14. Miami Heat: F OG Anunoby — Indiana
Had Anunoby not torn his ACL midway through the college basketball season, he likely would’ve fallen inside the top 10. As such, the Heat are getting a potential steal with Anunoby at No. 14.
A fantastic athlete, the 6’8″ forward can switch on virtually any play. He possesses the ability to guard the 2-4 spots on the floor — something particularly valuable with the current ‘small ball’ climate of the NBA. Anunoby’s 7’2″ wingspan gives him a real chance at becoming an elite defender in the league. Anunoby fits in with the young Heat core exceptionally well — and could help to offset the potential loss of James Johnson in free agency.
13. Denver Nuggets: F Justin Jackson — North Carolina
With Will Barton exercising his opt-out clause, it’s very feasible to believe Denver will be in the market for another wing. While not the same type of athlete or scorer, Jackson is the more versatile player.
Barton’s potential exit could open up more minutes at the shooting guard position for both Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. Jackson’s length enables him to defend both threes and fours. In a situation where Denver wants to “up” the pace, a front court trio of Jackson, Danilo Gallinari, and Nikola Jokic certainly makes sense.
12. Detroit Pistons: G Donovan Mitchell — Louisville
Detroit needs a jolt of energy within its backcourt. There’s a real chance the Pistons lose Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in free agency. Reggie Jackson hasn’t exactly been a sterling example of consistency, either.
Mitchell would give the Pistons an aggressive, attack-minded combo guard. The Louisville product loves attacking the lane. An elite athlete, Mitchell possesses a 6’10” wingspan. At only 6’3″, this is freakish in the best sense of the word. He would represent a major upgrade over the existing guards currently on the roster (Ish Smith, Darrun Hilliard, Reggie Bullock, Beno Udrih).
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