First Round Picks
Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic (Pick 4): Gordon struggled during the summer league, averaging 7.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 35 percent from the field. He was 0-of-8 from three-point range and 2-of-20 from outside of the paint. Gordon will need to improve his offense, but his defensive abilities will earn him minutes as a rookie. He’s a freak athlete who can defend multiple positions. At 6-foot-9, Gordon should see minutes at both forward spots.
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (Pick 6): Smart improved as the week went along. He’s a savvy point guard who can play in the pick-and-roll while he averaged 14.8 points, 4.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. Smart will need to improve his efficiency, however, as he shot 29 percent from the field. His 6-foot-4 frame and 6-foot-9 wingspan will allow him to defend either guard position.
Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic (Pick 10): Payton was a triple-double threat every time he stepped on the floor. He averaged 9.2 points, 7.0 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting 59 percent from the floor. Payton isn’t a jump shooter, but understands his strengths and uses his quickness to attack the basket. The 6-foot-3 point guard can finish above the rim or find the open shooter in pick-and-roll situations.
Mitch McGary, Oklahoma City Thunder (Pick 21): Despite missing most of last season, McGary was one of the top rookies in Orlando. He showed the ability to face the basket and attack off the dribble or knock down the mid-range jumper with consistency. McGary has the size at 6-foot-10 along with the strength to compete at the NBA level.
Jordan Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Pick 22): Adams showed he’s one of the elite scorers from this year’s draft class. He averaged 14.8 points per game while shooting 7-of-18 from three-point range. His lack of athleticism didn’t show in transition as he finished with consistency while drawing contact. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard also excels as a help defender. He gets his lengthy wingspan into passing lanes to create turnovers. Adams can score from anywhere on the floor and moves well without the ball to create open looks. He also uses screens well, with a mixture of curls and flares depending on what the defense allows.
Shabazz Napier, Miami Heat (Pick 24): Napier struggled with his jump shot in Orlando while battling an injured thumb on his shooting hand. He averaged 9.2 points per game but was just 15-of-55 from the field (27%) and 4-of-26 (15%) from three-point range. He averaged 4.8 turnovers, 4.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game. While Napier struggled, don’t forget that Trey Burke was 1-of-19 from behind the arc during the summer league last season.
Josh Huestis, Oklahoma City Thunder (Pick 29): Huestis had a quiet summer league, averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, but his biggest contributions come on the defensive end of the floor. He’s a good athlete who can defend the perimeter.
Second Round Picks
K.J. McDaniels, Philadelphia 76ers (Pick 32): McDaniels unfortunately left during the second quarter of the fourth game with an injured ankle, although it doesn’t look serious. He was having a good summer league up to that point, averaging 10 points per game while shooting 13-of-29 from the field and an even more impressive 7-of-11 from behind the arc. He’s a quality perimeter defender who showed three-point range.
Jarnell Stokes, Memphis Grizzlies (Pick 35): An old-school power forward, Stokes is a tough rebounder on the interior. He averaged 12.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Stokes used his length to compensate for his 6-foot-8 size.
Jerami Grant, Philadelphia 76ers (Pick 39): After a slow start in his first two games, Grant strung together three quality games to cap the event. He is an athletic forward who can knock down the three.
Nick Johnson, Houston Rockets (Pick 42): Johnson was the most impressive rookie in Orlando. He led all rookies in scoring, at 15.8 points per game, while he also contributed 6.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. Johnson was also the only player to record a triple-double in Orlando this year. At 6-foot-3, there were questions about his future position, but Johnson has shown the ability to play and defend either guard spot effectively. He’s a sensational athlete with a good feel for the game.
Markel Brown, Brooklyn Nets (Pick 44): A big-time athlete, Brown showed nice potential in the summer league. He was surprisingly impressive in the pick-and-roll and showed the ability to distribute at a high level. Brown averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 18-of-34 (53%) from the field and 6-of-16 (38%) from deep. He’s a high-energy combo guard who can defend at a high level.
Semaj Christon, Oklahoma City Thunder (Pick 55): Christon is a quick point guard who can consistently beat defenders off the dribble. He has the athleticism, but needs to add a jumper to his game. The 6-foot-3 point guard averaged 11.3 points and 2.8 assists per game. He’s a good prospect to follow with the physical tools to succeed in the NBA, but he will need some added development before contributing on a regular basis.
Roy Devyn Marble, Orlando Magic (Pick 56): Marble is a scorer who loves using a step-back move to set up a mid-range jump shot. He averaged 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He’s a quiet scorer who doesn’t possess one elite skill, but Marble will find ways to produce.
Xavier Thames, Brooklyn Nets (Pick 59): Thames struggled during the summer league. He was 7-of-26 from the field (27%) as he averaged 3.6 points and 2.4 assists per game. He showed the ability to score at San Diego State, so it’s certainly too soon to write him off.
Cory Jefferson, Brooklyn Nets (Pick 60): The last pick of this year’s draft played very well in Orlando. He’s an athletic power forward who plays hard at both ends of the floor. Jefferson averaged 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 21-of-30 (70%) from the floor.
Notable Non-Drafted Rookies
Mike Moser, Boston Celtics: Moser was one of the better players to go undrafted and played with a chip on his shoulder. He averaged 13.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. More importantly, he knocked down 11-of-26 (42%) three-pointers, something he’ll need to do as a stretch four. He’s effective as a pick-and-pop player while he is also an underrated passer. Moser earned an invitation to Boston’s training camp in the fall.
Tyler Johnson, Miami Heat: After not playing in Miami’s opening game, Johnson had a breakout summer league. Johnson showed freakish athleticism and was fearless when attacking the rim. He had some highlight dunks to showcase his leaping ability. Johnson was also able to knock down open shots, averaging 12.8 points per game on 17-of-28 (61%) shooting. He will face questions about his size for the shooting guard position at 6-foot-4, but he’ll have plenty of opportunities to play overseas if he doesn’t earn an NBA roster spot. There’s no doubt that he was one of the most productive players in Orlando.
Ronald Roberts Jr., Philadelphia 76ers: Roberts Jr. is an active power forward with a high motor. He averaged 10.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game and showed the athleticism to compensate for his 6-foot-8 frame.
Travis Bader, Philadelphia 76ers: Bader is a shot maker who broke the NCAA Division I record for made three-point fields goals this past season. He averaged 9.4 points per game in Orlando and signed a contract with the French team ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne. He can opt out if he makes an NBA roster and will play with the Golden State Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League.
JaKarr Sampson, Philadelphia 76ers: After declaring for the draft as a junior, Sampson shows some potential. He’s a 6-foot-9 wing player with length and athleticism. He averaged 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game with Philadelphia.
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