DeAndre Daniels

Raptors sign Lucas Nogueira, bring roster to 15 without DeAndre Daniels

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Nikola Mirotic signing with the Bulls left just four first-round picks prior to this season who are actively playing outside the NBA:

  • Lucas Nogueira (No. 16 in 2013 by Celtics)
  • Livio Jean-Charles (No. 28 in 2013 by Spurs)
  • Petteri Koponen (No. 30 in 2007 by 76ers)
  • Fran Vazquez (No. 11 in 2005 by Magic)

Now, there are three.

Nogueira, who was traded on draft night to Dallas and then Atlanta, was dealt again by the Hawks to the Raptors this summer. The Raptors acquired him for a purpose.

Raptors team release:

The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday they have signed centre Lucas Nogueira (no-GARE-uh)

Because Nogueira signed within three years of being drafted, he’ll receive a rookie-scale contract for the No. 16 pick in 2014 (the year he’s signed, not drafted).

He gives Toronto 15 players, not including No. 37 pick DeAndre Daniels. The Raptors have until Sept. 6 to offer Daniels a required tender – a contract, guaranteed or unguaranteed, worth at least the league minimum – or he becomes a free agent.

Often, in these situations, a team volunteers to use its connections to secure the player an overseas contract. In exchange, the player agrees to decline the required tender, allowing the team to keep his rights.

I’d guess the Raptors and Daniels agree to such an arrangement.

Report: Will Cherry to sign with Raptors

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Will Cherry didn’t impress enough to get drafted out of Montana in 2013.

He didn’t impress enough to get a call-up while playing in the D-League last season.

But his summer-league performance finally put him over the top.

With interest from the Cavaliers (his summer-league team) and Raptors, Cherry drew an NBA contract.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Former D-League Canton guard Will Cherry has agreed to a two-year deal worth the NBA minimum with the Toronto Raptors, a source told Yahoo Sports Wednesday.

The Oakland, Calif., native is expected to sign the partially guaranteed contract in the coming days.

A partial guarantee puts Cherry in strong position to make the roster as the third point guard behind Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez. Teams don’t typically guarantee any money for a player likely to be waived before the first season of his contract, and No. 3 point guard is a role the Raptors will likely fill.

Cherry gives Toronto 14 players plus Lucas Nogueira, a 2013 first rounder who spent last season in Spain acquired in a trade with Lou Williams for John Salmons, and unsigned second-round pick DeAndre Daniels.

The Raptors want to sign Nogueira, but his buyout could be an issue. If they can sign him, Daniels likely gets squeezed out – becoming an unrestricted free agent or remaining in Toronto’s control if he agrees.

2014 NBA Draft pick-by-pick draft tracker (info on all the picks, trades)

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No more rumors, no more smokescreens and no more agents trying to spin — it’s time for action.

NBA teams are on the clock.

The 2014 NBA Draft is here.

In this post we will update you with every pick, telling you a little about the player your team just selected. We’ll also keep you up to date with all the trade action going on (and there could be a lot of that tonight). Just hit refresh and you’ll have the latest news and analysis as teams sort through a crop of players with a lot of potential but a lot of questions.

[Want NBA draft gear? Click here]

Let’s get this underway with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who for one year is not going to get booed.

FIRST ROUND

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, 6’8” small forward, Kansas. The most hyped, anticipated draft pick in years, it’s a lot to live up to but he has a lot going for him — freakish athlete, he has good skills (which need polishing on the offensive end), he defends very well, and by all reports is very coachable with a good hoops IQ. He can be a key building piece along with Kyrie Irving. Can he be transcendent is another question.

2. Milwaukee Bucks:Jabari Parker, 6’8” power forward, Duke. A polished scorer, the most NBA ready of the top picks, he can put up points for the Bucks from Day 1. He can be used as a four in small line-ups or at the three for bigger one, that plus his versatility on offense led to Carmelo Anthony/Paul Pierce comparisons. But Parker has a lot of work to do on the defensive end (remember Coach K benched him late in Duke’s tournament loss, it was for that reason). Still, put him in a front line rotation with John Henson and Larry Sanders (if he gets his head screwed back on) and you have something to build on.

3. Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid, 7’0” center, Kansas. You already know the concerns about him being injury prone — he had two screws put in the navicular bone of his right foot, after a stress fracture in his back. Those are the kinds of injuries that can become chronic. Still, this is a great gamble by the Sixers. In a league without many dominant centers anymore, Embiid could become one. Before the injury he was incredibly athletic and mobile for someone his size, he was great at rim protecting, he could rebound, and his offensive game was all about potential. How far he bounces back remains to be seen but if he gets close to his potential the Sixers have a steal. They likely just have to wait a year to find out.

4: Orlando Magic: Aaron Gordon, 6’9” power forward, Arizona. A little surprised he went this high. One of the best athletes in a draft deep with good athletes, Gordon is going to impress Magic fans making plays running the floor in transition (expect some spectacular dunks), he will grab boards and he can defend multiple positions. But he has a lot of work to do, he needs a lot of polish in the halfcourt offense — he doesn’t have a good jumper or post up game. He just gets his points on athleticism, that could limit his ceiling (especially if it doesn’t change). Shawn Marion is often the comp used with him. Gordon and Victor Oladipo give the Magic a couple nice young pieces out of the last two drafts.

5. Utah Jazz: Dante Exum, 6’6” combo guard, Australia. He’s a big point guard who can play at the two spot, offering a lot of versatility next to Trey Burke in the backcourt. He’s got impressive skills for a young player — he can get to the rim and plays a smart game — with plenty of room to grow. He needs to develop a consistent jumper with three point range, the jumper needs work. There was a division between people in the Marcus Smart camp and the Exum camp — Exum has a higher ceiling but is lest tested and a bigger gamble. Still, the Jazz need a star to go with some nice young pieces, he’s the one guy on the board who could become one.

6. Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart, 6’3” point guard, Oklahoma State. With questions about what Danny Ainge will do with Rajon Rondo, Smart could be the Celtics’ point guard for the next decade. Smart has good size, he’s aggressive in attacking the rim, he’s a deft passer and, most importantly, he is possibly the best defender in the draft. He’s got to develop a more consistent jump shot, he’s got to learn to limit turnovers, but this is a quality pickup.

7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, 6’9” power forward, Kentucky. He said he grew up a Kobe Bryant fan, now he gets to see what it’s like to be his teammate. Lakers’ fans are going to like Randle from the start because he can come in and start putting up points and grabbing boards from Day 1. He is strong and agile, which makes him dangerous in the post and on the boards. He can put up double doubles from the start. There is mixed opinions about how good a defender he can be, he’s not long. He needs to ultimately develop a jumper and take care of the ball better, this things can limit his ceiling. But there’s a lot to like.

8. Sacramento Kings: Nik Stauskas, 6’6” shooting guard, Michigan. This seems high to me but he is probably the best shooter in this draft, he has ridiculous range and can shoot from the midrange as well. More than just catch-and-shoot, he can put the ball on the floor a little to create a shot for himself (although how well he does that against faster NBA defenders remains to be seen). The Kings need someone who can space the floor and create a little extra room for DeMarcus Cousins inside, although last year the Kings picked Ben McLemore to be that guy (not sure how they fit together). There are serious questions about his defense — he’s not quick laterally, not long and he’s going to be matched up on athletic freaks at the two guard spot. His improvement at that end of the floor determines his playing time and longevity in the league.

9. Charlotte Hornets: Noah Vonleh, 6’9” power forward, Indiana. He slipped on draft day, he was top five projected by many. He’s a big man seemingly built for the modern game, able to play inside and score with either hand (he has a nice jump hook) plus he can shoot from deep, hitting 48.5 percent from three last season. He plays bigger than his size thanks to a massive 7’4.5” wingspan, plus he has huge hands. The questions are his high turnovers, poor passing, and doubts about whether he is explosive enough to adjust to the NBA game in the paint. He can learn next to Al Jefferson, nice fit.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Elfrid Payton, 6’4” point guard, Louisiana Lafayette. He is being traded to the Orlando Magic for Dario Saric. For Payton this is good, he is a better fit in Orlando (no Michael Carter-Williams at the same position). One of the fastest risers in the draft over the past few weeks, there is a lot to like. A tall point guard he can break down defenses off the dribble, is good at finding teammates with the pass, and uses his quickness and length to be a very good defender. The big problem is he lacks a jump shot — he shot 25 percent on jumpers in the half court offense last season. That has to be fixed, but he has good form.

11. Denver Nuggets (to be traded to Chicago Bulls): Doug McDermott, 6’8” forward, Creighton. He appears headed to the Chicago Bulls in a trade, a place that is a great fit for him as they need shooting from the four and he can do that. McDermott certainly has the outside shot (44.9 percent from three) but more than that he can put the ball on the floor, post up and score in a variety of ways — and do it efficiently. The question is how his game translates — he’s not a great athlete by NBA standards, he plays below the rim, and while he got mismatches in college in the NBA the guys guarding him will be more athletic. How does he adjust? And there are questions about how well he can defend at the next level, and if he can’t defend Tom Thibodeau will not play him.

12. Orlando Magic: Dario Saric, 6’10” forward, Croatia. He will be traded to Philadelphia is a swap for Elfrid Payton. Saric has signed a contract to spend the next two years playing in Turkey, so this is a draft and stash for the Sixers after the trade. Saric is maybe the versatile offensive player in this draft, you may not know his name but scouts have followed him for years. He has point-forward skills with a very high hoops IQ. Saric has impressive ball handling skills for his size, great scoring instincts (in the post and in transition), plus he can pass. He needs a more polished jumper and to get stronger, plus to work on his defense, and he’s going to do that in Europe. Still a lot of potential here.

13: Minnesota Timberwolves: Zach LaVine, 6’6” shooting guard, UCLA. The question here isn’t athleticism — as the picture that went around the Web showed, he can leap out of the building. He is an elite NBA level athlete. The question is can he play basketball well? He used just 9.7 percent of UCLA’s possessions while on the floor, he is fantastic in transition or coming off screens, but he struggled to create in the half court. His jump shot mechanics are ugly but he hit 37 percent from three. PBT’s own Ed Isaacson didn’t even rank him in the top 10 shooting guards because of questions about his skills. Expect to see him get some D-League run as a rookie to see if he can find more of an all-around game.

14. Phoenix Suns: T.J. Warren, 6’8” forward, North Carolina State. One of the top scorers in college basketball last season, he knows to find holes in the defense to get his shot, works hard off the ball, has a nice runner, and should pair well with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe in Phoenix. However, most of those shots are from the midrange, a dying shot in the NBA (Warren shot 26.7 percent from three and his jump shot mechanics are not good). He’s not much of a passer How will his game translate?

15. Atlanta Hawks: Adreian Payne, 6’10” power forward, Michigan State. This is a good pick for Atlanta. Payne finally put his entire game together his senior year in Lansing, and he is a stretch four prospect in the NBA (he shot 42 percent from three last season). Not just a shooter, Payne can put the ball on the floor and has a post game. Is he strong enough to guard fours in the NBA? His defense has not been great, but is not terrible. Paired with Al Horford and Paul Millsap in the rotation it gives the Hawks some versatility along the front line.

16. Chicago Bulls (to be traded to Denver Nuggets): Josuf Nurkic, 6’10” center, Bosnia. He’s big, he’s physical but he is a bit of a project. There are things to like — NBA size, toughness, good footwork, he’s an efficient scorer with a good touch around the rim, and he works for rebounds. That said he’s not athletic for a center by NBA standards, and he needs to learn how to play defense and just gain experience in general. He could spend time in Europe for seasoning before coming over. Which is likely what the Bulls want because they want cap space to go after another star.

