A month ago I evaluated the prospects of draft hopefuls Shabazz Napier, Deandre Daniels and Niels Giffey. Here is a look back at those projections and where I ultimately believe they will be selected:
Draft Projections: Shabazz Napier
According to scouts present at the combine, Napier’s performance solidified a first round selection. Here are some possible destinations that stand out:
- 17th pick, Boston Celtics: Hometown kid on the hometown team is always an inspiring story line.
- 26th pick, Miami Heat: LeBron tweeted: “No way u take another PG in the lottery before Napier.” Starting point guard Mario Chalmers is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, if Napier were still available you know who LeBron wants…
- 28th pick, Los Angeles Clippers: Current backup Darren Collison has a player option for next season. Like Collison, Napier is a pesky defender who would benefit under the tutelage of Chris Paul while he develops.
Update: The Miami Heat are my favorite to select Shabazz Napier. There has been much publicity regarding LeBron James support of Napier and the Heat will do anything they can to please their superstar forward. Look for the Heat to move up in the draft as it is unlikely Napier will fall to the 26th pick.
Draft Projections: Deandre Daniels
Deandre Daniels has the talent to be a late first round draft pick. On the other hand, scouts see him as a second round selection due to his pencil-thin frame and lack of strength. In a draft full of talented small forwards, Daniels’ performance in workouts will ultimately seal his fate. In my opinion, Deandre is one of the most underrated players in the draft and could make an impact for a contender after a season in the D-League. Here are some possible destinations:
- 25th pick, Houston Rockets: The Rockets have the flexibility to allow Daniels a season in the D-League to bulk up on a NBA strength training regimen.
- 35th pick, Utah Jazz: Young at every position the Jazz can go after the best player available which at this point in the draft, could be Daniels.
- 43rd pick, Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks need a perimeter scorer, if they don’t fill this need in the first round look for them to fill it here.
Update: Daniels is an intriguing prospect as his NBA career is based mostly off potential. He is largely considered one of the biggest steals in the draft however was left off Chad Ford’s latest mock draft. Daniels could go as early as late first round or possibly slide out of the draft. With Josh Smith’s future up in the air, look for the Pistons to take a chance on Daniels with the 38th pick.
Draft Projections: Niels Giffey
Analysts have Giffey anywhere from late second round to undrafted. As an underexposed role player, workouts will only help Giffey get his name out there. Scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational came away impressed and there is no reason to believe that trend will not continue. Here are some second round opportunities for Giffey:
- 32nd, 39th, 47th, 52nd or 54th, Philadelphia 76ers: With five second round picks to go along with two lottery picks, the 76ers can address immediate needs and plan for the future.
- 58th or 60th, San Antonio Spurs: Giffey is the epitome of a role player on a team of role players.
- New York Knicks: With no draft picks and change on the horizon, the Knicks could look to make moves.