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Ten Second Round Steals In The 2014 NBA Draft
- Updated: June 24, 2014
The NBA draft is quickly approaching, and you can read my official mock draft here. But the NBA draft isn’t entirely about the lottery, nor is it entirely about the first round. There are gems to find in the second round that can end up making an impact on an NBA team. Let’s take a look at my picks for the players that will be steals either in the second round, or as undrafted free agents in the 2014 NBA draft.
1. Walter Tavares, C, Spain, 22 Years Old.
Measurements: 7’3, 265 pounds, 7’6 wingspan.
Tavares is a name you may not be familiar with, and even if he is drafted you probably won’t be familiar with his name for a few years. Tavares is an intriguing option for the draft because he is huge, has gigantic hands, and can really block shots and grab rebounds. Tavares needs to be more refined offensively, but he won’t see an NBA floor for at least three years. Of course, by that standard, Tavares will be 25 by the time he gets to the NBA, but he will be ready to be a serviceable backup big man for whichever team drafts him–which will most likely happen in the early to mid-second round.
2. Damien Inglis, SF, France, 19 Years Old.
Measurements: 6’8, 240 pounds, 7’3 wingspan.
Another foreign prospect checks in on my list, and this one could end up being the biggest steal of the draft. Inglis just turned 19 in May, and has the length and athleticism of a future NBA stud defender. Inglis needs to become a better shooter, but he won’t be coming over to the NBA just yet. Inglis has loads of potential as a draft and stash option in the early second, and once he sees an NBA floor, he could be a major contributor.
3. Aquille Carr, PG, Delaware 87ers, 20 Years Old.
Measurements: 5’6, 150 pounds, 6′ wingspan.
Aquille Carr is a stud. The only things holding him back are size and past attitude issues. Well the character concerns exist no more, and Carr has been working incredibly hard in preparation for the NBA draft. An NBA team that takes a chance on Carr is going to get someone so dedicated to making an NBA team, he will do anything the coach asks of him. Not to mention Carr sports a huge, 48″ vertical, an incredible handle, and an incredible ability to score. Carr has a developing jump shot, but that has been the focus of his workouts, and with the 48″ vertical, Carr can rise over bigger defenders to shoot. Carr is creative, athletic, and will be a great locker room guy in the NBA. Some team in the second round should take a shot on the point guard known as “The Crime Stopper”.
4. Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’8, 214 pounds, 7’3 wingspan.
In my first mock drafts–that happened before the college basketball season even started–I had Grant as a mid-first round pick. However, Grant’s lack of true position–he’s not big enough to really play power forward, and he can’t shoot and handle the ball well enough to play small forward–has dropped him out of the first round for me. However, if a team takes a chance on Grant in the early stages of the second round, they could possibly hit a homerun with his athleticism and developing overall game.
5. Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’3, 186 pounds, 6’7 wingspan.
Another guy I had in the first round before the season began, Christon is very athletic at the point guard position, has a great handle, and can distribute well for his teammates. However, Christon struggles from the free throw line and with turning the ball over–he could also use a better 3 point shot. I think Christon’s range is now early to mid-second round, but he can come in and make an impact for an NBA team off the bench as a scorer and solid distributor from the point guard position.
6. James Michael McAdoo, PF, UNC, Junior.
Measurements: 6’9, 228 pounds, 7’2 wingspan.
McAdoo came to UNC with the expectations on him to be the next great basketball player destined for NBA success. He did not quite live up to those expectations–now being a projected second round pick–but there is a reason he once was thought of as a future top 5 pick. McAdoo is very athletic and quick for a big man, and does a great job finishing at the basket, but he is undersized for a power forward, and not a good enough shooter or ball handler to play small forward. McAdoo needs to add weight to bang down low in the NBA, but he still has loads of potential, and could end up being a more than serviceable NBA player as a mid-second round pick.
7. Jahii Carson, PG, Arizona State, Sophomore.
Measurements: 5’11, 180 pounds, 6’2 wingspan.
Jahii Carson is an incredibly exciting player to watch play basketball. If Carson was a few inches taller, he’s not only a first round pick, but a potential lottery selection. Carson is super quick, has explosive hops, and knows how to put the ball into the hoop. Carson can score, Carson can distribute, but his size and sometimes streaky shooting holds him back–all the way back into the second round. Carson may be small, but smaller guards have had great success in the NBA. Carson may never be a star, or even a starter, but he will be a steal for whatever team grabs him in the latter portions of the second round.
8. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, SF, Delaware 87ers, 21 Years Old.
Measurements: 6’6, 205 pounds, 7′ wingspan.
I have to mention the Greek Freak’s brother in this list. If Antetokounmpo can play anything like his brother did for Milwaukee this past season, he will be a major steal for a team drafting in the second round. Antetokounmpo has the potential to develop into a stud defensive specialist in the NBA. He also has length and athleticism to help him finish well at the rim–often times above the rim. Antetokounmpo is not close to having a solid jumper, and is overall a raw prospect, but he has the athleticism and measurements to turn into a solid NBA contributor.
9. Russ Smith, SG, Louisville, Senior.
Measurements: 6′, 160 pounds, 6’4 wingspan.
Russ Smith is one of my favorite players in the draft, and he deserves a shot in the NBA. Smith really needs to put on weight to survive at the next level, but the undersized shooting guard is a great scorer. Smith is a bit of a streaky shooter, but he improved his shot immensely from his junior season to his senior season. Smith also did well as a distributor during his senior year, and could bring a winning attitude and great motor to an NBA team.
10. Nick Johnson, SG, Arizona, Junior.
Measurements: 6’3, 198 pounds, 6’7 wingspan.
Nick Johnson was a stud for Arizona this past season, but sees his draft stock in the second round range. Johnson is incredibly athletic, has a pretty smooth shot, and can lock down opponents on defense. While Johnson is undersized for a shooting guard, he has all the physical attributes outside of size that a team could want. Johnson can come in and contribute immediately for a team in need of an all-around player on the bench, and could turn into a very solid role player in the NBA.
So those are my ten steals that should be available round two. What do you think? Any other players to watch out for in the 2nd round? Let me know in the comments! Also, make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! You can also follow me on Twitter so we can talk sports all the time.
Author: Rob Wegley
Co-Owner of The Runner Sports, Senior Editor for The Runner Sports, Writer for The Runner Sports focused on the NFL and the NBA. Located in the Chicago area. Professional journalist since 2012.