6 Potential NBA Draft Day Steals (2018)

By Eli Yankelevich

  • 6. Arnoldas Kulbolka, Orlandina Basket
    • This Lithuanian forward has fallen on many draft boards because of the competition he plays with over seas in the Italian circuit not being up to par with other leagues. Kulboka is currently playing for Orlandina Basket, while also being signed to European club Brose Bamberg. His time as pro has groomed him into a fluid athlete and an unconscious shooter from deep. While he is lanky at 6’9 220, Kulboka has the potential to play the power forward and small forward positions. It would make sense for a team with star players like the Rockets or Pelicans to select him because he plays his best when shot opportunities are created for him.

  • Draft Projection: 45-55
  • Comparison: Chandler Parsons, Bojan Bogdanovic

  • 5. Melvin Frazier, Tulane
    •  This breakout star took the AAC by storm last season with his hustle, defense, athleticism and improved shot. If Frazier was not almost 22 years old he would be a lottery pick because his frame and confidence allow him to be a high impact player. Under Mike Dunleavy Sr. Frazier was able to add a reliable jumpshot on his already impressive game. Although Frazier improved a fair amount in is collegiate career it is most likely that he will be a G-league candidate on account of how hard the learning curve is from college to the pros. A lot of players fair better in the G-league because of the ability to learn NBA defensive and offensive sets with less pressure from the media and such.
    • Draft Projection: 33-42
    • Comparison: Gerald Green

  • 4. Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
    • The Senior from Notre Dame showed out this past season with his insane defensive versatility and uptick of production from prior years. Colson impressed scouts with his 20 points and 10 rebounds this season but because of questions regarding his height at 6’4.5 and athleticism leave him not as sought after as other forwards in this draft. What Colson adds to an NBA roster is that guy who can guard the opposing teams best player and finish in transition on the other end. He is not a polished ball handler nor a three point shooter but he does have the capability to become a quality shooter overall as his shot mechanics are not abysmal. With time Colson can become a supplementary player that defines an NBA defense.
    • Draft Projection: 55-Undrafted
    • Comparison: Draymond Green, PJ Tucker, Demarre Carroll

  • 3.  Khyri Thomas, Creighton
    • After an impressive junior campaign, Thomas showed major improvement from an average role player to an offensive focal point. The numbers Thomas was able to accumulate at Creighton are quite intriguing especially his efficiency, steals per game and per 100 possession stats. Usually being a smaller guard makes it harder to get shots off in critical moments but in the case of Thomas that does not apply. The 6’3 guard torched the competition with an impressive 54% from the field and 41% from three. It is safe to assume no matter where he ends up next year he will be an immediate contributor on account of his natural offensive ability. While his offensive accolades are appealing he also excels on the end that wins championships. In his junior season Thomas averaged 1.7 steals per game and 2.9 steals per game per 100 possessions. As an athlete Thomas does not especially excel nor does he as a playmaker but this can also be attributed to his role on Coach McDermott’s team.
    • Draft Projection: 20-30
    • Comparison: Eric Gordon, Avery Bradley

  • 2. LaGerald Vick, Kansas
    • With the departure of Josh Jackson to last years NBA draft, junior guard LaGerald Vick was able to establish a role for himself on a talented Jayhawks squad. This past season Vick was able to shoot 37% from three on four attempts per game while also playing a career high 33 minutes a night. Vick’s scoring output of 12 points is impressive when considering the fact that Malik Newman and Devonte’ Graham dominated most of the possessions during the season and tournament run. On the next level Vick is projected to be an above average role player who can seamlessly fit in to any system. His time at Kansas proved that no matter what role he is in whether off the bench or in the starting lineup Vick will succeed.
    • Draft Projection: 33-47
    • Comparison: Iman Shumpert, Arron Afflalo

  • 1. Dzanan Musa, Cedevita Zagreb
    • Undoubtably Musa has a higher ceiling than any other European player in this draft. His potential is only second to that of the generational talent in Luka Doncic. With the rising trend of tall lanky point guards it only seems fitting that a team selects Musa with the hope that he can become that. Musa is a forward with the handle and leadership ability of a championship caliber guard. His high basketball IQ and natural scoring ability will allow him to eventual become a high impact player on a quality NBA team. If it weren’t for the talented bigmen in this draft he would be a top ten pick. A major knock on Musa is his inconsistent motor, explosiveness, durability and defensive ability on the perimeter.
    • Draft Projection: 17-25
    • Comparison: Manu Ginobli, Bogdan Bogdanovic

 

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