7. Sacramento Kings: Kris Dunn (PG-Providence)
- 22 yrs.
- 6’4″, 205 lbs.
Depending on where you look, it differs as to whether the draft’s top point guard prospect is Murray or Kriss Dunn. You can’t go wrong with either of course, and Dunn is the most polished of the two.
The Kings won’t re-sign Rajon Rondo, so they’ll be looking for a point guard of the future and at the No. 7 pick, Dunn could end up being a steal.
Dunn is one of the best passers in NCAA history (6th in career assist percentage), and his excellent defense (5th in the NCAA in steals for 2015-16) will be able to help teams right away. Don’t be surprised if there isn’t much drop-off between Rondo’s production and Dunn’s.
8. Denver Nuggets: Henry Ellenson (PF-Marquette)
- 19 yrs.
- 6’10”, 231 lbs.
Henry Ellenson is a big man who can stretch the floor. He isn’t much of a three-point shooter yet, just 29 percent for his career, but he can get there.
Ellenson was an excellent shot blocker and rebounder at the college level and both of those skills can translate well to the pro game. He moves well for a player of his size but he will never be a defensive star.
9. Milwaukee Bucks: Jakob Poeltl (C-Utah)
- 20 yrs.
- 7’1″, 242 lbs.
The Milwaukee Bucks were fourth in defensive rating in 2014-15, but this season they dropped to 24th after trading away center Zaza Pachulia. The Bucks are one of the season’s most underwhelming teams, and they need to hit the jackpot with this pick.
Jakob Poeltl can give the Bucks a defensive center who blocks shots and protects the rim. Poeltl’s offense improved this season, from 9.1 to 17.2 points per game, a huge benefit of that being an increase in his free throw percentage (44.4 percent to 69.2 percent).