17. Boston Celtics: James Young, 6’7” swingman, Kentucky. He looks like an NBA wing, tall and long (6’11” wingspan). Young was recruited as a shooter but he hit just 35 percent from three last year and inside the arc took far too many contested shots. He can put the ball on the floor but really only goes left, something defenses figured out. He has the athleticism to be a good defender but needs a lot of work and more focus on that end. A lot of potential here but a lot of work to do to realize it.

18. Phoenix Suns: Tyler Ennis, 6’2” point guard, Syracuse. He is a real floor general kind of point guard, one who showed a mature game on the court. The kind of guy who could be a solid backup for Goran Dragic. The question is what kind of playmaker Ennis can be at the NBA level — he struggled to do that in college (don’t let a few buzzer beaters fool you, he only finished 50% of his half court offense shots in the paint) and the defenses are about to get tougher.

19. Chicago Bulls (to be traded to Denver Nuggets): Gary Harris, 6’4” shooting guard, Michigan State. This late in the draft this is a steal for Denver (and a great backup for Arron Afflalo). One of the best two guards in this class, he has a sweet shooting stroke he can use either off the bounce or catch-and-shoot. He plays a smart game, rarely turning the ball over. Maybe the things scouts like best about him is his defense — he can guard the one or the two, although he will be tested against taller two guards in the NBA. He’s not athletic for the NBA level, he’s not going to create his own shot much, but he’s a guy who could pay off long term as his skills develop more.

20. Toronto Raptors: Bruno Caboclo, 6’9” small forward, Brazil. The first way off the board, unexpected pick… expect we should have expected nothing less from Masai Ujiri. Caboclo worked out for zero teams. He came out of the NBA’s international Basketball without Borders program. Aside that he’s a complete mystery. Fran Fraschilla said on the ESPN broadcast he is athletic but very, very raw and at least three or four years away from the league. So a long-term draft and stash.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Mitch McGary, 6’10” center, Michigan. For a player that needs to develop some McGary couldn’t have landed in a better spot. He is a pick-and-roll big man who is trying to add the pick-and-pop to his game but appears to need work on his shot (he only played 8 games last season due to injury). He gets his buckets mostly running in transition, on the offensive glass (he’s aggressive going for rebounds) or just moving off the ball. He sets an NBA caliber pick already. He’s pretty average defensively. Should make a decent backup big off the bench.

22. Memphis Grizzlies: Jordan Adams, 6’5” shooting guard, UCLA. My favorite of the three Bruins likely to go in the first round, he plays a smart game. He finds holes in the defense to get of his shot and is an efficient scorer, although he needs to develop a three point shot, especially because the Grizzlies need shooting. He is a good, smart defender on and off the ball. He’s not an explosive athlete but he’s got a unique game in this draft class and should have a good NBA career.

23. Utah Jazz: Rodney Hood, 6’8” small forward, Duke. Good value pick for the Jazz here. Hood has the size of an NBA wing and is one of the best shooters in the draft hitting nearly 43 percent from three last season. He can shoot from the midrange, put the ball on the floor some and tends to make the smart pass. The questions are his defense (he was disinterested at times) and how his game translate when guarded by athletic threes not mismatched on fours as often happened at Duke.

24. Charlotte Hornets: Shabazz Napier, 6’1” point guard, Connecticut. He will be traded to the Miami Heat, according to multiple reports. The two-time NCAA champion has a lot of fans (including LeBron James) but scouts have not been as high on him, seeing him as a solid second string NBA point guard (but one who can step into that role tomorrow). He scores well in isolation or off the pick-and-roll, generally good shooter who can create space, and plays tough defense. The issues are his decision making is far from consistent (remember Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb looked pedestrian with Napier) and while his athleticism was enough for college he’s going to find it harder to create room at the NBA level.

25. Houston Rockets: Clint Capela, 6’11” power forward, Switzerland. This is likely a draft and stash pick, which makes sense for Houston as they try to keep their cap space to chase some big game. Capela had a breakout year in the top French league, has good size and is very mobile for a big man, he can finish at the rim and there is a lot of potential at both ends of the court. But he needs to fill out and get stronger, he needs to get much better at reading the game on defense and adding offensive polish.

26. Miami Heat: P.J. Hairston, 6’5” shooting guard, Texas Legends (D-League). He is going to be traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Shabazz Napier and picks, and this is a great pickup for Charlotte. Kicked out of North Carolina Hairston did what more players should do (and will if the age limit gets raised) — used the D-League for development. He can play some minutes right away in the NBA and he gives the Bobcats shooting. He has easy and comfortable three point range and can put the ball on the floor and attack off the bounce, although his catch-and-shoot needs to be more consistent. He struggled with his decision making at the pace of the D-League games and his defense was inconsistent, but he’s been playing at a higher level of competition and that will show (watch for him to have a good Summer League).

27. Phoenix Suns: Bogdan Bogdanovic, 6’6” shooting guard, Serbia. Not to be confused with the Bosnian with the same last name (whose rights belong to the Nets), this is still likely another draft-and-stash candidate (who may not come over, he will get big money offers to stay, more than an NBA rookie deal). He has good size, ball handling skills (he was forced into a point guard role last season and did well), and can shoot out to three. There is a lot of potential here, the questions are his defense and decision making skills remain. Good gamble by Suns.

28. Los Angeles Clippers: C.J. Wilcox, 6’5” shooting guard, Washington. Has the potential to be a three-point specialist in the NBA. He shot 39.1 percent from three last season and hit 43 percent on catch-and-shoot chances. He is one of the best shooters in the draft, plus he can put the ball on the floor. He has an impressive 6’9” wingspan, which will help his otherwise average defense. If he improves on that end of the floor you can see him getting on the court to space the floor at the other end.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Josh Huestis, 6’8” small forward, Stanford. He didn’t really standout when asked to lead Stanford on offense, but teams think he could be a good NBA role player. Specifically a defensive stopper — he is athletic, a smart defender and shows real pride on that end of the court. He was all over Wiggins in the NCAA Tournament. He shot 34 percent from three last season and that’s his key — he can be a “3 and D” guy if he develops the three. With the Thunder is the perfect place for a young player to develop.

