We've covered picks 1-15, but for a refresher, check it out here. Also, be sure to check out Draft Express and the SBNation mock draft roundup. Now, without further ado, the Boston Celtics are on the clock.
16. Boston Celtics: Gorgui Dieng, PF/C Even with romored/expected roster turnover, I expect the Celtics to be pretty competitive after drafting a young, athletic big that can straight up defend. His offense is raw, as he scores almost exclusively off of pick and rolls and put backs, but he's got good hands and a soft touch around the rim. Frankly, I think he'll be one of the biggest steals in this draft if he falls out of the lottery. He's one of those rare top shot blockers who manages to do so without racking up fouls. He's already a mature individual with leadership capabilities.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Mason Plumlee, C. This Hawks roster is so bad, they could take pretty much anyone and not screw it up. The only significant rotation players under long term contract are Lou Williams and Al Horford. They need a good 3 and D guy, they could also use a real center. I think that's who they go with. Plumlee has a slightly improved post game, is a solid defender, and has great athleticism for his size.
18. Atlanta Hawks: Allen Crabbe, SG. Crabbe is a 6'6 shooting guard with good length, who, according to Synergy sports data, shot 44.1% on catch and shoot situations. His 3pt% dropped his junior year, but he was also the focal point of Cal's offense, so he wasn't getting many open opportunities. Being able to successfully catch and shoot on a team with a post player the caliber of Al Horford and a developing Lou Williams means he could potentially contribute immediately.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, SG. With a solid young nucleus, really the most pressing need for Cleveland at this point is depth, defense, and perimeter shooting. Pope provides all of those. He was the only bright spot on the entire Georgia team, averaging two steals and 18 points a game. He should excel as a secondary playmaker and third option as a scorer.
20. Chicago Bulls: Jeff Withey, C. The Bulls are in desperate need of scoring, any scoring at all, particularly if it's someone who helps spread the floor. I would expect to see Butler and Deng both start next year, and we know Thibs is going to play them 42 minutes each. Which means whoever the Bulls draft here will either be a bench player that gets limited minutes or someone brought in to replace Carlos Boozer. I think Withey is who they draft, both for that purpose and as injury insurance for Joakim Noah. Withey was one of the best post defenders in basketball, and even though he didn't attempt many jump shots, did make 8 of 14. He also shoots free throws relatively well at 71%, so there's hope he could develop a reliable mid range game.
21. Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin, PG. Even though they used their earlier pick on a point guard, I would expect Utah to do the same again, although this time on more of a combo guard who can shoot. Larkin is that guy, He's only 6' tall, but with Utah's established interior defenders, help defense is never too far away. In spite of his size, Larkin himself also isn't a slouch as a defender. He's got the quickness to stay in front of his man, and he also averages 2 steals a game. He shoots 40% from 3, so he would do an excellent job spacing the floor for pick and rolls or post ups for the rest of the Utah offense.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Dario Saric, SF/PF. Whoever they draft is likely to be a project. I think Saric is a safe bet here, as he's definitely a project but could come in and do a lot of what Gerald Wallace did last year if they end up moving him. He's a fast paced player, and although he's not a consistent shooter, he's a great ball handler and has excellent court vision. He could find a niche as a tertiary playmaker in the Deron Williams/Joe Johnson dominated offense.
23. Indiana Pacers: Lucas Nogueira, C. Whatever they do here could be a direct result of whatever plans they have for Danny Granger. The roster seems pretty well set, with quality players at most positions. If they plan to move Granger, they could take a wing player to fill that void and develop with Paul George. If they plan to keep Granger, they look to build depth, especially behind Roy Hibbert and David West. That said, I don't think they'd mind a prospect, so I think they take Lucas Nogueira. He's a promising 7' Brazilian center who the Spurs are rumored to be interested in, which means you know Kevin Pritchard is as well. Continuing his history of drafting whoever the Spurs want shortly before they are able to, I think he snatches up Nogueira. It'll probably be years before we see him in the NBA, but that's probably for the best given the Pacers roster at the moment.
24. New York Knicks: Glen Rice Jr, SF. This is kind of a weird pick, because Rice has already played in the D-league, so I'm not sure why a team would need to draft him instead of just sign him. Regardless, he's listed in other mock drafts, and he fills a need for the Knicks. He's 6'6, a solid defender, and a knockout shooter.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Kenny Kadji, PF. Assuming Chris Paul comes back, this is another team with a relatively set roster. Chauncey Billups will likely continue to play off the ball, their bigs are set, and they've got a relatively deep bench. Kadji is only an average rebounder, but he's an incredibly efficient shooter with 3pt range, and a good defender. He may be able to play very limited minutes at the small forward spot, or spelling either of the Clippers' big men.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jackie Carmichael, PF. Carmichael is an excellent rebounder, strong post defender, and one of the most effecient back to the basket players in the NCAA. There may be a bit of a logjam in Minnesota at the big positions right now, but I would expect Carmichael to be able to carve out a small role for himself.
27. Denver Nuggets: Reggie Bullock, SF. Bullock is your prototypical George Karl player: athletic, versatile, and aggressive. The biggest difference between Bullock and everyone else on the roster, though, is that he's a 42% 3pt shooter. If Igoudala leaves in free agency, that would immediately open up a role for Bullock, and while he's certainly not as talented or as developed, the potential is there and he could contribute immediately.
28. San Antonio Spurs: CJ Leslie, SF/PF. We're pretty much all set, assuming we are able to keep Tiago in free agency. I'm sold on Cory Joseph as the backup point guard, and Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard are locks to keep their spots on the wing. The one thing the Spurs need, though, is more size and length at the 3/4 spot. Leslie played the 4 spot at NC State, but has the athleticism to cover on the perimeter of needed. He's not a great shooter, so he would be a project on offense, but his athleticism defensively is his biggest asset. There have been questions regarding his maturity and his work ethic, and he probably could have used another year in college. But we were saying the same thing about Cory Joseph and he turned out pretty well.
I'll add this to my thoughts about the Spurs selection as well: I think this would be a great draft for the Spurs to either trade up to draft a prospect big (like Nogueira) or try to flip this pick and a player for a couple extra second rounders or a better first rounder next year. Leslie is definitely a stretch, but he's the best player I know about that fills at least one small need the Spurs have (athleticism at the 3/4 spot). In the next couple weeks, I'll throw a few more potential prospects out there. Jamaal Franklin is going to be the next up.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jamaal Franklin, SG. Speaking of Jamaal, I would expect the Thunder to take him if he's on the board. He's got good size for a shooting guard, is a jack of all trades defender (routinely covering 4 different positions in college), and has a relentlessly high motor. His only weakness is that he's not a good 3pt shooter.
30. Phoenix Suns: It's Robert Sarver. There's no way he's going to pay two first round draft picks, so he'll sell this one to someone for cash.
You now have my permission to talk about the Spurs.