6 Second-Round NBA Draft Picks Who Could Surprise in 2013-14
You won't find too many second-round picks who produce as a rookies. Most don't even get the chance.
But if any second-round prospect was lucky enough to earn himself a contract, there's probably a good reason for it. That team either needs the depth or one of that player's particular skills.
The following second-round players (and one undrafted player) all possess strengths that could be used in their respective lineups. The only hurdle will be playing time, but the opportunity to make a move up the depth chart should be there in 2013-14.
Isaiah Canaan, Houston Rockets, PG
I've been on the Isaiah Canaan bandwagon for a few years now, so this is strictly a gut feeling.
There's just so much to like about Canaan as a spark-plug type of guard. Forget about what his true position is, a question that weighed on his draft stock. Canaan's strengths translate to the NBA game if they're used in a part-time role, which is what he'll have with the Houston Rockets.
Canaan is an elite shooter with deep, NBA range. He's the type of guard who can pull up over a screen from out to 27 feet away. He shot over 40 percent from downtown in three-out-of-four years at Murray State, and the last two he averaged three makes per game.
He's also a break-down ball-handler with a strong frame and quick feet. Canaan is a scoring point guard who can create off the dribble and generate offense for himself or his teammates.
For Canaan to crack the rotation, he'll have to outplay either Patrick Beverly or Reggie Williams—not exactly towering obstacles, though veterans nonetheless. If Canaan gets his chance, my guess is he'll make the most of it.
Carrick Felix, Cleveland Cavaliers, SG
Carrick Felix looked sharp during summer league, flashing his ability to make plays without the ball in his hands.
At 6'6'', Felix has smooth athleticism and excellent size for matching up with opposing perimeter scorers. He was a terrific defender at Arizona State, which is likely to be his calling at the pro level.
A strong rebounder, promising shooter and high-flier in the open floor, Felix is one of those guys who provides a lineup with energy and activity. He's becoming a better scorer with the ball in his hands, but early on, the Cavs will likely use him for defensive, rebounding and play-finishing purposes.
Felix might not get regular rotation minutes to start, but with few exciting backup options on the wing, we could see him make an impact sometime later in the year.
Erik Murphy, Chicago Bulls, PF
The logic here is simple: Erik Murphy offers a skill and specialty that no other big man on the roster can offer.
Murphy is a lights-out long-range shooter. After a rough outing in his first summer-league game, he went on to knock down 10 of his last 14 three-point attempts.
It's the reason why Chicago drafted him. Murphy isn't very athletic or quick. He doesn't threaten defenses off the dribble. He catches and shoots, and at 6'11'', he draws opposing big men away from the rim.
Murphy shot at least 40 percent from downtown over his last three years at Florida, including a scorching 45 percent as a senior.
He's got a skill that translates, and one that could give the Bulls offense a different look from time to time.
Ray McCallum, Sacramento Kings, PG
Ray McCallum was operating with comfort during the summer league, a good sign for a point guard who's played three years in a mid-major conference.
McCallum looks the part of an NBA ball-handler. He's crafty off the dribble, with the ability to navigate through the defense and create scoring opportunities.
As a point guard, he holds a strong command on the offense. This is an area where Isaiah Thomas, who's more of a scorer than a distributor to begin with, struggled. Sacramento added Greivis Vasquez, but McCallum has a chance at stealing the backup gig, which would move Thomas to his natural position as an offensive spark plug.
McCallum has to work on his shooting, particularly adding range, but his fundamentals and mindset appear razor sharp.
Given his leadership skills at the point, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Kings use McCallum as a backup to Vasquez and slide Thomas into Jimmer Fredette's role as a combo off the bench.
Ricky Ledo, Dallas Mavericks, SG/SF
Ricky Ledo probably needs a year in the D-League, given he sat out his freshman season at Providence and hasn't seen much action.
But with backups like Vince Carter and Wayne Ellington, the Mavericks might want to inject some athleticism into the lineup.
Ledo is a dynamic offensive weapon and shot-creating machine. Considering Ellington is essentially a specialist and Carter a defensive liability, Ledo gives the Mavericks a shot of youth and electricity.
I wouldn't bet on Ledo starting the season in the rotation, but at some point, Dallas is going to have to find out what he can do.
Jamaal Franklin, Memphis Grizzlies, SF
Jamaal Franklin was one of the most versatile players in the country as the only Division I baller to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
With Tony Allen and Mike Miller both specialist players, Memphis lacks versatility on the wing. Franklin's diverse, two-way skill set could actually be used in this particular lineup.
Franklin showed at San Diego State he's a capable shot-maker, but shooting with consistency was an issue. If Franklin can prove he's a reliable spot-up threat, he should be able to work his way into the current rotation.
Honorable Mention: Ian Clark, Utah Jazz, SG
Ian Clark, the undrafted guard who starred at Belmont, made a major statement during the NBA summer league. And that statement was heard loud and clear by the Jazz, who signed Clark to a two-year deal in late July.
He capped off the summer with a 33-point performance in the finals of the Orlando league. Through seven games, Clark knocked down 16 threes at a ridiculous 48.5-percent clip.
And that's where his NBA appeal comes from. Clark is automatic from outside. He averaged 18 points a game as a senior on 45 percent shooting from three.
Utah's backcourt is shallow, without any standout-veteran starters or backups. Assuming the Jazz will be fighting for position in the lottery and not the playoffs, expect Clark to get minutes in what could be a throwaway season.