30. San Antonio Spurs: Kyle Anderson, 6’8” small forward, UCLA. He played basically a point-forward position for UCLA and was their primary ball handler — he has fantastic passing skills and floor vision. That should fit in well with the Spurs. While he shot 48 percent from three last season he has a slow release and took most of his shots off the bounce and there are questions about how he adapts at the next level. One big concern is he’s going to struggle to defend his opposite number. However, if one guy should fit in with the Spurs it is Anderson.

SECOND ROUND

31. Milwaukee Bucks: Damien Inglis, 6’8” small forward, French Guiana. Good second round pick for the Bucks. He has a great NBA build for the three — 6’8” at 240 pounds with 7’3” wingspan. He has good ball handling skills, is a good passer (when not turning it over) and is strong in transition. More impressive is his defense, he can cover the three and the four. His jumper has looked good in the French League but not so much when brought over to American workouts. A draft and stash guy, he’s the second youngest player in the draft and could develop into a player.

32. Philadelphia 76ers: K.J. McDaniels, 6’6” small forward, Clemson. He is long (6’11” wingspan) and that helps him generate steals on defense, which is the end of the floor getting him drafted. He’s very athletic and can guard the 1-3, which is something coaches like. He can hit an open jumper if he sets his feet, but he can’t create his own shot and gets most of his points off hustle — running in transition, hitting the offensive boards, and with that getting to the line.

33. Cleveland Cavaliers: Joe Harris, 6’6” swingman, Virginia. He’s a shooter and his NBA niche is floor spacing from the wing. He shot 40 percent from three his senior year and was knocking down the catch-and-shoot with the best of them at the draft combine. He works hard off the ball to get open and he can pump fake and drive if the defense is there, plus he has nice passing skills. But he is limited athletically, especially considering who he would match up with on the wing in the NBA. The question is if he can defend well enough to stay on the floor and get shots.

34. New York Knicks: Cleanthony Early, 6’7” forward, Wichita State. He can flat out score and do it efficiently, whether inside from the post if you put someone smaller on him, or he can shoot the jumper (37.6 percent from three) if someone larger is on him. If Carmelo Anthony leaves this guy is going to get a lot of shots. The question is how he adjusts to the NBA size — in college he got mismatches at the four most of the time, but in the NBA he will have to play quicker, longer guys at the three. Defense is going to be a concern, can he adjust to that at the NBA level? At age 23 (one of the older players in the draft) there are questions about how much more he can and will improve.

35. Utah Jazz: Jarnell Stokes, 6’8” power forward, Tennessee. He’s going to Memphis in a trade, and he will fit in there. He’s old school and brings the power to the power forward position. His most translatable skill is rebounding — he uses his strength to clear out space on both ends of the court and just out works guys. He has a good touch in the paint. He is not as explosive as the guys he’ll have to defend. On the other end of the court he needs to develop a midrange shot.

36. Milwaukee Bucks: Johnny O’Bryant, 6’8” power forward/center, LSU. When he’s being aggressive he can put up points, either from the post or knocking down midrange jumpers. He is physically strong and can defend on the block. The issue here has been conditioning and focus on the court, he showed more of that last season and the Bucks are betting he can make the next leap. He has the physical tools to play in the NBA, it’s the mental side he has to prove. Could be part of an interesting front court rotation in Milwaukee.

37. Toronto Raptors: DeAndre Daniels, 6’8” small forward, Connecticut. Highly recruited out of high school, he started to show some of that promise last season — he saved his best for the NCAA Tournament and the Huskies title run. He is long and athletic, and he is a good shooter from the perimeter (42 percent from three this past season). He can catch-and-shoot or go up off the bounce. Not great handles, he doesn’t really create shots (and can sometimes chooses bad ones), and he’s an average defender. But there is potential here.

38. Detroit Pistons: Spencer Dinwiddie, 6’6” shooting guard, Colorado. He tore his ACL during his senior season at Colorado which caused him to fall to the second round, where he is a good pick. Because of injury it could be a while before he gets on the court. When he was playing he was really more of the ball dominating guard who can get into the lane, finish or draw contact. He is a solid passer but not a classic playmaker. He’s not a great defender but not terrible. It may take a couple of years, but he could be a quality rotation guard in the league.

39. Philadelphia 76ers: Jerami Grant, 6’8” small forward, Syracuse. Really good second round pick, especially for uptempo Sixers. He is as athletic as anyone in this draft and he is long (7’2” wingspan). He also is raw. He can finish inside but get him outside 10 feet and his jumper is inconsistent (although somewhat improved). Kind of the same thing on defense, his athleticism on defense leads him to make plays and show potential, but he needs work on reading the game.

40. Minnesota Timberwolves: Glenn Robinson, 6’7” small forward, Michigan. Yes, he is the son of former No. 1 pick Big Dog Robinson. He is aggressive going to the rim but got most of his touches working off the ball — he looked good with Trey Burke setting him up two years ago but struggled to create his own shot this year. He can score within 15 feet but his jumper needs to be more consistent and show range (30.6 percent from three). He’s an okay but not thrilling defender.

41. Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic, 6’11” center, Serbia. He plays a very high IQ game with a great feel for when to shoot and when to pass. He has an unconventional game but one that could find a home in the NBA at some point. For now he’s a draft and stash guy.

42. Houston Rockets: Nick Johnson, 6’3” shooting guard, Arizona. The Pac-12 player of the year. He’s athletic, competitive, backs down from nobody. He’s not a guy who should do a lot of shot creating for himself and others (he struggled some with a larger offensive load this past season), but working off the ball he can make plays and shoot (36.7 per cent from three last season). He fell this far because is he is very undersized at the two.

43. Atlanta Hawks: Walter Tavares, 7’3” center, Cape Verde. To answer your first question, Cape Verde is an island off the coast of Senegal that is its own nation. Tavares has NBA size and shown good shot blocking and rebounding skills playing in the Spanish ABC league, but he is raw and somewhat new to the game. His offensive game needs a lot of polish still. He’s relatively new to the game and learning, expect this to be a draft and stash and see if he can develop in Spain for a few years.

