2017 NBA Draft Sleepers And Reaches: Mavs Hit Big With Dennis Smith Jr.

by abournenesn

Jun 23, 2017

The 2017 NBA Draft is in the books, and many franchises changed their teams for the better Thursday night at Barclays Center.

Some front offices proved they had done their homework by selecting talented performers who flew under the radar. Other teams chose to gamble on high-ceiling prospects who might flame out in a few years.

So who found the diamonds in the rough and who left their fans scratching their heads? Here are our sleepers and reaches from the 2017 NBA Draft.

SLEEPERS
1. Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas Mavericks
:┬áIt’s hard to call the No. 9 overall pick a sleeper, but we’ll do that anyway. Smith is a prolific scorer who could have gone as high as No. 4, and his ability to score from all three levels should immediately fill a need for the Mavs. He’s an elite athlete who needs to cut down on turnovers, and if he can do that, Dallas will have drafted a future All-Star.

2. Ivan Rabb, Memphis Grizzlies: The talented center from California likely would have been a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but he ended up going 35th after electing to work on his body and offensive skills for another year. His offensive game still hasn’t blossomed the way he hoped, but he’s a talented rebounder and a mobile big man who loves to run the floor. He should be a solid rotation player in the league for many years.

3. Semi Ojeyele, Boston Celtics: Danny Ainge and Co. hit another home run with the No. 37 pick. Ojeyele is a great 3-point shooter who has an NBA body and great athleticism. While he doesn’t have the size to defend power forwards, he should be able to guard NBA wings and could make an impact off the bench for the C’s.

REACHES
1. Edrice Adebayo, Miami Heat: Adebayo has an NBA body and jump-out-of-the-gym athleticism, but his game still is very raw. His offensive game is predicated on power dunks and put-backs, which makes him a bit of a reach for the No. 14 overall pick. He’s a good rebounder, and if he can improve his offensive game, the Heat will have proven us wrong.

2. T.J. Leaf, Indiana Pacers: Leaf was one of the best scorers in the draft, as he can shoot it from outside and finish at the rim. But his below-average athleticism and shaky lateral quickness might make him a defensive liability┬áin the NBA. He could spend a lot of time in the G-League next year, which isn’t what you want out of a No. 18 pick.

3. D.J. Wilson, Milwaukee Bucks: Wilson has all the tools of a modern NBA four, but he’s a bit of a stretch for the Bucks at No. 17. Wilson shied away from contact in college, and he doesn’t yet have the NBA body to bang down low. But he does possess 3-point shooting ability, and his ability to guard on the perimeter is why the Bucks elected to reach for him.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images

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