2017 NBA Draft: Best Value Picks in Round Two

A sense of excitement always seems to disappear every year when the First Round of the NBA Draft comes to a close. Adam Silver leaves for the night, and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum takes over. Fans slowly trickle out as the illustrious names are off the board. The 2017 NBA Draft was no different. The appeal of the second round certainly cannot compete with the first round, but that’s not to say you can’t find an All-Star caliber player, or even a consistent role player, in the last 30 picks. Here are six players who, initially, look like great value picks by their new teams. 

Monte Morris (Iowa State): 51st Pick – Denver Nuggets

Monte Morris was an exceptional pick by Denver in the late second round. I was extremely surprised Morris was still on the board at that point, though in upperclassmen often get unfairly punished in NBA Drafts for their age. Morris however, I thought was an exception. Having watched a lot of Big 12 games, Morris has been a Top 3 point guard in the conference the past four years. He boasts a career 5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, shot 47% from the field and 38% from behind the arc. His decision-making ability should, at the very least, make him a reliable back up for several years.

Jordan Bell (Oregon): 38th Pick – Golden State Warriors

Jordan Bell could not have gone to a better place. I know I know, anyone would say that when they’re going to the team that just won the NBA Championship, but Bell fits the Warriors style. Take Javale McGee for example, and how Golden State was able to revitalize what was a lost career. The reason Bell fits so perfectly is because he doesn’t need to change his game one bit. At Oregon he was a tremendous shot blocker and controlled the paint defensively with his athleticism. These traits alone had scouts looking at him in the late first round. Being able to focus as the defensive anchor first, and offense second, sets both Bell and Golden State up nicely next season.

Jonah Bolden (Australia): 36th Pick – Philadelphia 76ers

As ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said last night, Bolden would have been on more people’s radars had he stayed at UCLA instead of going pro overseas after his sophomore year. Bolden is an athletic 6’10, 225 pound forward who can knock it down from deep. He actually was able to find success in his time in the Adriatic League in Serbia. Bolden is a raw talent, but with focus on the Fultz, Simmons and Embiid trio, he should have time to develop his game in Philly.

Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State): 39th Pick – Los Angeles Clippers

Evans dropped in the draft due to his size. At 6’1 he will be very undersized at the point guard position in the NBA. Physical attributes aside, Evans is a skilled guard who can score for himself and improved his facilitating in his second season at Oklahoma State. In his sophomore campaign, Evans raised his APG to 6.4, good enough to lead the Big 12. While he will have to continue to adjust how he scores in the paint, he can be a solid role player from day one thanks to his decision-making and passing ability. And if Chris Paul sticks around for Evans to learn from, he will only benefit more from it.

Ike Anigobu (UCLA): 47th Pick – Indiana Pacers

The key word for Ike Anigobu is health. On the surface Anigobu only averaged 4 points and 4 rebounds for UCLA last season. A deeper dive shows a player who was once looked at as a first round pick, if not a possible Top 20 selection due to his athleticism and 7’6 wingspan. While critics point to Ike’s rawness and injury issues, the Pacers can afford to see this process out after the drafted TJ Leaf in the first round. With Thaddeus Young, Al Jefferson and a blooming star in Myles Turner in-house, the addition of Leaf gives Indiana a front court rotation for next season. For at least a year, they can Anigobu concentrate on strengthening his knee, while developing in practice against a solid group of bigs. This is a risk that could end up being a reward if the chips fall the right way.

Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga): 55th Pick – Utah Jazz

Similar to Monte Morris, Williams-Goss makes the list due to where he was selected. At pick 55, why wouldn’t you take a chance on an experienced guard with a history of success? The Jazz had a young guard in Dante Exum, and  veteran with an uncertain future in George Hill. With Goss they now have a reliable, seasoned rookie who can fill in and play as big or little of a role as needed. There’s a chance Hill stays and Goss never gets the minutes needed to make any sort of impact. But if the opposite happens, and Hill leads, it’s nice to have an experienced rookie to call on for back up minutes.

Every fan hopes that their team can find a hidden gem in the second round that will turn into a Manu Ginobili or Draymond Green or Gilbert Arenas. Few often pan out like we expect or hope. While nothing is guaranteed for many second rounders, these six players have a chance to not just make a team, but provide their respective teams with great contributions. Keep following Hoop Group Insider all summer long for NBA news.



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