“I Choose You”

Oregon's Joseph Young is one of many sleepers later on in the draft. (Ryan Kang/Emerald)
Oregon’s Joseph Young is one of many sleepers later on in the draft. (Ryan Kang/Emerald)

The NBA Draft is steadily approaching. By the end of the month, many of the top prospects from across the globe will have new homes as they gear up for the offseason and Summer League play. But outside of the Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafors of the world, who are the notable players poised to make noise later on in the draft?

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Quite frankly, sticking on a roster is an extremely difficult task, especially as a second rounder. So we will be completely honest about our projections here.

That said, there are plenty of sleepers, similar to LA’s Jordan Clarkson (46th overall, 2014) & Golden State’s Draymond Green (35th overall, 2012), who can come in and make an impact right away. But to avoid confusion, we’ve developed a key “stamps” for you to follow:

Star UnderDOG aka “Draymond Green award” = unheralded star who was heavily slept on during the draft process

UnderDOG aka “DeMarre Carroll award” = future NBA role player

FRINGE aka “Jannero Pargo award” = should stick around the NBA for many years

SLG aka “Kent Bazemore award” = Summer League Guy who has the chance to make a roster in training camp

DL aka “Andre Emmett award” = long-term D-Leaguer

FF aka “Keith Langford award” = Frequent Flyer; career overseas

D&S aka “Nikola Mirotic award” = International player who likely won’t come over immediately

Each player below will have a few short notes summarizing their game along with a short-term career projection. These are some of our favorite second round (and beyond) prospects in the field. Enjoy!

“Paper Chase”

Brandon Ashley (PF, Junior, Arizona)- Can’t shoot from the perimeter but has a decent touch near the rim; can he defend NBA four men? (DL)

Anthony Brown (SF, Senior, Stanford)- Shooter with nice defensive capabilities; if Josh Huestis can get drafted, so can he (DL, FF)

Nedim Buza (SF, Bosnia)- Slender 3 who has great potential; plays confidently (D&S, FRINGE)

Pat Connaughton (SG, Senior, Notre Dame)- Talented athlete with an emerging outside shot (UnderDOG)

Quinn Cook (PG, Senior, Duke)- All of the makings of a backup PG in the NBA; cerebral, does not make many mistakes; decent shooter and playmaker (UnderDOG)

Branden Dawson (PF, Senior, Michigan State)- College star without many translatable skills outside of work ethic; tough leader who could impress during the summer and make a roster a la James Michael McAdoo (SLG)

George de Paula (PG, Brazil)- Long-armed PG with nice size (6’5); raw skills but possesses tremendous upside on both ends (D&S, UnderDOG)

Moussa Diagne (PF/C, Senegal)- Defensive stalwart who is a beast on the boards; not much of a threat to score on the other end (D&S, UnderDOG)

Michael Frazier II (SG, Junior, Florida)- 6’5 w/ a ratchet; will make the NBA solely on his jumper a la Troy Daniels (FRINGE, SLG)

Danilo Fuzaro (PG, Brazil)- Scoring PG with a knack for getting to the basket; versatile but needs to learn how to play within a team framework (FRINGE, D&S)

“Rise and Shine”

Treveon Graham (SG, Senior, VCU)- Physical guard who is more of defender than shot maker; struggles to create off the dribble (FF)

Olivier Hanlan (PG, Junior, Boston College)- Excellent scoring instincts but needs to develop overall decision-making; one of the top prospects beyond the first-round (UnderDOG)

Andrew Harrison (PG, Sophomore, Kentucky)- Irrationally confident lead guard who is fearless attacking the rim; shot is a work-in-progress; great size that should translate extremely well at the next level (Star UnderDOG)

Aaron Harrison (SG, Sophomore, Kentucky)- Less heralded Harrison twin with limited NBA skills; could stick as a shooter off the bench (FRINGE)

Tyler Harvey (SG, Senior, Eastern Washington)- Unconscious bucket-getter with unlimited range; can his scoring outweigh his limited defensive ability? (UnderDOG)

