In addition to our weekly chat, which Chuck Myron facilitates every Wednesday, we have a second opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap, or the NBA draft? Drop me a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com or @EddieScarito on Twitter. Now for this week’s inquiries:
I received quite a few questions regarding the NBA Draft, so I’ll answer the two most asked regarding the big event below:
“Which 2015 draft picks gave the team the best value where they were selected?” — Multiple readers
Every year there are a few picks where I just shake my head and wonder how certain players were able to stay on the board as long as they did. This year was no different. My best value picks for the 2015 NBA Draft are…
- Justise Winslow to the Heat at No. 10 overall — It’s hard to believe that Winslow almost fell out of the top 10. He has the potential to be a two-way star, and make nine other franchises look back with regret at bypassing him. The Knicks better hope Kristaps Porzingis turns out to be a star. Likewise the Pistons with Stanley Johnson.
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to the Blazers at No. 23 overall — Portland nabbed themselves the best perimeter defender in the entire draft, and a freakishly fast wing, then shipped him to the Nets in the Mason Plumlee trade. Of course, Hollis-Jefferson lacks an outside game. But that can be fixed with hard work and dedication to improve. What can’t be taught is explosiveness, tenacity, and pure defensive grit. Three qualities that the former Wildcat certainly possesses.
- R.J. Hunter to the Celtics at No. 28 overall — Boston nabbed a player who has the potential to be a top flight sixth man and scoring threat from anywhere in the arena. Hunter was projected as a potential late lottery pick by a number of mock drafts, and the Celtics landing him at the bottom of the first round certainly amounts to a great pickup in my book.
- Montrezl Harrell to the Rockets at No. 32 overall — Harrell is a bit of a tweener, which hurt his draft stock. But for Houston to land a player of Harrell’s talent, and one who was projected to be a first-rounder, in the second round is nothing short of a steal.
- Joseph Young to the Pacers at No. 43 overall — Young is a blazing fast scoring machine who can play either guard position offensively. He has injury concerns, but to pick up such an explosive player that late in the draft cannot be considered anything but a coup on Indiana’s part.
- Dakari Johnson to the Thunder at No. 48 overall — Johnson was overshadowed by the other frontcourt players at Kentucky. While I don’t think he’ll become a star in the NBA, he’s certainly capable of being a solid rotation player for years to come. What else can you ask for from a late second-rounder? Really solid pickup for OKC.
“Which 2015 draft picks were the biggest reaches?” — Multiple readers
This category is the flip side of the one above. These are the picks that made me shake my head and wonder what the teams were thinking. My biggest head-scratchers of the 2015 draft are…
- Stanley Johnson to the Pistons at No. 8 overall — If Winslow is off the board when Detroit was set to pick, then Johnson doesn’t make this list. But Winslow was available, and I can’t believe the Pistons bypassed a potential superstar for Johnson, who projects as a solid player, but in no way does he possess the upside of Winslow. Stan Van Gundy better be right on this one, or else it will set the franchise back in its development.
- Terry Rozier to the Celtics at No. 16 overall — There were quite a few point guards on the board that were ranked higher than Rozier when the Celtics made their pick. I don’t dislike Rozier as a player, but I have to believe that Boston could have traded down and still landed its man. I project him as a career backup, and if that is indeed the case, then the Celtics made a bad decision here.
- Larry Nance Jr. to the Lakers at No. 27 overall — Setting aside the potential awkwardness of Nance having to explain to Kobe Bryant about his negative tweets regarding the Mamba, I’m still shocked by this pick. Especially considering the available players at this draft spot. Selecting Nance in the first round and having to fork over the guaranteed contract that goes along with that doesn’t make sense to me for a player who many projected to be a mid second-rounder. There were a number of other players on the board who would have been much better values with this pick.
“Now that the Knicks have seemingly missed out on all the big names, what do you think of the team’s offseason?” — Kyle
It’s not going great, which is unfortunate for the team and its fans. While I’m not surprised that the biggest names are avoiding New York this offseason, it’s still a bit disheartening. I’d have to think that landing Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, and Robin Lopez, as well as drafting a long-term project in Porzingis, was not Phil Jackson‘s plan when the season ended. While both Afflalo and Lopez are solid additions, neither of them will ensure that the Knicks make the playoffs next season. I do love Afflalo’s deal though, and believe that it’s a short-term investment that carries little risk for New York. Williams’ addition I’m not too keen on. He’s not a good defender or rebounder, nor a lights-out shooter, which makes him a sketchy fit for the triangle offense at best.
While it’s still early in the offseason, things are not looking good for a Knicks resurgence in 2015/16. As a Knicks fan, I’d be content knowing that the team would likely have a lottery pick next summer to help build for the future…but that pick goes to Toronto in exchange for the privilege of having had Andrea Bargnani sit on the bench in street clothes for 93 of the 164 contests the Knicks played during his tenure. I’m still having a difficult time processing my anger over that trade…
That’s all the space I have for this week. Thanks again for filling up my inbox, and please keep them rolling in. I’ll be back next week with more responses.