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NBA Draft: Snellings Breaks Down the NBA Draft

Andre' Snellings

Andre' Snellings is a Neural Engineer by day, and RotoWire's senior basketball columnist by night. He's a two-time winner of the Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

1. Anthony Davis, C, NO
Stylistic comparison: Marcus Camby
Notes: Davis was one of the more obvious No. 1 overall picks in recent memory, after he dominated the NCAA his freshman year. Defensively he was a man among boys, using a mantis-like wingspan to block almost five shots per game. In the NBA Davis has the length and mobility to anchor a defense from the perimeter to the paint, and he should rack up the defensive stats and rebounds. He also has both an aggressive mentality and a sneaky jumper on offense, which means he should be able to put some points on the board as well.
Draft: mid/early rounds
Projected valuable stats: 15 points, 9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 1.5 steal

2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, CHA
Comparison: Gerald Wallace meets Andre Iguodala
Notes: MKG immediately becomes one of the most athletic players in the NBA, an above-the-rim high flyer that will certainly rack up his share of Sportscenter highlights. He's most known for his defense and tenacity, which should certainly lead to some good steals numbers, but he will be playing for a Bobcats team that just set the record for the worst win percentage in NBA history. As such, he'll HAVE to score as well.
Draft: mid/early rounds
Projected valuable stats: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 0.8 blocks

3. Bradley Beal, SG, WAS
Comparison: Eric Gordon
Notes: The Wizards have traded for an entirely new front line in the last year, all of whom are known more for defense than offense. Beal is expected to come into the league as a professional scorer, which means he will likely team with John Wall to lead the Wiz on offense. Beal can score off the dribble inside the arc, but will likely make a good bit of his mark behind the arc playing off of Wall.
Draft: mid/late
Projected valuable stats: 18 points, 1.6 treys

4. Dion Waiters, Cleveland
Comparison: Ben Gordon
Notes: Waiters went earlier than expected in the draft. He was projected as a combo guard in a sixth-man mold, yet he likely starts the year as the starting shooting guard in Cleveland. The Cavs are a young team, and Waiters will be expected to form the backcourt of the future with Kyrie Irving, so he should get enough minutes to put up solid counting stats.
Draft: late
Projected valuable stats: 14 points, 1.5 treys, 3.5 assists

Thomas Robinson, PF, SAC
Comparison: Derrick Williams
Notes: Robinson is ultra-athletic, has long arms (7-1 wingspan), a strong frame, and plays with a high motor. His game resembles last year's #2 pick Derrick Williams, but unlike Williams he didn't go to a team with multiple good-to-great players already at his position. Robinson has to be the favorite to start early for the Kings, and makes an intriguing young front line with DeMarcus Cousins. Robinson is an aggressive player on offense, goes hard to the rim, and has a nice jumper. He also crashes the boards, a skill that should translate.
Draft: mid/late
Projected valuable stats: 15 points, 8 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 1.0 steals

6. Damian Lillard, SG, POR
Comparison: Steph Currry
Notes: Lillard was one of the leading scorers in the nation last season, though he was playing in a small conference at Weber State. Lillard can score off the dribble, off the drive, or with a jumper that has range out to 28 feet. Lillard is a combo guard, and will likely be asked to play some point guard for the Blazers. He may have a larger competition transition to make than some of his classmates, but once he does Lillard could be a source for several offensive categories.
Draft: mid/late
Projected stats: 13 points, 4.6 assists, 1.8 treys

7. Harrison Barnes, SF, GS
Comparison: Danny Granger (on offense)
Notes: Barnes is an enigma, as he came out of high school projected to be the next big NBA superstar but in college he was just... good. Barnes has a prototypical small forward frame with excellent size and good athletic ability, has decent post moves (played in the post in high school), and has a developing perimeter jumper. The problem is that Barnes isn't great at creating for himself off the dribble, which means that he needs to be more of a secondary scorer than "the man". The good news is that Steph Curry is the man in Golden State (assuming he can ever stay healthy), and Barnes should get some good shots working off of the outside/inside combo of Curry and Andrew Bogut.
Draft: late
Projected stats: 14 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.2 treys

8. Terrence Ross, SG, TOR
Comparison: Eddie Jones
Notes: Ross is an athletic slasher with a good, if streaky, midrange and distance jumper. Ross has no conscience and will keep shooting even when he's off or the game is on the line. He's a strong on-ball defender, though he likely needs to bulk up a bit to be able to handle small forwards. Ross is also athletic and acrobatic in the air, and a solid rebounder. He should combine with DeMar Derozan to give the Raptors one of the more athletic swing duos in the NBA.
Draft: late
Projected stats: 12 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 treys

