PF, North Carolina
Over the course of just a few months, John Henson has gone from being an afterthought on this year’s Tar Heels squad to being one of the most sought-after bigs in this draft. While in school, Henson developed a solid post game, nice moves on the block and seemingly figured out how to effectively use his athleticism (his wingspan is off the charts). His most notable weakness at the moment is that he gets pushed around a lot in the post; but if he can develop something even remotely resembling a decent jumper, he’ll instantly be able to make guys pay for shoving him away from the basket. His Grade A defense will make him a coach’s favorite from the getgo. The Rockets won’t actually need a big anymore at this point, but Henson will be the best player on the board, so it’s tough to envision them passing him up.
Jeremy Lamb has a solid first step and good ball-handling skills. There are some questions about whether he’ll be able to be as efficient with his shooting at the next level against big league defenders, but that’s the case with basically all shooting guards that make the leap. The Mavericks have a lot of old guys in key roles, and they’re going to need to start planning for the future. For now, Lamb can provide instant offense off the bench. In the future, who knows, maybe he can be a Vince Carter-esque offensive spark for them (even though he plays nothing like him) if everything works out.
First and foremost, Terrence Ross has the size and athleticism necessary for NBA success at the wing. That’s key to note because, for some reason, a lot of folks have questioned that as of late. Much of his offensive production tends to depend on whether or not his jumper is dropping on that particular night, but he gets those jumpers in a lot of different ways which makes him tough to defend. There are questions about his ball-handling and inability to really create for himself off the dribble, but if his shooting continues to improve and he finds a way to get open looks, it really shouldn't be that big of a problem. The Wolves seem to be relatively set in the post and at the point, so finding a capable young two makes sense.
PF, Mississippi State
Arnett Moultrie makes a lot of sense for an Orlando team that’s not entirely sure of what direction it wants to go in over the next few years. In terms of physical tools, Moultrie has everything you need for NBA success. He’s athletic, fast and can finish around the basket in a ton of ways. He’s at his best when he’s utilizing his speed and athleticism, and he’s surprisingly good at drawing contact from opposing bigs. His moves in the post are still raw and need development, but they’re pretty in line with what you would expect from players fresh out of college. His defense was solid against subpar competition, but there are legitimate questions about how it will translate at the next level. Moultrie is a guy that fits into Orlando’s future regardless of what happens with Dwight Howard.
Tony Wroten has good size and athleticism, knows how to get to the basket, has good court vision and plays solid defense. He’s not a great shooter, but neither was Derrick Rose when he first came into the league. That’s something that can be developed given the right nourishment from a good head coach (Hi, George Karl). Denver finds itself in the unique position of having a good amount of young talent, so taking a risk on the best player available who could be a very solid backup would certainly not be a wasted pick. Obviously some legit, skilled size would also be great here, but there really isn’t any of that available at this point unless you want someone really raw.
Regardless of who stays and who goes in the coming year, an additional offensive weapon that can play in the backcourt and make up for some of Rajon Rondo’s deficiencies will always get PT. As he showed in the National Championship game, Doron Lamb can put up points with the best of them. On top of being a deadly shooter, this kid is also great at running the offense, plays solid defense and has a certain natural instinct that helped him continuously adjust/evolve during his time at Kentucky. He’ll be a great fit here.
PF, Iowa State
You know what you’re getting when you draft Royce White. Offensively, there is very little that he can’t do. Defensively, he needs work. As the old guard slips away into oblivion, though, the Celtics will probably rely less and less on quality defense to win them games. It actually wouldn’t be all that surprising, given Rajon Rondo’s ability to run the fast break, to see them try to speed the pace up in the near future and focus more heavily on offense. That sort of style would be ideal for White. There are some character issues here, but Boston has traditionally been able to deal with that sort of thing better than most other organizations.
People either love Marquis Teague or they hate him. Look, we can all acknowledge that this guy had something of an up and down season this year, and that his ability to run an offense effectively -- particularly in the half court -- was always in serious doubt. That said, under the magnified lens of the NCAA Tournament, he was able to increase his efficiency and cut down his turnovers en route to a National Title. Make of that what you will. In all honesty, Teague could probably have used another year of seasoning at the college level, but he didn’t want to go that route. Atlanta is going to want a point guard, and Teague will be the best one available at this point.