Corey Hawkins (SG, Senior, UC Davis)- Son of Hersey Hawkins is a small two-guard with a nice outside attack; lacks playmaking ability (SLG, FF)

Guillermo Hernangomez (C, Spain)- Huge (6’11) mobile big who can both protect the paint and score a little bit inside; limited scoring from the perimeter (D&S)

Jonathan Holmes (SF/PF, Senior, Texas)- Late riser skyrocketing up boards due to his athleticism and varied offensive arsenal; tweener at the forward spots; looks oddly similar to Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (FRINGE)

Richaun Holmes (PF, Junior, Bowling Green)- Lacks NBA size but is a two-way threat; solid in the low-post (FF, SLG)

Vince Hunter (PF, Sophomore, UTEP)- Very tough but has no true NBA position; should make a team due to his rebounding presence and upside (UnderDOG)

“Write Your Name”

Mouhammadou Jaiteh (C, France)- Runs the floor well in transition and projects as a strong shot-blocker; worth a shot early in the second round (D&S, UnderDOG)

Alpha Kaba (PF, France)- Hustling four man with the best name in quite some time (D&S)

TJ McConnell (PG, Senior, Arizona)- Said he studies Matthew Dellavedova; similar game but lacks a consistent jumper (DL, FRINGE)

Nikola Milutinov (C, Serbia)- Solid offensive big who’s still learning how to hone his activity on both sides (D&S)

Larry Nance Jr. (PF, Senior, Wyoming)- Hard-working banger with an NBA pedigree; relies too much on athletic abilities (FRINGE)

LeBryan Nash (PF, Senior, OK State)- Former “one and done” candidate who never put it all together; Jack of all trades, master of none (DL, SLG)

Cedi Osman (PG, SG, SF, Turkey)- Could climb into the first-round with great workouts; intriguing, versatile force with potential to grow on offense (D&S, UnderDOG)

Terran Petteway (SG/SF, Junior, Nebraska)- OK prospect who does not excel in any area; decent upside as a 3 & D guy (FF, FRINGE)

Norman Powell (SG, Senior, UCLA)- Explosive athlete who struggles with the deep ball; reminiscent of Brooklyn’s Markel Brown (UnderDOG)

Michael Qualls (SG/SF, Junior, Arkansas)- Talented athlete with a very good work ethic; likely a star overseas (FF)

“Sideline Story”

Satnam Singh (C, IMG Academy via India)- Massive big (7’2) with an extremely untapped game; adjusting to NBA speed will be a monumental challenge (FF)

Kenneth Smith (PG, Senior, Louisiana Tech)- Unheralded guard who can push the pace; nice frame with room to grow; nicknamed “Speedy” (UnderDOG)

Keifer Sykes (PG, Senior, Wisconsin-Green Bay)- Tough, yet diminutive, guard with bounce; plays way too fast at times but makes good decisions (UnderDOG)

JP Tokoto (SG/SF, Junior, UNC)- Supreme athlete with 3 and D potential; very impressive at the draft combine; can finish on the break and slashes well in the half court (UnderDOG)

Travis Trice (PG, Senior, Michigan State)- Big shot maker with a below average frame; decent scorer and distributor (DL)

Aleksandar Vezenkov (SF, Bulgaria)- Slender, lefty forward with a smooth jumper and unorthodox playing style (weird finishes around the rim); raw prospect (D&S)

Chris Walker (PF, Sophomore, Florida)- Struggled to live up to the hype w/ Gators; former five-star prospect who is a long-term project (FRINGE, FF)

Aaron White (PF, Senior, Iowa)- Solid face up player who improved every year in college; needs to add weight to guard power forwards (FRINGE)

Alan Williams (PF, Senior, UCSB)- Undersized banger with a chip on his shoulder; subpar athlete (FF)

Joseph Young (PG/SG, Senior, Oregon)- Undersized two making the transition to PG; shot creator who can flat-out fill it up; future sixth man (Star UnderDOG)

This draft class definitely has a few gems outside of the first round who will surprise. Let us know who your biggest sleeper is in the comments below or on Twitter @dofgamesports!


-Jabari J.

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