44. Minnesota Timberwolves: Markel Brown, 6’3” shooting guard, Oklahoma State. He’s the $1 million man — the Brooklyn Nets bought his rights on draft night for that sum. Marcus Smart’s backcourt running mate, he’s a fantastic athlete but a guy who is undersized for the two at the NBA level. In college he could work off the ball and hit contested shots, that will get harder with the NBA level. He’s going to need to spread the floor and knock down shots to stick in the NBA.

45. Charlotte Hornets: Dwight Powell, 6’11” power forward, Stanford. He’s a good athlete for his size, which intrigued teams. He’s versatile, able to score in the post with a jump hook or facing up on the perimeter. That said, to really stick in the NBA that jumper is going to have to fall a lot more than the 25 percent it did from three last season. His jumper in general needs to be more consistent.

46. Washington Wizards: Jordan Clarkson, 6’5” combo guard, Missouri. He is being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He can play either guard spot but even at the two he’s really going to be a guy who wants the ball in his hands and to drive and create. Mostly create for himself. He needs to improve his jumper (25 percent on catch-and-shoots last season, 28.1 percent from three overall). His decision making is up and down (he doesn’t have the athleticism to get himself out of trouble with that at the NBA level) and his defense is okay but his effort is in and out at that end.

47. Philadelphia 76ers: Russ Smith, 6’1” point guard, Louisville. He is being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for Pierre Jackson. Smith had a fantastic and fun college career, but he helped his draft stock more by making fewer wild plays and maturing his game his senior year. He showed a more consistent outside shot, hitting 39 percent from three. His greatest asset is fantastic speed, which he has used to create for himself but he can create more for others. He’s a good defender. The concerns are he’s small for a point guard and he still makes some odd decisions, which could keep him off the court.

48. Milwaukee Bucks: Lamar Patterson, 6’5” shooting guard, Pittsburgh. This could be a nice pick, a good second round gamble. He’s a two guard whose best skill may be passing — he has a great feel for the game and vision of the court. He also shot 38.8 percent from three last season. He plays a smart game. The reason he’s still around is his athleticism — he’s average for the college level, and the levels are about to crank up a few notches (particularly at the two).

49. Chicago Bulls: Cameron Bairstow, 6’10” power forward/center, New Mexico (via Australia). He averaged 20.4 points a game for the Lobos last season and more impressively did it with an efficient 61.1 true shooting percentage. He is a very good midrange jump shooter. He’s not terribly athletic which leads to questions about how his game adapts and how well he defends at the next level.

50. Phoenix Suns: Alec Brown, 7’1” center, Wisconsin Green Bay. He turned heads at the NBA Draft combine, not just because of his hight but he hit 18-of-25 from three. He’s a good second round gamble as a big who can stretch the floor. However, he is not athletic for the NBA level and whether he can adjust and still play his game (as well as defend) is the question.

51. New York Knicks: Thanasis Antetokounmpo, 6’6” small forward, Delaware 87ers, via Greece. They will love him in New York. Yes, he is the older brother of the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo. Like his brother Thanasis is very athletic and very raw. He brings a real energy to the game but put up pretty average D-League numbers and needs more time to develop. If he can develop a more consistent shot and bring his energy to defense he can make waves in the NBA.

52. Philadelphia 76ers: Vasilije Micic, 6’6” point guard, Serbia. He’s a big point guard and one with court vision, one who works particularly well in transition or the pick-and-roll when he can use his size to get into the lane and finish or find his open teammate. He turned the ball over a lot (23 percent of his used possessions), his jump shot is not near where it needs to be, and there are questions about his ability to defend other, quicker point guards. Still, not a bad gamble.

53. Minnesota Timberwolves: Alessandro Gentile, 6’6” swingman, Italy. The 21 year old has been playing at high levels internationally since he was 17. The guy is just a scorer and he has good size. What teams question is his athleticism — it’s not at an NBA level and teams are not sure he can adjust.

54. Philadelphia 76ers: Nemanja Dangubic, 6’8” shooting guard, Serbia. He will be stashed overseas for a while. He’s not much of a shot creator but can athletic and works off the ball. Needs to get stronger, needs to work on his shop. Teams got a good look at him at Adidas EuroCamp this past year, where he was MVP.

55. Miami Heat: Semaj Christon, 6’3” point guard, Xavier. He is going to Charlotte as part of the trade that got the Heat Shabazz Napier. Christon has good size for an NBA point guard (he can play combo) and plays hard at both ends of the floor. He’s unselfish. His problem is he doesn’t have much of a jump shot (although it improved as he hit 38.8 percent from three last season although he doesn’t take a lot of them) and isn’t efficient when he drives and tries to finish.

56. Orlando Magic: Devyn Marble, 6’6” shooting guard, Iowa. In theory he’s a catch-and-shoot guy at the NBA level, but he only hit 35 percent from three this past season. That has to improve. He can put the ball on the floor and tends to make good decisions when he does. He’s up and down defensively. A bit of a gamble but that’s what the late second round is for.

57. Indiana Pacers: Louis Labeyrie, 6’10” power forward/center, France. This pick will go to the New York Knicks via trade. He’s a classic big European stretch four. He’ll be stashed overseas.

58. San Antonio Spurs: Jordan McRae, 6’5” shooting guard, Tennessee. He has been moved to the Sixers in a trade. He is long, with a 7’0” wingspan, and he is a good athlete. He shot 34 percent from three last season and is really one of those guys who just seems to find ways to score. He can pass, has a good feel for the game. The questions are is he physically strong enough and is he athletic enough for the NBA.

59. Toronto Raptors: Xavier Thames, 6’3” shooting guard, San Diego State. He has been moved to the Brooklyn Nets in a trade. He was a scorer for San Diego State but there are questions about if he is athletic enough to create at the next level (in one big workout his three pointer wasn’t falling, so he put it on the floor and took contested midrange shots). Maybe he can adjust, the Nets are taking a flyer on it.

