The NBA Draft lottery is done. The order is set, and all teams have begun working on their boards. Three teams who do not have much work to do heading into draft night are the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, and New York Knicks. These are the teams that hold the first three picks of the draft.
It is all but done that Zion Williamson will go first followed by Ja Morant and RJ Barrett.
The majority of the first-round guys will have better careers than the second-rounders when it is all said and done, however, there is talent through all 60 picks.
Mark Tatum has announced some names in the second round who have gone on to have great careers. Draymond Green of the Warriors and Malcolm Brogdon of the Bucks are the first two to come to mind. Heading into the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson will be the story, but here are five players who can have success coming out of the second round.
5. Eric Paschall, Villanova
Paschall will enter the draft after playing three years at Villanova. He began his career at Fordham before becoming a Wildcat. Paschall was a huge part of the Villanova team that won the National Championship just two seasons ago. He put on a show at the Final Four when he lit up Kansas for 24 points on 10-11 from the field.
That Villanova team lost their top four players to the NBA. This left Paschall to step up and become the leader of the team along with Phil Booth. All Paschall did was average 16.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while being one of the best players in the Big East.
What sets Paschall aside is his athleticism at his size. The Villanova product stands and 6’8 and weighs 255 pounds. He is a big body who can sky for a rebound or drive the lane and dunk over someone. Paschall has an NBA ready body to go along with a strong knowledge of the game. He played three seasons under one of the best coaches in the country in Jay Wright.
Which ever team drafts Paschall will be getting a smart player who has a winning pedigree.
4. PJ Washington, Kentucky
Washington was the leader for Kentucky this season. He averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He missed the Wildcats’ first two games of the NCAA Tournament with a foot injury, but he returned and did not miss a beat. Washington put up 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Wildcats’ Elite 8 loss to Auburn. Washington might be a late first round pick, but more than likely he will fall to the second.
There are concerns of his game at the next level. At 6’8, Washington is not an ideal size for a power forward in the league. He was able to overpower players at the collegiate level. He will need to develop more of a perimeter game to succeed in the NBA. Still, Washington is a talent who can help a team at the next level.
3. Ty Jerome, Virginia
Praise was handed to Paschall above for playing in a winning culture. How about playing in a winning culture with extreme perseverance? For example, becoming the first one-seed to lose to a 16-seed, and coming back to win the National Championship just one year later. That is what Virginia did led by Jerome at point guard. He averaged 13.6 points and 5.5 assists per game this season. Jerome proved to be a dynamic play maker who could shoot the ball well from deep.
It might surprise people to know that Jerome stands at 6’5. He plays a lot smaller than his size. Jerome is an above average defender with crazy quick hands. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with instincts. Jerome seems like the perfect back-up, and eventual starting, point guard for a team who is contending. He will come off the bench and log valuable minutes. Jerome will be able to score at the next level thanks to his outside shot, having made 40 percent of his attempts from deep last season, but it will be his passing that makes him a hot commodity.
It will be interesting to see just how long he stays on the board in the NBA Draft.
2. Dylan Windler, Belmont
It seems like every year in the NCAA Tournament there is one player from a small school who bursts onto the scene. This year it was Windler out of Belmont. The senior from Indianapolis flew under the radar because he played at Belmont, however his numbers deserved more recognition.
Windler finished his senior campaign averaging 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Belmont went onto lose the Ohio Valley Conference Championship to Morant and Murray State, however, Windler put on a show in the semis. In that game against Austin Peay, Windler finished with 32 points and 21 rebounds. After taking down Temple in the First Four, Belmont prepared to face Maryland. The Bruins came up just short, but Windler finished with 35 points and 11 rebounds against one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
Windler is an extremely efficient shooter. He is not afraid to take the big shot. He has a smooth stroke from deep, and get get shots off at difficult angles. What sets Windler apart is his rebounding ability. At 6’8, Windler might have trouble being physical with the enormous trees in the NBA, but he can outsmart them. Windler is a player who has a feel for the ball. When you watch him play, it seems as if he is always around the play. Windler has exceptional feel and intelligence to find the right spot when rebounding. He might sneak into the NBA Draft first round if a team feels like reaching. Expect Windler to become one of the second round steals.
1. Luguentz Dort, Arizona State
If you watched an Arizona State game this season, you might have wondered why there was a linebacker playing one of the guard positions. This was Dort. The freshman averaged 16.1 points per game for the Sun Devils this season. He put up 21 points on a national stage in the First Four against St. John’s before losing to Buffalo. With Dort, a team will be getting a different player. Dort is a player who is flashy in his own way.
He will not drive down the lane and jump over three defenders for a dunk like Williamson. Dort is a sneaky quick guard who can finish in the lane in a majority of ways. He is a decent outside shooter, however, he excels driving the lane and pulling up from 10-feet.
Despite the lack of running and jumping athleticism, he possess quick feet that are always active on defense. Dort is an underrated passer who plays unselfish basketball. The best part of Dort’s game is his ability in the open court. He has a knack for scoring in transition. He attacks the rim and is not afraid of contact. Watching him is like watching Lance Stephenson with more promise.
Some good players will be waiting in the second round of the NBA Draft.