9. Andre Drummond, C, DET
Comparison: DeAndre Jordan
Notes: Drummond is one of the most athletic big men to come along in awhile, and for that reason has huge upside. He can dunk anything near the rim, and is an excellent finisher off the fast break or the alley-oop. The problem for Drummond is that, unlike Jordan, he won't have a Chris Paul to set him up with those easy lobs. Drummond is considered to be slightly immature, and there are questions about his motor and motivation. He has the chance to shine for a Pistons team that was desperately looking for size in the draft, but his rawness suggests he may be slow out of the gate as a rookie.
Draft: late
Projected stats: 7 points, 7 rebounds, 1.4 blocks

10. Austin Rivers, SG, NO
Comparison: O.J. Mayo
Notes: The best recent description I've heard for Rivers is that he believes he's Kobe Bryant, with all of the positives and negatives that go with that statement. He has no off-switch as a scorer, and reportedly has a diva attitude that can turn off teammates. On the other hand, there should be no awe-factor or crunchtime jitters from Rivers even off the bat. He is ball-dominant and likes to score off the dribble, which should serve him better in the NBA than it did in college. He's quick, if a bit undersized for a shooting guard, and is a professional scorer with good range. The Hornets will likely give him some burn at point guard, despite that not being a natural position, because he'll be sharing the backcourt with Eric Gordon.
Draft: mid-late
Projected stats: 14 points, 4.5 assists, 1.6 treys

11. Meyers Leonard, C, POR
Comparison: Robin Lopez
Notes: Leonard is an athletic 7-footer that is great at finishing the alley-oop and running the break, and he's also a good passer. On the other side, he doesn't have that great of a post game so he doesn't project to a volume scorer. Leonard did block a lot of shots in college and is a solid rebounder, and ultimately he could make a nice big-man tandem with LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland's post Greg-Oden era.
Draft: late
Projected stats: 7 points, 6 rebounds, 1.2 blocks

12. Jeremy Lamb, SG, HOU
Comparison: Rip Hamilton
Notes: Lamb is a lanky swingman who actually plays a lot like new teammate Kevin Martin, minus the high volume of free throws drawn. Lamb is athletic with long arms, a great shooter off either the spot-up or the dribble, and has made his share of clutch shots in college. He's undersized for his position, though, and doesn't create a lot of offense for himself.
Draft: late or undrafted
Projected stats: 8 points, 1.1 treys

13. Kendall Marshall, PG, PHO
Comparison: Mark Jackson
Notes: Marshall is the first "true" point guard taken in this draft, and interestingly he goes to the team that is dealing with Steve Nash's free agency. If Nash leaves, Marshall could end up starting right away. If so, he should lead rookies in assists. If Nash stays, Marshall may not get enough minutes for fantasy relevance. Marshall isn't a great shooter, though, and his scoring ability is very questionable.
Draft: late
Projected stats: 6 points, 7 assists, 1.1 steals

14. John Henson, PF, MIL
Comparison: Brandan Wright
Notes: Henson is an extremely long power forward - his standing reach is almost four inches longer than that of Anthony Davis, who is universally praised for his length. Henson projects to be a strong defender, which is something that Milwaukee needs in the paint after dealing Andrew Bogut last season. Henson is a garbage man on offense, but a solid rebounder.
Draft: late
Projected stats: 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1.8 blocks

Other rookies of interest:

  • Royce White, PF, HOU - White has the upside of a more talented Boris Diaw, and if the Rockets do end up packaging several of their rotation players for one superstar White could end up getting good minutes early.

  • Jared Sullinger, PF, BOS - Sullinger was expected to be a top-5 pick if he had come out of college last season, and as recently as two weeks ago he was still expected to go in the lottery. Back and size/athleticism concerns caused him to slip, but if he's healthy and Kevin Garnett doesn't return to Boston, Sullinger has nightly double-double upside with enough minutes.

  • Arnett Moutrie, PF, PHI - Depending on what the 76ers decide to do with Elton Brand and free agent Spencer Hawes, Moutrie could end up giving them solid minutes as a rookie. Moutrie was one of the best rebounders in college, despite only recently making the transition from SF to PF. The 76ers like to play combo forwards at PF, like they do with Thad Young, but unlike Young it appears that Moutrie could also defend the position and hit the glass as well.

  • Perry Jones III, SF, OKC - Jones has to be mentioned because he was universally considered to be a top-10 talent in the draft who fell due to questions about a knee injury. Jones is also criticized for not having a true position with a guard's skills in a power forward's body, and for not seeming to have the mindset to be a superstar. Of course, this could serve him well in Oklahoma City where they already have three stars and potentially could use another athletic big in the rotation. Jones is definitely a great athlete, but it isn't clear yet how he'll play at the next level.

  • Draymond Green, SF, GS - Green seems like the kind of ultra-productive collegian that just knows how to play basketball and ends up as a second round steal. The Warriors wanted a small forward from this draft, and they got one in the lottery with Harrison Barnes, but don't be surprised if Green is the better player out of the gate because he is very pro ready.