With the Kings holding the 34th pick in the second round, it seems prudent to take a deeper look at some of the most discussed prospects. As with any second round players, putting an appropriate draft value on these prospects isn’t productive; any one of them could be taken at 30, any at 60. I’ve ranked them in order of my preference. If I’ve missed any of your favorites, write up a report in the comments!... but it might just mean some of them are included in my big 25 board, which comes out Wednesday.
SG, 22 years old, Villanova
6’5, 209 lbs, 6’8.25 wingspan
18.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 57.9% 2P, 40.4% 3P
I like Hart for a lot of the reasons people like Justin Jackson, and Hart comes with a much less expensive price tag - he’s a capable shooter, willing defender (despite his size and length weaknesses), and an overall high-IQ player. As his career went on, he turned his three point shot into a proven weapon, and showed he could create for himself (and others) with a variety of attack moves. Plus, he’s a proven winner (#1 option on a title team), and great locker-room guy/leader.
Hart is seriously undersized for the small forward spot, but he’s added enough muscle to where he was difficult for bigger players to move around. He’s not an explosive or NBA-standout athlete, but he’ll work to compete against pretty much anyone.
If the Kings bypass the wing position with their 1st round picks, Hart is one of my favorites for the 34th pick. He’s going to be a solid player for years to come.
F, 21 years old, Radnicki Basket (Serbia)
6’10, 227 lbs
12.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 41.9% 3P
I admit to knowing nothing of Bolden until Twitter alerted me to his existence. After reading Jonathan Tjarks’ post about him on the Ringer, he now he seems like a Vlade surprise waiting in plain sight.
From the highlight clips and scouting work done by others, Bolden seems a like a bouncy, lengthy combo forward with good range (1.9 threes per game at a 41.9% shooting clip) and quick feet that let him excel in transition. His defense seems more of a mixed bag, but given his size and quickness he could develop into a solid defender by tools alone. And hey, he won the Adriatic League Youth Player of the Year award, which has previously been won by Dario Saric and Nikola Jokic.
I’m not gonna even pretend to evaluate Bolden fairly; check out the Ringer’s piece or his DraftExpress profile for more on the Kings’ obvious pick at No. 10.
PF, 22 years old, Oregon
6’8.5, 224 lbs, 6’11.75 wingspan
11 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 66.1% 2P, 70% FT
Quincy Acy times Quincy Acy squared. Bell is an turbo-charged energizer, with fantastic defensive instincts (2.5% steal rate), rim protection skills (8.4% block rate), and rebounding numbers (12.2 per 40). He’s was a very efficient low-post player in college (53.3% on post-ups in the half-court, according to Synergy) and was a terror in transition, averaging an ABSURD 82.9% on 59 such possessions.
One thing that needs to be unlocked for Bell to be more than a enforcer/3rd big man is his creation ability. Beyond hustle points, Bell offers little proven abilities; he was just 32% on jumpers in the half-court, and 14% on three pointers. Something in his offense needs to click before he’ll earn serious minutes.
PF, 20 years old, Nevada
6’8.25, 239 lbs, 7’1.25 wingspan
16 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 38.4% 3P
Oliver offers up those NBA unicorn skills; deep-shooting threat (1.9 threes a game), rim protection (2.6 blocks per game and a 8.3% block rate) and great explosive athleticism. His handles (3 turnovers per 40, 14% rate) will need significant improvement before he can handle a big offensive role, and he’s got a ton of developing to do on both his offensive and defensive awareness - someone with his athleticism shouldn’t have shot a paltry 32.8% on post-ups when facing Mountain West competition. Scouts who’ve watched him full time point to inconsistent effort as one of his biggest flaws, but if he finds stronger motivation in the NBA, he’s got the toolset to be a very solid and well rounded stretch 4.
PG, 23 years old, Kansas
6’0, 190 lbs, 6’3.25 wingspan
20.9 PPG, 5.2 APG, 4.2 RPG, 2.4 TPG, 47.1% 3P
Frank Mason is going to make some NBA team really happy in the mid-to-late second round. Projecting him as a future starter is overly optimistic in my view, but his shooting instincts, tough, always-engaged play style and his winning personality will make him a fan favorite.
His efficiency as a scorer was incredible last season, and he’s able to create his own shot in a variety of ways; he’s in the 80th percentile in points-per-shot in transition, on the pick-and-roll, in iso, and on the spot-up. While he’ll never be a pass-first point, he’s capable and willing; he averaged 5.2 assists per game this past season, and made SIGNIFICANT improvements in his ball-handling and control over his four-year career on Kansas (a near 2.2/1 assist to turnover ratio).
The one concern with his offense is his lack of ability at the rim; he’s far less reliant when he gets into the paint, and is shot 56% at the rim...much lower than normal for a high-usage guard (Ball shot 79%, Monk 68%, and Fox 64%). The Isaiah Thomas comparisons end here; in his senior year at Washington, Thomas shot 65% around the basket in the half-court (91st percentile), compared to Mason’s 49% (39th percentile). Thomas excels in the NBA because he can shoot the three AND is such a threat to attack the rim; Mason doesn’t have that ability, which is the main reason I’m lower on him than a lot of the fanbase. I don’t think Mason has the slashing skills or the full-game impact to be a big-time 2nd-round steal, but he’ll carve a role in the NBA.