60. San Antonio Spurs: Corey Jefferson, 6’9” power forward, Baylor. He also has been traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Normally we like to write off “Mr. Irrelevant” but remember Kings PG Isaiah Thomas was pick 60th and turns out he can play and is about to get paid as a restricted free agent. Jefferson will try to follow that path.

PBT’s final mock draft: Wiggins, then Parker, then it gets nuts

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This is maybe the most unpredictable NBA Draft of the last 10 years. A lot of players on the same tier talent wise, disagreements among scouts on just how good particular players can be, and finally there will be trades. Maybe many, many trades.

Still, we’ll try to predict it.

PBT’s NBA Draft expert Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com and Rotoworld has his final mock draft out on the day of the draft. Here’s how we see it breaking down.

FIRST ROUND

1) Cleveland – Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas
The top prospect in this class, Wiggins has a combination of skill and athleticism which will allow him to make an immediate impact in the Cavaliers’ lineup, while still having a lot of untapped potential to make him a strong pick at number 1. The combination of Kyrie Irving and Wiggins, with a hopefully improved Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett, could give Cleveland a dominant scoring group.

2) Milwaukee – Jabari Parker, F, Duke
Parker will give the Bucks an instant boost in scoring, and the ability to play him inside or out should give the coaching staff plenty of lineup options. The attention he will receive from defenses should allow some of Milwaukee’s other young players to have the space they need to score themselves, and they have enough long basket protectors to hide Parker on defense.

3) Philadelphia – Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Since the last mock draft, a foot injury was also uncovered, and I still believe the Sixers will roll the dice on Embiid. I’ve mentioned before that offensively, he and Nerlens Noel are different enough that they could complement each other, and they would form an imposing defensive duo. Plus, the return of a healthy Noel with Embiid out will give Noel time to develop his game on the court aside from being with another big man, and allow Embiid to take his time getting healthy.

4) Orlando – Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana
I had Marcus Smart here through the first two mock drafts, but think Vonleh’s potential and size could win out in the end. It helps that has the Magic have a solid core of young players, including frontcourt players, who can ease the transition on Vonleh, though he could help in some areas right away. Smart or Dante Exum could still be in play here, but the Magic can fill the guard needs a little later.

5) Utah – Dante Exum, G, Australia
The lottery’s mystery man this year, Exum has good size and he is skilled for his age. He hasn’t really faced top-level competition and many teams will be getting a real close look at him for the first time in the coming weeks. As mentioned above, I’m not sold on Exum as a point guard, but he could become a solid complement next to last year’s first round pick, Trey Burke, in the Jazz backcourt, with the potential for maybe some short stints running the point.

6) Boston – Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State
As Boston continues to rebuild, it’s a smart idea to find the eventual successor to Rajon Rondo at point guard and Smart seems to be a perfect fit for coach Brad Stevens, as well as having an ability to slide to the 2 to play alongside Rondo as needed. Smart’s ability to defend will get him plenty of time early, and his offensive game should adjust fairly well to the NBA, as long as he refrains from taking some of the bad shots he did in college.

7) Los Angeles Lakers – Julius Randle, F, Kentucky
The Lakers are looking at a complete rebuild during Kobe Bryant’s final years with the team, and while a higher pick could have secured their future a bit more, Randle has the ability to make an immediate impact next season. Randle is a strong post player who is very agile for his size, and he can be a terror on both the offensive and defensive boards. He won’t give a very good defensive presence yet, but he will be a double-double threat from the get-go and a nice piece to start the Lakers’ rebuilding.

8) Sacramento – Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
This is a stretch in terms of where I have McDermott’s value, but Sacramento would be an ideal spot for him to bring his scoring strengths. He can provide a much needed consistent perimeter shooter, which would open up space for the ever-improving DeMarcus Cousins to operate in. Concerns about McDermott’s defensive ability have been blown out of proportion and he understands the game well enough to cover up his deficient areas.

9) Charlotte – Rodney Hood, G/F, Duke
Hood will give the Hornets some much needed size on the wing, to go along with strong shooting ability and athleticism. The big key to getting the real value from this pick will be Hood buying into coach Steve Clifford’s defensive mindset and putting in the effort to improve.

10) Philadelphia – Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan
Having taken Embiid at number 3, the Sixers can still improve their backcourt here with Stauskas, a tremendous perimeter shooter and a good enough ballhandler to help take some of the point guard pressure off Michael Carter-Williams. The threat from three-point range is the key, and Stauskas’ ability to stretch the floor will help everyone else on the floor with him.

11) Denver – Dario Saric, F, Croatia
Saric has to spend two more years over in Europe, but he is a highly-skilled offensive player who will fit into many different roles. With no real glaring needs heading into next season, it’s easy for the Nuggets to roll the dice on Saric and wait two years for the possible payoff.

12) Orlando – Elfrid Payton, G, Louisiana-Lafayette
The Magic shored up their frontcourt with Noah Vonleh at number 4, and they can still address their need at point guard with Payton. He’s a strong defender, rebounder and distributor, and though he needs to improve as a perimeter shooter, he has a great ability to put pressure on defenses with his penetration ability. In a few years, a Payton-Oladipo backcourt could be one of best young ones in the league.

13) Minnesota – Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona
Kevin Love is certain to find his way out of Minnesota at some point in the next year, and while Gordon isn’t really a replacement; he will provide an extremely athletic forward who can run the floor and rebound, as well as guard multiple positions. He still has a lot of work to do on the offensive end, but he will certainly bring a little excitement to the Timberwolves.

14) Phoenix – Gary Harris, G, Michigan State
This season’s surprise NBA team, the Suns were supposed to be in rebuilding mode, and fell just shy of the playoffs. The status of Eric Bledsoe returning to the team is unknown, so Harris could immediately step in and provide a versatile scorer in the backcourt who can run the floor and defend well.

15) Atlanta – Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA
Anderson is the toughest player to project in this class with his unique skill set. He has high level vision and passing skills to go along with an improving jumper, but at 6’9, he will be playing at the forward position. What he does provide coaches is the ability to mix and match lineups to find him spots on the floor where he can be most effective. To get the most out of Anderson, a coach who is willing to think outside of the box is needed, and Mike Budenholzer could be that coach.

