16. Indiana Pacers choose Tyler Smith
The Pacers get Smith with the first of their two first-round picks in this draft. The 6’11 forward is coming off the bench for the G League Ignite and averaging 14.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 22.3 minutes per game. He was the team’s most impressive player in the early going and could blossom with a better-fitting roster around him.
The 19-year-old would have Tyrese Haliburton feeding him the ball and could fill Indiana’s hole at the four.
17. New Orleans Pelicans draft Rob Dillingham
The 18-year-old is lighting it up off the bench for Kentucky as he is averaging 14.4 points, 4.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 23.3 minutes per game through ten contests. Dillingham has made 46.5 percent from 3-point range and is a walking bucket.
There are questions about the 6’2 guard’s defense and NBA potential, but getting a quality backup in the middle of an uncertain first round would be massive, especially as the Pelicans continue to search for steady point guard play.
18. Miami Heat select Izan Almansa
The 6’10 forward is a starter for the G League Ignite but has struggled to show off his scoring ability. Almansa is averaging 8.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.3 blocks in 27.1 minutes per game. The position overlap has limited his playing time and production, but his upside remains.
Almansa was MVP of the FIBA Under-19 World Cup, Under-19 European championships, and Under-17 World Cup in the last two years. He is a decorated prospect who could blossom in the NBA. The Miami Heat love talent and basketball IQ, which makes Izan Almansa the perfect fit.