PG, 22 years old, Gonzaga
6’3, 190 lbs, 6’7.25 wingspan
16.8 PPG, 4.7 APG, 6.0 RPG, 36.8% 3P
Williams-Goss was the best player on the runner-up Champ Bulldogs this season, managing to both handle, distribute, and score the ball at efficient levels. He was utilized in a moderately slower paced offense, but earned and maintained Mark Few’s trust; 45% shooting in the half-court (85th percentile) and a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio, all while distributing across the Zags’ offensive spread and keeping all his pieces involved.
While not a great athlete, Williams-Goss has solid enough size and foot speed to play either guard spot in the pros. Bigger 2s and speedy 1s will give him trouble, but he’s a very high IQ defender who won’t back down. He’s one of my bets for surprising second round contributor.
PF, 20 years old, Purdue
6’8.5, 246 lbs, 7’3 wingspan
18.5 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.8 BPG, 44.7% 3P
Swanigan’s improvement this season was incredible; he became a hyper-efficient scorer, shooting near 80% at the rim, 40% on two-point shots, and 43% from three. He doesn’t have dynamic physical tools (6’8.5 without great explosiveness or footspeed), and he’ll prefer to play small-ball center rather than match-up with the athletes at the NBA 5... but he’s a determined rebounder (30.5% defensive rebounding rate, and 15.5 boards per 40 minutes!) who worked to box out both faster fours and bigger fives. Add in his solid court vision (3.7 assists per 40), and you’ve got a capable bench big man with the ability to impact multiple ways on offense.
PG, 22 years old, Iowa State
6’2.5, 175 lbs, 6’4 wingspan
16.4 PPG, 6.2 APG, 1.5 SPG, 37.8% 3P
Morris was exceptionally efficient with the ball at Iowa State, finishing with a 5/1 assist to turnover ratio, 7 assists per 40 minutes, and 32% assist rate compared to just 7.5% turnover rate.... ALL WITH a crazy low 22.8% usage rate. Morris is a sharp, smart passer who could earn spot as a bench floor general by sheer value of his ball control and passing skills on their own.
He was excellent in the half-court offense, shooting 46.4% (89th percentile), with nearly a third of his baskets coming off the pick-and-roll (48.9% shooting). Most of this success came off jumpers off the pick, but he was fairly successful at the rim given his skinny frame and average length.
Morris has an uphill climb as he doesn’t have the natural tools that would make him a clear NBA player, but he’s a high IQ ballhandler with a solid jumpshot who could provide solid value to a pick-and-roll team.
SF, 23 years old, Clemson
6’6.75, 219 lbs, 6’10 wingspan
17.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 56.5% FG
Bloosomgame is bruising offensive player and an multi-positional defender who makes up for his age with a highly-engaged motor. His two offensive weaknesses that hold him back from true versatility; little play-making skill (1.8 assists per 40 minutes and a 9.7% assist rate despite a 25% usage rate) and limited success with his jumpshot (23.8% on jump shots in the half-court offense, per Synergy).
Blossomgame told NBA teams he could offer them what Andre Iguadola offers the Warriors - strength, defensive versatility, and make open threes. Iggy is a great player for Bloosomgame to model his game around, even if that level of impact isn’t likely. He’ll make for a great D-League player at the worst, and second round steals rarely appear without Bloosomgame’s level of motor.
SF, 21 years old, Oregon
6’6, 220 lbs, 6’6 wingspan
16 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 40% 3P
Brooks hit some MONSTER shots throughout one of the more successful Oregon basketball seasons in recent memory, including game-winning threes against UCLA and Cal. Brooks is an intense, competitive player who was the vocal and emotional leader of the Ducks (alongside Bell), and showcased an all-around strong scoring ability in his junior season. He finished in the top fifth of the NCAA for half-court scoring success, which included shooting 41% on jumpers in the half-court AND 51.4% shooting in his 90 isolation attempts (91st percentile).
Brooks will likely have a rougher transition into the NBA; he’s got plenty of bulk and willingness to play against bigger forwards, but his lack of height, length, or great quickness or burst will hold him back. He was a limited rebounder in college (7.4% rate), so he’ll likely be shifted to a off-guard role in the NBA.
He’ll need to become a very versatile offensive game to compensate; one underappreciated skill was his success as a playmaker, and he finished with a solid 23% assist rate for his 31% usage rate.
Derrick Walton Jr.
PG, 22 years old, Michigan
6’0.75, 189 lbs, 6’2.5 wingspan
15.5 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.8 RPG, 42.2% 3P
Walton was the catalyst of a very-solid-not-great Michigan team for the past four years after he took over for Trey Burke (HOLY HELL WAS THE BURKE YEAR REALLY FOUR YEARS AGO?!) His most translatable skill is his shooting; he averaged 2.6 made threes a game (41% shooting) while also shooting 41.6% on jump shots in the half-court, 90th percentile. He’s much less comfortable attacking the basket (bottom fifth percentile at shots around the basket in the half-court). Walton was quick for college but not as quick for the NBA, and his lack of explosiveness means he’ll need to develop the handles to maneuver around NBA defenses... something he doesn’t have at this point.
His 4.5 assists per game is surprisingly low considering what looks like a pass-first playstyle, but he did also play off-ball frequently in order to utilize his ability to get open and hit shots. At worst, he’ll carve out a nitch in the G-League as a go-to floor distributor, but if he develops the handles and the defensive intensity to stick in the league he could be a capable backup.