16) Chicago – Shabazz Napier, G, Connecticut
Napier will help provide stability at the point guard position for the Bulls as Derrick Rose comes back from another knee injury. A strong leader, Napier could take total control of the team’s second unit and his ability to defend should be very appealing to coach Tom Thibodeau, plus he has shown he can score when needed.

17) Boston – James Young, G, Kentucky
The Celtics drafted their point guard of the future in Marcus Smart earlier and now they can address a need on the wing with the athletic, but raw, Young. He has shown, at times, that he can shoot as well as get to the basket, but doesn’t do either one consistently enough to be effective. Also, he isn’t a very good defender, but hopefully coach Stevens will help him there.

18) Phoenix – Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
With the second of their three first round picks, the Suns could take a shot at the big-bodied Nurkic, who at 6’11, 280 pounds, already has NBA size. Nurkic is still developing on both offense and defense, but he moves very well for his size, and in a few years, he could give the Suns an intriguing option in the middle

19) Chicago – TJ Warren, F, North Carolina State
With their second first-round pick, the Bulls can address a need for scoring with one of the college’s best in Warren. He loves to find holes in the defense to get his shot and a healthy Derrick Rose should create many for him. He is also able to seek out mismatches when he has a smaller defender on him, setting up in the low or mid-post area for a quick shot. Long-range shooting still needs to be worked on, but he will put up points quickly regardless.

20) Toronto – Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse
Kyle Lowry may be on his way out of Toronto and the Raptors may be able to get their point guard of the future in Toronto-native Ennis. Ennis will bring a steady influence to the point position, and he showed in his one year of college that he doesn’t shy from big moments. Whether he can guard at the NBA level will be a big question going forward.

21) Oklahoma City – Glenn Robinson III, F, Michigan
The first of two first-round picks, the Thunder could add some depth to their bench, with the son of a former number 1 overall pick. He didn’t seem to take the step forward many expected this past season, but he still has a good mix of skill, athleticism and upside to make this a pick worth making at this point.

22) Memphis – Adreian Payne, F, Michigan State
Payne will give Memphis a strong inside-outside scoring presence with very good size and the underrated athletic ability. Payne showed steady improvement throughout his college career and while his ceiling may not be much higher, he is ready to contribute from Day One for a Grizzlies team that may not have Zach Randolph next season.

23) Utah – PJ Hairston, G, Texas Legends
The Jazz added some talent to their backcourt at #5 with Dante Exum, and now they can add some strong shooting at the wing with Hairston. He showed great scoring ability in his D-League stint last season, and he should be able to step into the rotation quickly at least as a shooter to stretch the floor.

24) Charlotte – KJ McDaniels, F, Clemson
McDaniels is one of the more underrated players in this draft class, and he could end up being a steal for the Hornets here. He will provide a tremendous defensive presence on the wing for a team that emphasizes defense. McDaniels is also a strong slasher and rebounder, as well as an improving shooter.

25) Houston – Zach LaVine, G, UCLA
LaVine may be one of the most polarizing picks in this year’s draft. Some see his elite athleticism and see a huge future. Others, like me, see an AAU player who happens to be out of high school now. There’s no doubting that there is potential in LaVine, it’s just very far off. Houston has built a strong D-League team that knows how to develop players to fit the Rockets’ system. LaVine could benefit from a learning environment like that.

26) Miami – Jordan Adams, G, UCLA
The third player from UCLA taken in this first round, Adams is the best scorer in the group with the type of game that will allow him to get plenty of points at the NBA level. He loves to operate in the mid-range area, but he has the skill to post up smaller guards and get easy buckets. He’s improving as a long-range shooter and he can be a major part of the Heat’s backcourt down the road.

27) Phoenix – Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse
This is the Suns’ third first-round pick, so they can afford to take a shot at the raw Grant. Grant isn’t going to contribute much right away, but he is a high-level athlete who should help some on defense and on the boards. If he can develop his offensive skills well down the line, he will be a nightmare match-up for many defenders.

28) Los Angeles Clippers – Mitch McGary, C, Michigan
Coming off a back injury that erased most of his season, McGary could be a solid rotation player down the line for the Clippers. He plays with a lot of energy and he doesn’t mind doing all of the little things teams need to wing games. At worst, he will help on the defensive side and with rebounding.

29) Oklahoma City – Clint Capela, F/C, Switzerland
The Thunder will look to plan for the future a bit with their second first round pick. This is a great place for them to take a chance on a draft-and-stash candidate with strong potential. He has very good size and athletic ability, though he needs time to continue to develop his skills and toughness for the NBA level.

30) San Antonio – Jordan Clarkson, G, Missouri
The Spurs can really go in many directions here, but they can look to add to their backcourt for the future with the versatile Clarkson. He can give them a big guard with some point guard abilities who can get to the basket easily against smaller defenders. If he can be a more consistent shooter, he may find a home eventually at the 2.

SECOND ROUND

31) Milwaukee – Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State
32) Philadelphia – Bogdan Bogdanovic, G, Serbia
33) Cleveland – Jarnell Stokes, F, Tennessee
34) Dallas – Artem Klimenko, C, Russia
35) Utah – CJ Wilcox, G, Washington
36) Milwaukee – Markel Brown, G, Oklahoma State
37) Toronto – Jabari Brown, G, Missouri
38) Detroit – Patric Young, F/C, Florida
39) Philadelphia – Spencer Dinwiddie, G, Colorado
40) Minnesota – Cameron Bairstow, F, New Mexico
41) Denver – Russ Smith, G, Louisville
42) Houston – Dwight Powell, F, Stanford
43) Atlanta – Roy Devyn Marble, G, Iowa
44) Minnesota – Joe Harris, G, Virginia
45) Charlotte – Thanasis Antetokounmpo, F, Delaware 87ers
46) Washington – Nick Johnson, G, Arizona
47) Philadelphia – Damien Inglis, F, Australia
48) Milwaukee – Johnny O’Bryant, F, LSU
49) Chicago – DeAndre Daniels, F, Connecticut
50) Phoenix – Nikola Jokic, C, Serbia
51) Dallas – Deonte Burton, G, Nevada
52) Philadelphia – Vasilije Micic, G, Serbia
53) Minnesota – Khem Birch, F/C, UNLV
54) Philadelphia – Josh Heustis, F, Stanford
55) Miami – Jahii Carson, G, Arizona State
56) Denver – DeAndre Kane, G, Iowa State
57) Indiana – Jordan Bachynski, C, Arizona State
58) San Antonio – Melvin Ejim, F, Iowa State
59) Toronto – Jordan McRae, G, Tennessee
60) San Antonio – Cory Jefferson, F, Baylor

PBT NBA Draft preview: Top 10 small forwards

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Freakish athletes.

