The 2017 NBA Draft is in the books.
Many NBA franchises changed their teams for the better Thursday night at Barclays Center. Some front offices proved they had done their homework by selecting talented performers who flew under the radar. While other teams chose to gamble on high-ceiling prospects who might flame out in a few years.
So who found the diamonds in the rough and who left their fans scratching their heads?
Here are our sleepers and reaches from the 2017 NBA Draft.
1. Dennis Smith Jr, Dallas Mavericks — It’s hard to call the No. 9 overall selection a sleeper, but we are going to do that anyway. Smith is a prolific scorer who could have been picked as high as No. 4 overall. His ability to score from all three levels will immediately fill a need for the Mavericks. He’s an elite athlete who needs to cut down on turnovers. If he can do that, the Mavericks will have drafted a future All-Star.
2. Ivan Raab, Memphis Grizzlies — The talented center from California likely would have been a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but he elected to return to school work on his body and offensive skills. His offensive game still hasn’t blossomed the way he would have hoped, but he’s a talented rebounder and a mobile big man who loves to run the floor. He will be a solid rotation player in the league for many years.
3. Semi Ojeyele, Boston Celtics — Danny Ainge and Co. hit another home run with this pick. Ojeyele is a great 3-point shooter who has an NBA body and great athleticism. While he doesn’t have the size to defend power forwards, he should be able to guard NBA wings and could make an impact off the bench for the C’s.
1. Edrice Adebayo, Miami Heat — Adebayo has an NBA body and jump-out-of-the-gym athleticism, but his game still is very raw. His offensive game is predicated on power dunk and put backs, which makes him a bit of a reach for the No. 14 overall selection. He’s a good rebounder and if he can improve his offensive game than the Heat will have proven us wrong.
2, T.J. Leaf, Indiana Pacers — Leaf was one of the best scorers in the draft as he can shoot it from outside and finish at the rim. But his below-average athleticism and shaky lateral quickness will make him a defensive liability in the NBA. He could be spending a lot of time in the G-League next year.
3. D.J. Wilson, Milwaukee Bucks — Wilson has all the tools of a modern NBA four, but at No. 17 overall it was a bit of a stretch for the Bucks. Wilson shied away from contact in college and doesn’t yet have the NBA body to bang down low. But he does possess the ability to shoot the ball from 3-point land and his ability to guard on the perimeter is why the Bucks elected to reach for him.
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