16. Boston Celtics (via Mavericks) : Skal Labissiere (PF/C-Kentucky)
- 20 yrs.
- 7’0″, 216 lbs.
Skal Labissiere will start his career in the D-league. That’s not just what’s best for whatever team drafts him, but it’s best for Skal’s career in the long run. He’s clearly not ready for the pro game, but another year of college wasn’t gonna prepare him more.
Labissiere failed to live up to the tremendous expectations that were placed upon the typical Kentucky big man recruit, but he is still certainly expected to be a first-round pick. He only averaged 15.8 minutes, 6.6 points, and 3.1 rebounds per game, and looked exactly like a kid who’s been playing organized basketball for less than five years.
With that said, the Celtics are the perfect team to take a flyer on him with one of their multiple first round picks. If they don’t trade it of course.
17. Denver Nuggets (via Trail Blazers) : Malik Beasley (SG-Florida St.)
- 19 yrs.
- 6’4″, 185 lbs.
The Denver Nuggets are 24th in three-point percentage (via Basketball-Reference.com) this season and a sharpshooter like Malik Beasley could be a big help alongside their incumbent young gunner, Gary Harris.
Beasley shot 38.7 percent from downtown in his lone season at Florida State, making 2.2 attempts from three-point range, and scoring 20.9 points per 40 minutes.
18. Indiana Pacers: Taurean Prince (SF-Baylor)
- 21 yrs.
- 6’7″, 215 lbs.
Apart from his legendary press conference answer after Baylor’s loss to Yale in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Taurean Prince is an impressive NBA prospect.
Prince is big, strong, can play defense, and dunk. On top of all that he’s a career 37.6 percent three-point shooter. NBADraft.net’s always reliable comparison is DeMarre Carroll, but Prince gives off more of a Markieff Morris vibe to me.