If you’re going to be the swingman in today’s NBA you better be a good athlete, but this draft class is loaded with some flat out freaks. That starts at the top but continues all the way to the bottom of the list and the Greek Freak’s brother.

PBT’s draft expert Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com and Rotoworld compiled this list for us (check out our point guard and shooting guard lists).

1. Andrew Wiggins, Freshman, Kansas, 6’8, 197
Wiggins dealt with overblown expectations all season and he still managed to put together a very impressive season. His next-level athleticism is what wows people, but he is also a very skilled player on both ends of the floor. Concerns about having the “tenacity” factor is probably overblown, and he handles himself maturely on and off the floor. Wiggins is still the #1 overall prospect in this draft and he will make an instant impact wherever he goes, while still having plenty of upside to justify a top pick.

2. Rodney Hood, Sophomore, Duke, 6’8, 208
Hood had a very strong season in his one year at Duke, showing the ability to score in a variety of ways, including range beyond the NBA three-point line. Hood shot almost 43% from three-point range and was often the Blue Devils’ only consistent perimeter threat. He isn’t a very strong defensive player, but he has the length and athleticism to improve if he works at it.

3. T.J. Warren, Sophomore, North Carolina State, 6’8, 220
One of the best scorers in the country, Warren is a terror in the mid-range area. He does a great job finding holes in the defense and getting off good, quick shots. Warren also has the body to score around the basket, and the athleticism to get out in transition. Long-range perimeter shooting is his biggest offensive weakness right now, but the tools are there for him to improve sooner rather than later. He’s an average defensive player, but he has no trouble playing physical defense in the post if necessary.

4. Kyle Anderson, Sophomore, UCLA, 6’8, 230
Figuring out where to put Anderson on this list, or even on the small forward list at all, was as tough a decision as there was. Anderson was UCLA’s point guard this past season and he has remarkable vision and passing ability. He uses his body and ballhandling skills to get to the basket, even without very good speed. Anderson improved his jumper immensely this past season, and he can be a very good option in pick-and-pop situations. While not a great defender, Anderson uses his length well to make plays and to rebound very well. A smart coach will find ways to use Anderson at different spots on the floor to maximize his ability.

5. K.J. McDaniels, Junior, Clemson, 6’6, 196
McDaniels was known mainly for his defensive ability and his athleticism, but he has become a good offensive threat over the past few seasons. Though he has improved as a perimeter shooter, he is inconsistent, and is much more effective looking to get to the basket off the dribble or hitting the offensive boards. McDaniels can guard multiple positions and his 2.7 blocks per game is a remarkable number for a 6’6 player. He would thrive in a system that likes to push the ball quickly up the floor.

6. Glenn Robinson III, Sophomore, Michigan, 6’7, 211
Robinson, the son of a former #1 overall pick, didn’t have the big season many expected after a strong freshman campaign, but he did show improvement in some key areas and will likely continue to get better in the near future. Robinson is at his best when making strong cuts to the rim or looking to attack off the dribble within 10-15 feet. His time at Michigan has taught him the value of spacing well, and he doesn’t force many bad shots. His perimeter shooting needs to improve, but he has shown some consistency in the mid-range area. He is athletic enough to guard out on the perimeter and he has the strength to play more physically if needed.

7. Cleanthony Early, Senior, Wichita State, 6’7, 209
Early improved his game in almost every way from his junior to senior season, and he was a major part of the Shockers’ team which made the Final Four two seasons ago, and lost just one game this past year. Early has lost weight since the season and is showing more quickness, but he was at his best when he was using his body on offense to create mismatches. He has developed into a semi-consistent perimeter threat and he should have little trouble adjusting to the NBA three-point line. Early can be a very good defender on the perimeter, using his strength to overpower other forwards, and his added quickness should help him guard other NBA small forwards.

8. Jerami Grant, Sophomore, Syracuse, 6’8, 214
Grant is still very raw skill-wise, but he is long and athletic with a lot of potential. On offense, he is at his best within 8 to 10 feet of the basket, though he started to show a decent mid-range jumper this past season. He can be a terror on the offensive boards, using his length well to get to balls or keeping them alive for teammates. His impact early on will likely come on the defensive end where his long arms allow him to alter many shots and his athletic ability will provide coaches some flexibility on who he guards.

9. DeAndre Daniels, Junior, Connecticut, 6’8, 196
This past season, Daniels finally started to show some of the promise many expected of him with his high school reputation. He is a good athlete with length that can make an impact on both ends of the floor. He has improved his shooting from most spots on the floor, though he is often plagued with poor shot selection. Daniels is an average defender at best, though his length allows him to challenge shots inside and out. Daniels is still learning many facets of the game and it may be a few years before he has any kind of impact at the NBA level, but he is worth a shot for a team with strong development.

10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, 21 years old, Delaware 87ers, 6’6, 205
The brother of Milwaukee’s first round pick last year, and fan-favorite, Giannis, Antetokounmpo took the D-League route this season to work on his game. Like his brother, he is still raw in most areas of his game, but he is very good athlete and always looks to improve his game. His reputation has gotten a bump due to his brother’s potential, but he was really just an average D-League player this past season, and will likely need to spend another year or two there before he is close to showing he is an NBA player.