having the skillset to put the ball on the floor or shoot it with range doesn’t hurt him either. He will have to fight for minutes but once he adjusts to the speed and physicality of the game he could be very good. Coming off the bench will help him with his learning curve.
Kevon Looney PF, Golden State Warriors – The rich seem to always get richer. Looney is a versatile big with a nice skillset. He can pass, shoot and defend multiple positions. What a luxury it is to stockpile him on an already loaded deep bench. Picking him up means one of the current bigs could be on the move.
Tyus Jones PG, Minnesota Timberwolves – This smart guard is every bit the floor general you need to run a team. He might not start right away but he will make his presence felt. Jones showed in the national championship a few months back that he is not afraid of the big moment. Rubio will have some competition at the point guard spot. Which means Lavine will probably be moved back to his natural position at shooting guard.
The DudsUSA TODAY Sports
Cameron Payne PG, Oklahoma City Thunder – New coach Billy Donovan is trying to change the culture. Payne is his first step in that new direction. A pick and roll point that will learn quickly he has to do more. With other point guards on the roster including starter Russell Westbrook. I don’t see how he will crack the lineup. But it is Donovan and he does know how to maximize talent.
Terry Rozier PG, Boston Celtics – The speedy guard will be used for one thing defense. That is the only way he can stay on the floor. Other than that I don’t see him making it. Too much talent in front of him Thomas, Smart, Bradley. Too much to overcome with that uphill battle. Hope to can develop in the D-League because that’s where he’ll be.
Chris McCullough PF, Brooklyn Nets – With Plumlee gone Brooklyn needed a serviceable big man. They went with McCullough fresh off of injury. The local kid might not be ready for the NBA grind. The Nets will see exactly what they have in a few weeks when summer league starts.
Delon Wright PG, Toronto Raptors – With the departure of veteran Greivis Vasquez he will have a shot as a backup to Lowery. It helps that he has some size on him as well. What he must continue to work is his shooting, especially off the dribble. Toronto definitely could use another scoring point guard. I just don’t think he’s the answer they’re looking for.
Richaun Holmes PF, Philadelphia 76ers – He is as raw as they come. And with the depth of Noel, Embiid and Okafor their isn’t much room for him in the frontcourt. He probably won’t make the roster and can look forward to spending his days in the D-League.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports