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When building a team, you can do it a number of ways like through trade, free agency or the draft. Building through the draft may take some time and if it doesn’t work, it can set your franchise back for some years.
Nothing hurts more than watching your team pass on a franchise player for a potential bust. We have seen this situation play out time and time again. Just ask the Minnesota Timberwolves who drafted guard Johnny Flynn over Stephen Curry in 2009. Or what about in 2003 when the Detroit Pistons selected center Darko Milicic before Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
For teams drafting in the smaller markets, these picks can make or break your franchise. While it’s great getting that superstar lottery pick, championship teams are built on later picks in the draft. Just look at the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. Those championship teams have core players selected late in the lottery and second round.
Every so often, a team finds diamonds in the rough that they can build around. Nikola Jokic and Draymond Green are excellent examples. Now with finding these players and developing them, it’s even harder to keep them when its time to resign them. Second round picks have more freedom when it comes time to re-up with their respective team.
Kyle Kuzma is another player to take note of. Los Angeles drafted the versatile wing who can contribute for years to come. This year is no different, there is plenty of talent in this year’s draft. While some may not hear their names called. They sure will have a chance at making and contributing to an NBA team.
Here are five players that could be possible steals for an NBA team.
Chimezie Metu- Center; Junior, USC Trojan
The junior big man has an impressive game and could possibly be one of the biggest steals in this year’s draft. He’s a solid athlete with nice offensive game and even better on the defensive end. Metu shot 57% overall, 43% from mid-range, and 30% from behind the arc.
Now he is not a stretch big but he is versatile enough on both ends of the floor where he can finish out games even when teams go small. Metu is currently projected as a mid-to-late first round or early second round pick. The best landing spots for Metu are the Spurs (18), Portland Trailblazers (24), Lakers (25) and Celtics (27)
Angel Delgado- Power Forward; Senior, Seton Hall Pirates
A physical bruising big man, Delgado is an excellent rebounder and defender. With athleticism, he will be able to stay on the floor and guard multiple positions. Not to mention, he can be a playmaker as well. Although his rebounding and defensive skills will be his calling card, Delgado can shoot the ball.
The senior forward shot 52%. Delgado is projected to be a second round pick or possibly undrafted according to some critics. The best landing spots for Delgado are the Washington Wizards (44) and the Utah Jazz (52). Where ever he lands, he will make an impact.
Brian Bowen- Forward/Guard; Freshman, South Carolina Gamecocks
At 6’7, his size gives his team the ability to plug him into different positions. He also is an explosive scorer that can shoot from all three levels. Bowen will drop because he hasn’t played a game since high school. Bowen trained at Louisville and South Carolina where his work ethic was praised with high regard.
At best, he could go late in the first round. He could be a possible steal in the second round for the New Orleans Pelicans (51), New York Knicks (37), Philadelphia 76ers (38, 39, 56, 60), Pistons (42) and New Orleans Pelicans (51). All of these teams could use a player with Bowen’s upside.
Gary Trent Jr.- Guard/Forward; Freshman, Duke Blue Devils
At Duke, Trent was asked to switch his game up to basically a spot up shooter. He responded by hitting 40% from three-point land. Trent is a really gifted scorer that can do damage without the ball in his hands by running off screens to get open.
Trent has a chance to be a legit two-way player. With his skill-set, its a number of teams that could use him. The ideal landing spots for Trent are the Atlanta Hawks (19, 30, 34), Chicago Bulls(22), Trailblazers (24), Dallas Mavericks (33), Knicks (36) and Lakers (47).
Jevon Carter- Point Guard; Senior, West Virginia Mountaineers
Carter is a pit bull defender with a high basketball IQ. Offensively, he is no slouch either. He shot 39% from behind the arc and does a great job of running the offense, which he finished the season ranked 12th in the nation in assists.
With his skill-set, Carter can have a long NBA career. He is one of the few players that is ready to play now. Possible fits for Carter as a second rounder are the Lakers (47), Spurs (49), Pelicans (51), and Charlotte Hornets (55).