Selected 14. Nuggets – Michael Porter Jr. SF/Missouri
The early story of the first round was the slippage of Michael Porter Jr. The talented freshman sat out most of the year until returning for the last few games of the season due to back surgery. Ranked #2 in ESPN’s top 100 this past year, he arguably would’ve been the top pick in last year’s draft if he was allowed to declare. The risk at 14 was worth it for the Nuggets with an already filled out starting roster. MPJ is arguably the most talented offensive player in this draft, however his back is a major concern.
Selected 18. Spurs – Lonnie Walker IV SG/Miami
Walker IV was a lottery talent who slid into a perfect spot amid some injury concerns. The former five-star recruit tore his meniscus prior to his freshman year but is still a great physical athlete. He doesn’t have a great handle and is a streaky shooter but can elevate over his defenders and make tough shots. He has the physical ability to become more then a catch and shoot guy at the NBA level. His length for a guard gives him some upside as an above average NBA defender. With Kawhi Leonard looking like he has played his last game with the Spurs, Walker IV should gain a ton of minutes and experience in his rookie season. There isn’t a better place to develop in the NBA than with San Antonio.
Selected 27. Celtics – Robert Williams C/Texas A&M
There were questions about Williams’ work ethic that knocked him towards the end of the first round. The 2-time SEC defensive player of the year has also been viewed as a lottery talent. A powerful athlete who can get up and down in transition. A great shot blocker. And athletic enough to switch on the perimeter. Williams can catch the lob and it wasn’t shown that often in the pick and roll at A&M because he only rolled 9 times last season off the pick and roll. That might’ve been because of the way he was used having to play next to a space eater down low in Tyler Davis. All of Williams’ strengths are what the current Celtic centers don’t have.