15. Indiana Pacers: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State, Junior: Marshon Brooks may be the better scorer, but the comparisons drawn between Thompson and Pacer great Reggie Miller may be too tantalizing for Indiana to pass up. He’s arguably the best shooter in the 2011 class, and similar to Miller, is great when playing without the ball. He doesn’t possess much athleticism, but in Indiana’s half court offense, that isn’t extremely necessary.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Markieff Morris, PF/C, Kansas, Junior: The Sixers are reportedly looking for a big man with their first round pick this year, and at 16, there aren’t many better options than Kansas’ Markieff Morris. At just under 6-foot-10, he’s definitely undersized to play a lot of minutes at center, but his defensive and rebounding abilities will make him a very solid player down low for the 76ers. Offensively, he’s pretty raw, but his hustle and energy will make up for that while he’s young.
17. New York Knicks: Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence, Senior: It wouldn’t be an NBA draft if the entire audience didn’t shower Knicks’ management with boo’s following their selection. Despite Brooks’ potential and shocking comparisons to superstar Kobe Bryant, Knicks’ fans want a point guard, and although New York is in desperate need of some youth at that position, it’s unlikely they find a suitable option at this point in the draft. Landry Fields was great for the majority of the season at the shooting guard position, but with the departures of Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, it wouldn’t hurt the Knicks to acquire some more firepower on the wing to flank Carmelo Anthony. Kansas’ Josh Selby and Michigan’s Darius Morris will both be considered for this pick, but with Brooks climbing up draft boards every day, if he is still around at this pick, it might be too difficult for the Knicks to pass him up.
18. Washington Wizards: Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee, Freshman: Harris is a bit of a tweener, but he’s talented and has enough skills to be an effective NBA player. His size, length and athleticism display all the tools to become a great defender, and if he improves his perimeter skills offensively, he could have a similar career to Shane Battier. He could play either forward positions in the right offense, but given his physique, he would be much better suited to develop into a perimeter player, rather than a post player.
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Darius Morris, PG, Michigan, Sophomore: The Bobcats honestly need improvements in all areas. Their bigs are shoddy, they lack quality depth on the wings and they have one slightly better-than-average point guard in DJ Augustin. Morris wouldn’t necessarily be a replacement for Augustin, but he could end up being such. However, if the Bobcats want to keep both, either could be successful in the back up role, and given Morris’ size (6-foot-4), the pair could even play at the same time.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Josh Selby, G, Kansas, Junior: Selby is a player who I thought had an opportunity to pull a Russell Westbrook this year (no, not shoot his team out of the conference finals) and glide up draft boards, propelling himself into the lottery. Unfortunately, despite his massive amount of potential, great size and excellent skill set, it doesn’t seem that, that will be the case for Selby. Teams aren’t seeing the point guard skills necessary for him to be successful at that position, and are thus viewing him as an undersized combo guard. If that is the case, and the off-guard position is what suits him best, the T’Wolves, who lack talent at that position could be a solid fit for Selby, who is a real gamer and scorer.