Dexter Pittman – Miami Heat, 32nd overall
Pittman has to love the situation he was drafted into. Taken early in the second round, Dexter has found himself on the recently formed super team in Miami with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. This team will be good for years to come and many of their big men are up there in age. If Pittman continues to grow as a player, he could be looking at a starting center position for this team down the road, with multiple titles along the way.
As for this year, it’s tough to say how much time he’ll get with the addition of several veteran big men to the roster. In my opinion, none of them are good enough players at this stage in their careers to completely lock down the position. Combine that with potential health issues and Pittman could end up with some solid minutes for the most exciting team in the league this year.
Hassan Whiteside – Sacramento Kings, 33rd overall
Hassan has a very raw, yet intriguing game. With his height and length, he could become a dominant defensive presence in this league for years to come. His offensive game shows signs as well with a decent jump shot and face-up game. If you’re in Sacramento, you have to be excited about this very young and talented core that the team is building on.
This year could be tough with so many players ahead of Hassan in the rotation, but we think if the Kings were able to find some minutes for Jon Brockman that they might be able to get Whiteside some as well. With a little playing time and experience, this kid could really turn some heads.
Terrico White – Detroit Pistons, 36th overall
Many thought the athletic combo guard out of Mississippi could have easily gone in the first round, so the Pistons had to have been happy to take him in the second round at 36th overall. Terrico White has proven to be a talented scorer, whether he’s attacking the basket or knocking down jump shots.
While he had more of a scoring role in college, Detroit could be grooming him to play backup point guard to Rodney Stuckey this season since there is currently no one behind him. Down the line, they could easily play alongside each other when Rip Hamilton comes off the books.
Landry Fields – New York Knicks, 39th overall
While the New York Knicks didn’t win the LeBron sweepstakes, they did manage to improve their roster with several new additions including Amare Stoudemire. They also made a seemingly brilliant draft selection in Landry Fields out of Stanford.
Fields wasn’t projected by many to be taken on draft night, but the Knicks saw something there. Whatever it was, they were proven right during the Summer League. Fields lead the Knicks in scoring and looked like a really solid player with a good basketball IQ. The guys on the wing for New York are far from established starters in the league so if Fields continues to impress, he could be in line for some PT in 2010-11.
Lance Stephenson – Indiana Pacers, 40th overall
Another player with a solid Summer League performance, Lance Stephenson showed why he was so highly touted coming out of high school. After a not-so-stellar college run, Stephenson fell down draft boards into the second round. His showing so far has made him look like one of the steals of the draft for Indiana.
The Pacers have even hinted about looking to get him minutes at the point guard position this season as he could take over down the road for them. If they don’t put him there right away, he’s already proven to be a very promising scorer and would almost surely get some minutes at the shooting guard spot.
Gani Lawal – Phoenix Suns, 46th overall
Lawal was taken in the second round, but led the Yellow Jackets in both points and rebounds last season over the third overall pick, Derrick Favors. He had a very solid Summer League and should have no problem securing a roster spot in Phoenix.
With Amare Stoudemire out of town, Lawal should have a very good shot at contributing significant minutes this season. He’s a hard worker who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work and score the cleanup buckets for this squad. He also gets up and down the floor pretty well and should fit in nicely with the Suns up-tempo playing style.
Luke Harangody – Boston Celtics, 52nd overall
The Celtics have had a knack in recent years for producing hard working, quality bench players that can contribute whether it be Leon Powe, Glen Davis, etc. Harangody seems like he could be the next guy in line for this job. He really impressed this year in the Summer League, being the best player on the court for the C’s.
Answering his critics with his play, Luke was able to score and shoot effectively (even from 3) and grab a ton of rebounds. The former Notre Dame standout seems very likely to have earned a contract with Boston as they will probably hash out a deal this week. With an aging roster, it is very likely Harangody could get some playing time this year and be another high energy, efficient bench player that the Celtics seem to have every year.
Willie Warren – Los Angeles Clippers, 54th overall
Returning for another year of college didn’t really turn out the way Warren hoped it would have. He fell to the second round with a tough year for both himself and the Sooners. Regardless of how things went down, he’s in the league now and actually found himself in a very good situation in Los Angeles.
The Clippers have very little depth at the shooting guard position and Warren could be called upon very often in his first professional season. He’s proven before that in a supporting role, he can put up points in bunches as a slasher and knock down shooter. The Clippers roster looks solid on paper and could potentially threaten for a playoff spot this year.