23. Utah Jazz:
Brandon Clarke: Power Forward – Gonzaga
Height:6’8 Weight:207 Age:22.8
Wingspan:6’8 Standing Reach:8’6
Every year there is a player who has to wait longer than expected for his name to be called on draft day. This year Brandon Clarke could be that guy. The reason why Clark could fall, is because he has the physical measurements of a guard, but plays the game like center or power forward. Clarke does make up for many of his physical deficiencies with incredible jumping ability. His ability to get up, along with great timing, make him the top shot blocker in this year’s class. However he will be facing taller guys in the NBA, who jump just as high but don’t have nearly as far to go. That makes experts wonder if he will be as effective rebounding and blocking shots, as he was at Gonzaga. Another issue is that Clarke does not space the floor by shooting the three ball. He is also one of the draft’s oldest prospects, leaving many to question his upside. Brandon Clarke could certainly be drafted before this point. He is under consideration to be drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, with one of their two first round picks. Chris Vivlamore of the AJC has the story of the scheduled workout Clarke had with Atlanta here.
Minnesota at number 11 and Charlotte who picks number 12, are probably the best fits for Brandon Clarke. However if they do pass on him as in this scenario, he could be in a for a long tumble down the draft board. If he does indeed fall, the Utah Jazz would be a good spot for him. They have shown by pairing Derrick Favors with Rudy Gobert, that they aren’t afraid to put two defensive players together up front. Rudy Gobert was ran off the floor at times during the Utah playoff series against Houston because he could not guard on the perimeter. While Brandon Clarke plays mostly like a big man, he does move like a guard, meaning switching the pick and roll will not be a problem for him. This would allow the Utah Jazz to keep a rim protector on the floor at all times.
Jeremy Woo of SI.com sees the possibility of Brandon Clarke falling in the draft too, as he also is projecting Clarke to be drafted by the Utah Jazz in the latest SI.com Mock Draft. He gives the following thoughts on the potential selection:
"Clarke’s athleticism, energy and defensive capabilities might bolster Utah’s rotation right away. He’s a divisive player from scout to scout, as some teams view him as more of a second-round type given the limitations posed by his height and skill set. He’ll have to continue improving his outside shooting to maximize his chances. But for a competitive team that can plug him in as a role player early on, Clarke will be an interesting option. He had a prolific year at Gonzaga, but teams are still trying to assess which parts of his game will translate."
2018 Stats: Pts:16.9 REB:8.6 APG:1.9 STL:1.2 BLK:3.2 FG%:68.7 2P%:70.5 3P%:26.7 FT%:69.4
24. Philadelphia 76ers
Cameron Johnson: Forward – North Carolina
Height:6’9 Weight:205 Age:23.2
Wingspan:6’10 Standing Reach:8’7
The Philadelphia 76ers need to continue adding shooters, to discourage teams from focusing their defensive attention on stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Cameron Johnson of UNC, is absolutely one of the best shooters in this year’s draft. He shoots it from deep with high accuracy and can also score off the bounce. Johnson isn’t a great defender, but he is willing to mix it up with opponents and plays hard. He’s a decent rebounder as well. Cameron Johnson is not an explosive athlete, but he’s a smart, experienced player. He is the reason why projected lottery pick Nassir Little, could not crack the Tar Heels’ starting lineup last season. He should be a key role player in the NBA for a long time. Johnson should get a hard look from Oklahoma City at number 21, but it’s hard to see him slipping past Philadelphia here.
Mike Schmitz the ESPN draft expert, tweeted highlights and his observations of Cameron Johnson’s great shooting in a matchup vs Duke: