Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

Ashley Landis/Associated Press
21. Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder
Game 7 eruption aside, there are myriad questions about Dort’s offensive upside, but there’s even more excitement surrounding his suffocating defense. It’s the single sharpest skill left on the draft board and the reason he deserves this selection spot.
22. Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets may not fully appreciate Allenputting him in a timeshare with DeAndre Jordan is laughablebut the same mistake won’t be made here. Allen is 22 years old and already a sturdy interior anchor. He was one of only eight players to average one block and shoot at least 64 percent this past season. It’d be fun if he dabbled with a long-distance shot again (60 attempts across his first two seasons), but he justifies this draft slot without it.
23. De’Anthony Melton, Restricted Free Agent (Memphis Grizzlies)
Melton may never have an outside shot (career 29.4 percent), but he will do all the little things that help a team win. He’s one of four players to post an 8.5 rebounding percentage, a 3.0 steal percentage and a 1.5 block percentage for his career (min. 50 games).
Add secondary playmaking to the mix and you have a two-way 22-year-old backcourt piece who should be easy to build around.
24. Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
Will Sexton ever play defense? No idea. Will he move the basketball like a primary playmaker? You probably shouldn’t bet on it. But he’s a natural scorer whose shooting efficiency already looks ahead of schedule (47.2/38.0/84.6 slash line in 2019-20).
He needs to shore up at least one of his weaknesses to handle a long-term starting gig. But even if he tops out at being a second-team spark, that’s good value here.
25. Bol Bol, Denver Nuggets
At some point, Bol’s potential is too intriguing to pass up, and we’ve reached it here.
Granted, he has answered few (if any) questions about longevity and whether his body can support an impact career, but it’s always hard to overlook a shooting-plus-blocks blend. And when that combo is coming from a 7’2″ center who’s comfortable handling the basketball and getting out in the open court, it’s too much to pass up.
26. Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks
Huerter has done a decent job handling the Klay Thompson role for “Warriors East,” at least as far as being a good shooter (career 38.3 percent from three) with size (6’7″). But he lacks Thompson’s defensive versatility, and that makes it trickier to treat him as more than a specialist. There’s absolutely still a spot for a three-point sniper with some secondary distributing touch, but it’s not the most valuable role around.
27. Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks
If you caught the first few months of Reddish’s career, you wouldn’t believe he’d even get a mention in this discussion. If you tuned in only for the final stretch of his rookie seasonsay, when he averaged 14.6 points on 47.0/41.7/82.7 shooting over his last 21 outingsyou couldn’t imagine how he’s not in the top 15.
That should make this placement just right, then, accounting for both his two-way potential and the fact he may never realize it.
28. Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs
Few player stocks saw a bigger bubble spike than Johnson’s as San Antonio’s embrace of player development positioned 2019’s 29th pick for a late breakout. This is putting a lot of faith into that miniature sample size, but everything he showed in Orlandodefensive versatility, limitless energy, point-blank finishing, there-when-he-needs-it shootingseems relatively sustainable.
29. Zach Collins, Portland Trail Blazers
Collins is tough to rank because he’s been limited both by a talented Portland frontcourt and a struggle to stay healthy. There are encouraging flashes of shooting and paint protection, but three seasons into his NBA career, he’s still more of an idea than a reality. At least the concept is compelling enough to get him this spot.
30. Darius Bazley, Oklahoma City Thunder
This is admittedly aggressive for a 6’8″ forward who shot under 40 percent across 1,130 minutes, but the upside he flashed inside the bubble, coupled with his incredible physical gifts, is hard to ignore. This is a project pick, but if his shooting sustains (47.6 percent from three across 15 outings in Orlando), then this is a steal.