Almost every year, a couple of second-round picks emerge from the NBA Draft to make a difference on their team whether down the road or a bit instantly. Sometimes it takes a little longer for things to progress but hidden gems are discovered nonetheless. The 2021 NBA Draft will be no different.
Take Nikola Jokic, an extreme example perhaps but one nonetheless. Jokic was the No. 41 pick by the Denver Nuggets back in 2014. This year, he just won his first MVP Award. Again, that's an extreme outlier scenario but there are future starting NBA players to be found in the second-round of an NBA Draft.
Here are three second-round sleeper pick in the 2021 NBA Draft to watch for.
BJ Boston – Kentucky
Once deemed to be a sure-fire lottery pick, BJ Boston had a roller coaster ride in his freshman season at Kentucky.
Boston was a highly touted recruit and while he showed plenty of flashes, he didn't quite do what many had expected in year one at Kentucky. Still, he's a super promising talent with a lot of upside that will likely be taken in the middle of the second-round of the NBA Draft.
Boston is lanky for a shooting guard, standing at 6-foot-7 with a wingspan of 6-foot-11. He has a great handle and can create and hunt down his own shot on a consistent basis. His shooting stroke from the perimeter is strong, Boston just needs to keep getting the reps to find more consistency from the land beyond.
Where Boston struggled at in the SEC was getting into the paint with successful results. While it was no issue when he was in high school at Sierra Canyon, Boston often had shots altered or blocked when working amongst the trees at Kentucky. On many of those occasions an outlet was open but Boston struggled at times to make the right decisions. It's an area of his game that needs to develop at the next level and he could stand to add a good amount of muscle.
If he can regain and find that edge he had at Sierra Canyon and that confidence, Boston could be a solid role player in the NBA as a second-round NBA Draft pick.
Joe Wieskamp – Iowa
There may not have been another prospect that helped his draft stock more at the NBA Combine than Joe Wieskamp of Iowa. While he still has not officially announced whether or not he will keep his name in the NBA Draft, it bodes well for Wieskamp that most have him being a lock to go in the second-round after his performance at the combine.
Joe Wieskamp had one of the signature performances of the combine w/ 26 PTS (6/7 from 3) + 10 REBS in his final outing. He's 6-7 with a 6-11 wingspan + made 46% of his 3's this season for #Iowa. @DraftExpress + @Mike_Schmitz on combine winners + losers >> https://t.co/WFQ5v4NRUb pic.twitter.com/oi4baz4Zff
— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) June 29, 2021
Wieskamp is lethal from the outside as a perimeter shooter. He showed that in his three years at Iowa and left his best for last, shooting 46% from downtown last season in Iowa City.
He showed some athleticism that wasn't previously known at the NBA Combine and then lit it up in scrimmages. Wieskamp is excellent at working off the ball and coming off screens to launch three's. He stands to get better at working to find his own shot off the dribble but it's still a trick in the bag for him.
He'll likely never be a great defender but has great size to try and contain guards at the next level. Another area that brings about questions is that at times he's too unselfish. This didn't show much at the combine as Wieskamp looked as confident as ever. But he did pass up looks at Iowa offensively or the opportunity to attack the rim when given a miss-match.
At the next level, he can be a solid three-point specialist coming off the bench for whoever takes him in the NBA Draft.
Ayo Dosunmu – Illinois
Let's stick with the Big 10 theme for the final potential second-round sleeper in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Ayo Dosunmu was a flat out problem for opposing teams last year and throughout his time at Illinois.
It's very possible Dosunmu is a late first-round pick but, many have him slotted in to go early in the second-round.
Dosunmu improved his shot last year, especially from the perimeter, going 39% from three-point range (29% the year before). The All-American has always excelled at setting up teammates and putting them in advantageous situations. He has good size for a point guard at 6-foot-5 and he can work in the half-court as well as he can in transition with the wheels in motion.
Any team that has Dosunmu slide to them in the second-round would be getting that hidden gem type player. At worst, Dosunmu is part of a second unit as the lead guard for 8-10 years in the NBA. He truly has that type of prospect profile for someone who is going to go somewhere in the late first-round or early in the second-round.
There are diamonds in the rough waiting to be selected every year in the NBA Draft and this year is no different. BJ Boston, Joe Wieskamp and Ayo Dosunmu are just three players that could turn out to be steals for whoever ends up taking them.