The NBA is chalked full of talent that continues to get recycled each year. The NBA Draft is the stage in which these players are introduced to their new teams officially. While a large portion of the new talent goes undrafted, it is up to those players to make their case for a roster spot when the NBA Summer League tips off on July 5th.
The first-rounders will (most likely be secured with a roster spot) also be there to prove to their respective teams that they were worthy of their top selection.
Right in the middle of those two scenarios comes the second-round draft picks. Players liked enough by certain organizations that they did not want to leave it up to chance to see that player suiting up elsewhere as an undrafted free agent.
These diamonds in the rough have proven in the past to show out and be valuable members for a number of teams.
Think of players like Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, NBA champions Draymond Green and Marc Gasol, etc.
All have left profound impacts on the team that drafted them or are currently doing so elsewhere.
With all that said, here are a few second-round draft picks in the 2019 NBA Draft who have the potential to leave their own special impression on the league.
Bol Bol, C – Denver Nuggets (pick No. 44)
The Denver Nuggets must have some kind of secret as they got yet another gift to fall in their laps on draft night.
With Michael Porter Jr. falling to them at No. 14 in last years draft, they received a projected lottery selection in Bol Bol at pick No. 44 this year.
Slighted for his wiry thin frame, the ability that Bol possesses will make NBA executives cringe at the thought of passing up on such a gifted athlete.
Bol has a sweet stroke from beyond the arc and must be taken as a serious threat out there.
He not only is a perimeter threat and a skilled ball-handler but is an above average defensive player. When it comes to switching onto guards and challenging shots at the rim, Bol is one of the best in the draft to do so.
Going to a team like Denver is a blessing for Bol.
With no real rim protection for Denver (who ranked 24th in BPG) adding a player of Bol’s size and skill should be utilized well off the bench.
With Mason Plumlee likely to be his front-court partner on the second-unit, Bol should be able to guard the stretch forwards and be a help defender, walling up against any rim-runner.
Plumlee’s size and physicality is better suited for guarding the low-post.
Veteran forward Paul Millsap is in the last year of his contract. If Bol can prove to Denver and head coach Mike Malone that he can produce then not only will he be valuable coming off the bench in the future, but could earn the starting job in a few short years.
Carsen Edwards, PG – Boston Celtics (pick No. 33)
The Purdue superstar electrified the NCAA tournament last March and April and is ready to do so in Beantown.
With both Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier both testing the free-agent market, the Celtics needed to ready themselves for all scenarios with what might happen if neither return.
Edwards may be undersized, but make no mistake he uses that to his advantage. The height that he gets on his jumpshot along with the space that Edwards is able to create off the dribble, makes him a lethal scoring threat.
Edwards is one of the quickest guards in this draft, with the third fastest recorded shuttle time. In his final year at Purdue, he finished ninth in the NCAA in scoring with 24.3 PPG, just .2 points separating him from No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant.
Boston elected to go with Indiana forward Romeo Langford with the No. 13 overall pick, Adding another creative playmaker like Langford into the Boston rotation will only allow for open shots for Edwards off the ball, where he has proven to be successful.
While it looks like Boston is electing to rebuild with their core of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Edwards is a likely candidate to take on the starting role.
With having tremendous isolation players, the Celtics may rely on Edwards to take advantage of his handles and ability to pull-up and finish at the rim in a creative fashion.
The Celtics took another small point guard to compete with Edwards when they selected Tremont Waters out of LSU at No. 51.
Given Edwards’ shot-making ability, it should not be a problem for him to beat out Waters.
Jordan Bone, G – Detroit Pistons (pick No. 57)
The first thing that comes to mind for Bone is his athleticism. As stated in our scouting report on him, he showcased his explosiveness in every athletic metric from his vertical jump, shuttle time, and three-quarter court sprint.
Bone could be exactly what the Pistons need in their back-court, an explosive high basketball IQ player off the bench who looks to push the pace. Something Detroit desperately needs as they ranked near the bottom of the NBA in pace, coming in at 28th.
In last years draft, the Pistons took Bruce Brown in the second round, they then acquired another marksman in Svi Mykhailiuk from the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline.
Bone will be tasked with getting them the ball when he comes off the bench to relieve Reggie Jackson.
With the Pistons taking the athletic combo-forward in Sekou Doumbouya in the first round, the organization gave Bone a wing running mate for the second unit.
Bone will be able to bring his high level of energy and athleticism intertwined with tremendous court vision off the bench to push the pace and get easy shots for his teammates like Doumbouya, Thon Maker and either Kennard or Mykhailiuk.
Bone ran a well-oiled Tennessee Volunteers offense at an efficient level, but (as with any rookie) there will be a learning curve to playing in the NBA.
Expect Bone to have a strong Summer League and earn the back-up point guard role on opening night, based off of his hustle and ability to learn and adjust to running an NBA offense.
Daniel Gafford, C – Chicago Bulls (pick No. 38)
The Chicago Bulls decided to select big man Daniel Gafford with their first and only pick in the 2019 draft. Gafford was best known for being an anchor on an Arkansas team that struggled in the competitive SEC last season.
Gafford may not have the most polished offensive skillset, being mainly a glass eater creating second chances for his team.
Gafford shines brightest on the defensive end of the ball, showcasing his length and amazing athleticism to block shots and serve as an intimidating post presence.
In the NBA draft combine, Gafford displayed his explosion and quickness posting the fifth highest vertical leap and the third fastest three-quarter court sprint.
Last season, amongst all division one talent Gafford finished 37th in the nation in BPG.
Rim protection is something the Bulls knew was an area that needed to be addressed going into the offseason, as they finished 26th in BPG. Enter Gafford.
Chicago decided to go with ex-Duke center Wendell Carter Jr. in last years draft. While Carter Jr., did produce as a rookie and did manage to swat away 1.3 shots per game the Bulls needed defense coming off the bench.
With veteren big man Robin Lopez set to hit free agency, the Bulls knew that they should be looking to add youth and athleticism to come off the bench, something that Gafford can provide.
With Carter Jr. and star big man Lauri Markkanen who will be the focal point for Chicago, their front-court does not have much depth.
The only thing standing in the way of Gafford taking the second unit center role is Christiano Felicio.
Felicio has served as the backup center for four seasons and while he does not get a lot of minutes, his production goes almost unnoticed.
For somebody with Gafford’s energy and ability to rebound and compete on the offensive glass, it makes one wonder if Felicio’s minutes should go to Gafford.
If Gafford shows out in Summer League and contests shots and holds the paint down while showing just a small sample of an offensive game, it should be the easiest decision for Chicago head coach Jim Boylen this offseason.