This is my NBA Draft Predictions where I will be showing you some of the possible steals of Draft night.
Pick 60. Hawks – V.J. Beachem
V.J. Beachem, the 6’8 Senior out of Notre Dame could be a great fit for the Hawks. In his senior year in college, Beachem put up 14.5 PPG, while also including 4.1 Rebounds every game. With these late picks in the draft, you need players with potential and players you have seen growth with. All of the high talented players have gone to teams in the 1st round already. What you really need is long term projects that pay off in the long run. We have seen this with players such as Hassan Whiteside and Isaiah Thomas.
Beachem has put in some notable performances, such as against Bryant in the season opener where he scored 22 while shooting .583%. Later in the season Notre Dame played Syracuse, a team who was close to making it in the NCAA Tourney. He got a total of 30 points that game which shows he can perform in some games.
But then you have some big questions about him. Looking at the March Madness Tourney, V.J. Beachem scored only 2 points, shooting just 1 for 9 in a win against Notre Dame. Against West Virginia in the second round, Beachem shot 1-9 from 3 and 2-14 in field goals. As you can see he will be a project as he has to find a way to improve his consistency.
Pick 59. Spurs – Alpha Kaba
The Spurs have had success with their second round draft picks, including Manu Ginobli and Goran Dragic. What do these two players have in common? The fact that they played in Europe. Alpha Kaba is a very laid back guy, which is something the Spurs have always liked. Think about their star player, Kawhi Leonard. He is very laid back and ome of the reasons why the Spurs picked him up.
So what exactly does Alpha Kaba have to work on? Well, he had to work on his post game and making sure he can be consistent. One game he scored 23 points and had 16 boards, however in another game he had a single point and only 3 rebounds. I think the Spurs can definitely work on his shooting as they did with Kawhi.
Alpha Kaba has a massive 7’5 Wingspan, 5 inches more then the Greek Freak. This can give him potential to be a major shot blocker in the NBA. Kaba can knock down 3 pointers when you leave him open, which can give the training staff something to work on. I feel that Kaba can have a great potential when passing the ball, I can actually see Pau Gasol teaching Kaba how to pass like he can. Kaba has major athleticism, and has a great pick and roll game. Overall I think that Gregg Popovich will do a great job teaching Alpha Kaba how to play in the NBA.
Pick 57. Nets – Dwayne Bacon
Dwayne Bacon could be one of the biggest steals of the night. He averaged 17.2 points per game in college while only have one game where his points total was under 10 points. When going one on one against an opponent when running an iso, Bacon reminds you so much of Joe Johnson. He finds away to shoot a quality shot while in the iso. Bacon was an All-American and was 14th in the ESPN Top 100 Recruiting Class. You can also see how hard he works, making a change from shooting only .281% from 3 in the 2015-16 Season to .333% in the 2016-17 Season. Dwayne Bacon has improved in field goal percentage, 3-pointer percentage, free throw percentage, assists per game, blocks per game and even turnovers. His points per game has gone up from 15.8 to 17.2 in his two years in college. You may think this is because of his minutes however in both years he has averaged 28.8 minutes a game.
I really do think that Dwayne Bacon can be a steal for a team that he signs for. However he still needs to work on his ability to take high percentage shots. Instead of cutting to the corner or making one extra pass Bacon trys to take a low percentage shot. NBA teams don’t want to try and improve this as it will take a couple of years to change it. However with a couple of years learning in the D-League, Dwayne Bacon can become a star. I do think that he can be like Hassan Whiteside where he only comes in to the NBA at an age of 26 or 27. I can’t wait to see how Isaac performs in the NBA.
Pick 49. Nuggets – Frank Mason III
Emmanuel Mudiay is not good enough. In 55 Games he averaged 11 points and 4 assists. For an NBA starting point guard that doesn’t cut it. In college Frank Mason III averaged 21 points and 5 assists. Lets look at one game in the season vs Kentucky. In 27 minutes Mudiay shot .500% from the field, scoring 21 points. This shows that when playing against lottery prospects Fox and Monk, he can find a way to score at a great rate.
What does he have to work on? Why is he going in the second round? The reason why he is going in the second round is because of his size, his way to force an issue, and his age. Mason III is 5’11. That means he has a hard time seeing over the top of his defender. That doesn’t mean players are bad if they are small. We are seeing now that small players such as Isaiah Thomas are doing well in the NBA. A lot of the time he will force the issue. Instead of finding an open shooter he will try to drive to the basket against a 7 footer who will easily block the shot. This is something he really needs to work on during this Summer and the next part of his career. Finnaly the part about him being a senior gives him an age of 23. That means that Joel Embiid and Bradley Beal are the same age as Mason III. It also means that Giannis is younger then him! If he finds away around these issues then he can become a great NBA player.
Photo from Hoops Hype