This is Part Two of my draft board for tonight’s draft, if I were sitting in Flip Saunders’ chair. Part One can be found here.
16. Dario Saric, PF, Croatia
Saric won’t be in the NBA for another year or two, but he’s a highly-skilled power forward that could have an immediate impact if filling the void left by a departed Kevin Love.
17. Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
The defensive/tweener concerns are real, but so is his shooting ability. He should be a good role player and spot shooter in the NBA, but it’s tough to see him being a legitimate starter on a contender, much less a star.
18. Jarnell Stokes, F, Tennessee
Stokes has burst onto the mid-to-late first round scene of late. His 6′ 8″ height isn’t ideal, but the level of physicality and toughness that he would bring would be welcome off the Wolves’ bench.
19. Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
While Napier won’t be the star-caliber player that he was while winning a national championship at UConn, he should be a solid NBA backup point guard. He does enough things averagely that he’ll carve out a niche as a 14-18 minute per game player.
20. Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan
Robinson must improve his outside shot and overall consistency, but the talent to be a good professional player is obviously there. He’s a bit of a project, but he should be a late first round draft pick.
21. Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
Unfortunately, Payne is a player that Saunders is allegedly seriously considering with the #13 pick. The combination of playing power forward in the off-season that could see Love leave town and playing under Tom Izzo for four years may be enough to win over Saunders.
22. Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
Clearly the Wolves don’t need another center; they’ve already got three good ones. But Nurkic should be on their board for the simple fact that he could be the second-best in this draft, after Embiid. If the Wolves were in a situation to draft the international big man, they’d have to have a trade in place for one of the centers on the roster.
23. Mitch McGary, C, Michigan
As with Nurkic, the Wolves would probably need to swing a trade if McGary was there for the taking in the early second round. It seems unlikely that a team like San Antonio wouldn’t nab the Michigan big man at the end of the first round, however.
24. K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
McDaniels is 6′ 6″ with very impressive defensive skills, which is a combination that is sorely lacking on the Wolves’ current roster. He does not possess a great outside shot, which would be an issue when combined with Ricky Rubio, Corey Brewer, etc. But if he slides, he would be a nice value pick.
25. Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
Similarly to McDaniels, Grant has a jump shot that needs work. On the plus side, he’s long, stands 6′ 8″, and can step in and play solid NBA defense immediately.
26. Spencer Dinwiddie, SG, Colorado
Dinwiddie, like McGary, is a college star coming off of a major surgery. The University of Colorado project has legitimate NBA skills and size (6′ 6″ at the two-guard), and shot over 41% over 17 games last year prior to his knee injury. He could very well fall into the early second round, but has lottery talent.
27. Rodney Hood, SF, Duke
Hood will likely be drafted far too early, but there isn’t much about his college (lack of) production that suggests he’d be more than a decent spot-up shooter. His other skills, both offensively and defensively, leave much to be desired. He’s rumored to be in the mix for the Wolves at #13, but Saunders would be leaving a number of superior players on the board if he reached for Hood.
28. Dwight Powell, PF, Stanford
If Saunders is hell-bent on adding a power forward in the draft, Powell wouldn’t be a bad guy to add to the squad. He’s long, athletic, a good rebounder, and fairly adept at drawing fouls. He doesn’t have a great post game or three-point range on his jump shot, but he wouldn’t be a bad Dante Cunningham replacement off the bench.
29. Russ Smith, PG, Louisville
Smith is a smallish point guard that projects as a nice change-of-pace player off the bench. Combined with his excellent quickness, he’s a good enough jump shooter to get by in the pros.
30. Khem Birch, PF/C, UNLV
Birch profiles as an undersized center in the pro game (6′ 9″, 220 pounds), but he plays physical enough and rebounds at a good enough rate to suggest that he’d be a decent fifth big man. His knack for the ball and style of play should warrant a second round pick.