By Max Feldman
Maximizing value in the NBA Draft is the name of the game with only 1-2 picks per franchise each year. The emergence of organizational rebuilds and investments in the future continue to be on the up. There is no shortage of expectations for first round NBA draft picks within and even outside the lottery, but what about those guys picked in the second round?
Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Draymond Green, Toni Kukoc, Manu Ginobli and Marc Gasol highlight some of the best second rounders of all time.
In the last few seasons, Eric Paschall, Bol Bol, Devonte’ Graham, Mitchell Robinson, Dillon Brooks and Monte Morris all stand out as second round steals.
While this year’s high upside prospects in the second round are a bit more unpredictable like Jay Scrubb, Josh Hall and Cassius Stanley, there are plenty of mature options with strong chances of fitting into NBA supporting cast roles sooner rather than later.
So, who are the candidates in the 2020 Draft to out perform their stock and solidify roles in the NBA?
The second round is where teams change their focus from best player available to a priority of finding the best team fits. These should be some of the top options for just about every franchise.
#29 on the July Edition FOG Big Board
Quickley’s shooting prowess has been preached by FOG repeatedly. The 21 year old’s ability to make plays for others and whether he’s able to translate his creation ability (100th percentile in isolation situations) will determine truly how high his upside is. If it does not, Quickley will be an undersized off guard who will be difficult to give a mass amount of play time to if he is not playing alongside a bigger lead guard. His defensive flashes of lighting quick lateral speed and strong instincts in the passing lane should translate down the line, but he will need some time to adjust to NBA strength. With all of that at play, to be able to secure a 43% three point shooter on heightened volume, and a 92% free throw shooter who landed in the 84th percentile in spot up situations who showed massive development from year one to year two in the second round is a big time move by whoever the GM might end up being. He could sneak into the back end of the first round for a team searching for floor spacers to surround their stars, but questions remain about how he can fit in defensively and how he might struggle physically with a slender frame. He’s certainly smaller, but Quickley is built in the Danny Green mold. He is going to knock down shots as he has continued to show signs of extending his range and fluidity at all three levels. With potential second rounders, roster fit is vital in determining how much they can truly “out-perform their stock” but if Quickley lands on a roster with multiple steady playmakers, I love his chances to become an elite shooter.
#30 on the July Edition FOG Big Board
Pritchard floats to the bottom of many other’s lumped together lead guard group in the second round, but he is atop mine. Questions regarding his athleticism and defense at times are credible, but his ability to simply beat the man in front of him, manipulate defenders in the P&R, catch fire from deep and finish around the rim are next level using an extremely deep layup package keeps him a head above the rest. Widely regarded as one of the best players in the nation in 2019-2020, Payton Pritchard placed in the 89th percentile as a P&R ball handler, the 93rd percentile in spot ups, 81st percentile in transition and the 90th percentile off off screens. Simply put, Pritchard is electric on the offensive end. The determining factor for me in putting Pritchard on this list is his motor and competitiveness. The defensive concerns are largely contingent upon his size and athleticism, but if TJ McConnell, Ryan Arcidiacano and Aaron Holiday were all able to develop into strong defenders early on in their career, I would double down on Payton Pritchard’s stock. Pritchard is extremely intelligent and mature beyond his years, and just like he managed to weasel into the Ducks back court as a true Freshman, stealing the lead guard role from a three year starter eventually forcing him to transfer due to lack of playing time, he will do whatever it takes to find his way on the court in the NBA. His early success largely hinges on how he produces on the defensive end, and that is crystal clear. After four years straight of never missing a Payton Pritchard game, I have no doubt that his role within an NBA rotation will inevitably be carved out due to his unique flare, unrivaled intangibles and laser focus on contributing to a winning culture.
#41 on the July Edition FOG Big Board
Mays has been a riser for just about everyone as of late, and rightfully so. He is what people want from a prospect like Isaac Okoro. If Mays was 19 or 20 years old, he would be a top 10 pick. There is nothing he can not do. A high level rebounder, a strong, instinctual defender and an improved, versatile wing scorer. Likely better fit off ball then on ball, he will be easier to give playing time to early on due to his defensive intensity although he is only a 6-4 off guard. In his senior season, Mays placed in the 89th percentile in FOUR offensive categories (P&R ball handler, off cuts, hand-offs, and spot ups), while carrying the bulk of the volume for the Tigers. I see Mays falling into a category similar to Gary Harris, Donte DiVincenzo, Malik Beasley and Josh Richardson. Undersized two guards who are rarely recognized as undersized because of their toughness and stout defensive abilities. A piece like Skylar Mays allows for so much creativity around him and can be the glue for a rebuilding or contending rotation. An absolutely fantastic bet to out perform his stock if the consensus remains in the 40-60 range.
#42 on the July Edition FOG Big Board
Kispert is another guy who will not be a star, but should out-perform his draft slot in the long run. The former Zag is going to hang around the league for a long time with his ability to make perimeter shots in a multitude of situations. Nearly a 3rd of all of Kispert’s possessions this season were spot ups, and with all of that volume came mass success. Kispert poured in 1.12 points per possession on spot ups, knocked down 44% of his threes while shooting over 5 per game, and rated in the 94th percentile long range shots in the half court. Kispert’s shooting ability is somewhat slept on within this draft class because of how one dimensional he can be at times, yet his defensive prowess does keep afloat his fringe first round stock for me. At 6-7 and 220 pounds, Kispert is physically ready for the NBA in three different areas for me. His perimeter shooting, physicality and defensive skill. He has good footwork and was placed on the opponents top offensive weapon in the majority of Gonzaga’s games in his Junior campaign. Kispert fits the ball as a Bogdan Bogdanovic, Duncan Robinson, Svi Mykhailiuk-type of fit in the NBA. The mature, floor spacing wing should prove to be a top 30 player in this class down the line.
#34 on the July Edition FOG Big Board
Bey has been someone I was never extremely high, and while there is nothing to be extremely excited about with him, that might just be why he’ll fit so well in the NBA. There are not very many downfalls to his skillset, if any. Rarely these days do we see a 6-7 athlete who is not shooting threes and get excited, but Bey sticks out as a guy similar to Brandon Clarke who can slot in extremely well as a four man with the direction the league is moving. With so many big men now reliant on their perimeter touch and even their playmaking ability, having a gritty, athletic four man who can guard multiple positions is extremely useful. Some stand out situations were a guy like Tyler Bey can make a lot of money would be beside Nikola Jokic, Karl Anthony-Towns, Nikola Vucevic and Enes Kanter who all make their money on the offensive ends. Bey covers a lot of gaps left by these big men. He is a pogo stick athlete with extremely high rebound rates, solid block numbers and an impressive second jump ability. The roles is needed around the league, and besides Brandon Clarke in the 2019 draft, guys like Jerami Grant and Derrick Jones Jr are making a living off of guarding multiple positions, rebounding with efficiency, rim running and completing easy finishes off of hustle and athleticism.