Guys like Nikola Jokic, Lou Williams, Draymond Green, DeAndre Jordan and Marc Gasol all have something in common -- each of the aforementioned names were taken in the second round of the NBA Draft, and have become superstars, enjoying both individual and team success.
In 2020, there are a few guys who will be steals that slip out of the first round as well. You can always count on it. Here are some names to look out for as second round gems this time around.
6. Kansas C Udoka Azubuike
Azubuike established himself as one of the best big men in college basketball throughout his career at Kansas. A tenacious defender with a solid offensive game, a team could be looking at the next Clint Capela if and when they draft him. His game does not necessarily translate to the modern NBA, but his defense, rebounding and pick and roll ability will go a long way towards Azubuike carving out a role in the league.
5. Louisville F Jordan Nwora
Nwora’s scoring and rebounding increased each year he played with the Cardinals. A lengthy 6-7 forward who shoots 40% from deep and can play multiple positions in the 2020 NBA would be a perfect fit for a lot of teams. Nwora can create his own shot off the bounce, or spot up in corners and wings for triples. If he falls out of the first round, teams could be salivating over adding another shooter.
4. Seton Hall G Myles Powell
Powell’s age and lack of efficiency are what hold him back from being a legitimate first-round draft pick. Built from the Lou Will mold of an undersized two-guard who can fill it up, Powell could play the same role Williams did in his younger days in Philly. A combo guard who can get a bucket from anywhere once he passes half court and can facilitate for others, Powell can lead a team’s second unit.
3. DePaul F/C Paul Reed
Reed does a little bit of everything while standing at 6-9. He was a walking double-double during 2019-20, and averaged more than 2.5 blocks and close to 2.0 steals on the year, shooting a bit over 30% from range. While that number is not good enough to get him drafted as a stretch four, his other skills on the court could translate to the NBA if Reed lands in the right spot.
2. Marquette G Markus Howard
Howard’s scoring screams lottery pick, but his physical attributes say otherwise. A 2,700+ point scorer for his career, Howard can fill it up similar to his former Big East rival in Powell. Howard is also undersized at 5-11, but his offensive ability is irresistible for an NBA team. The All-American does not jump off the page as a prospect, but his ability to score at will off of spot ups or off the dribble can carry him to the pros.
1. Michigan State G Cassius Winston
Winston embodied the next generation of the pure point guard in college basketball. With a stat line of 14 points and 6.5 assists per game in his career, Winston both scored and facilitated at a high level for four years under Tom Izzo. Winston could sneak into the first round, but if he does not, imagine him in similar role to what Jalen Brunson's filled in Dallas as a veteran college guard who can run an offense.
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