By Court Zierk @courtzierk on June 28, 2014
Once upon a time, the NBA draft had 10 rounds. Count them, 10. In 1985, it was shortened to seven. Four years later, it became the two-round whirlwind it is today. Even with only 60 players coming off the board every year, it has become rare occurrence to find a quality, consistent NBA player with a pick in the final 30, but it does happen. Here are five players selected in the 2nd round this year that will evolve into starters.
This was a home run pick for the Detroit Pistons, yet they have received mixed draft grades. Spencer Dinwiddie, who tore his ACL back in January, was well on his way to solidifying his spot as a lottery pick before his injury. He has great size for a point guard, has good court vision, uses his big frame to create shots, and is an underrated perimeter shooter. He reminds me of another Colorado Buffaloes point guard who played for the Pistons.
Jarnell Stokes has all the tools to be a consistent double-double guy in the NBA. He is a premier offensive rebounder, which will lead to plenty of easy put backs. He can consistently convert from mid-range, and he is a good shot blocker. While Zach Randolph signed his extension with the Memphis Grizzlies, he is getting up there in years and Stokes has the potential to slide into his spot in the lineup eventually.
The Philadelphia 76ers got a steal in Vasilije Micic with the 52nd overall pick; he was projected as a potential late first round pick. He currently plays in Serbia, and will likely continue to for a short time, but with the 76ers' desperate need in talent, and since their two first round picks will be a non-factor this season, Micic will likely be brought over sooner than later. Don’t be surprised if he turns into a Goran Dragic type.
K.J. McDaniels is a flat-out freakish athlete. The Philadelphia 76ers again found themselves a gem in the 2nd round. McDaniels will be an elite defender on the next level. He is a great shot blocker and he can guard three different positions on the floor, making him a versatile and invaluable addition to a team that needs talent. He may end up being a part-time starter, but he could also be valuable as a change-of-pace guy off the bench.
The New York Knicks had to wait 34 spots for Phil Jackson to make his first pick, but it was a jewel. Cleanthony Early is a first round talent who somehow slipped through the cracks. He is athletic, long and a good three point shooter. He is also versatile because he played numerous positions in college. He may not be a true small forward or shooting guard at the next level, but he is an athlete and he will find a way to make plays.
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