Best Value Pick – Perry Jones III (Thunder)
Although his draft stock fell a bit last year, Jones III was, at one point, considered a top 10 pick. But getting him at 28? Don’t be ridiculous. Well, that was exactly where he fell to and the Thunder really got a steal in this draft. Jones is an athletic freak and can jump out of the gym, not to mention he’s 6’11’’. He has the perfect mentor in Kevin Durant and the talent around him to be a big part of a big-time team.
Biggest Reach – Dion Waiters (Cavaliers)
I do not claim to be an NBA Draft guru, but I watch enough college basketball to know when a player has a lot to work on. Waiters fits that bill. He averaged 12/2/2 and didn’t really stand out doing it. He had an opportunity to step up for his Syracuse team when Fab Melo was ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament but he did not rise to the occasion. I guess he could prove me wrong down the road, but for now I am calling that pick a reach, especially at number four.
Best Duo – Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers (Hornets)
New Orleans has had a rough year but with this duo, their future is looking up. Davis was the surefire best player in this draft and he got a pick-and-roll partner in Rivers when he was selected as the tenth pick. I think that these two can grow together and feed off of one another. I fully expect these dynamic players to have New Orleans back in the playoffs in no time.
Most Intriguing Duo – Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo (Celtics)
With two consecutive picks, the Boston Celtics may have solidified their frontcourt for the next decade. Both Sullinger and Melo come with their baggage: some say Sullinger’s game will not translate to the NBA (not to mention his bad back) and that Melo has character issues. They will learn from one of the game’s best in Kevin Garnett. If all goes according to plan, the paint will be owned by Boston, but that’s a big IF.
Second Round Pick Most Likely to Succeed – Darius Johnson-Odom (Lakers)
I watched DJO play for Marquette and the guy has skills. He may be a few inches shorter than the ideal two-guard but he is going to learn from Kobe and that will be invaluable. I’m not saying that he’s a perennial all-star, but Johnson-Odon can attack the rim with the best of them and he is a smart ball player. Expect him to make a splash in the NBA.