With the NBA Draft approaching tomorrow night at 7 p.m., and two Blue Devils in Austin Rivers and Miles Plumlee likely to be selected, writers from The Chronicle sat down to predict where they believe the duo will land and why.
- Bobby Colton–1oth overall to the New Orleans Hornets. It’s not the best fit for Rivers, as the Hornets do have 6-foot-3 guard Eric Gordon, but it looks like New Orleans is the team that gave Rivers his promise. However, if the Portland Trailblazers don’t take Damian Lillard at No. 6, look for the Hornets to grab Lillard and Rivers to slide to Portland at 11 or the Phoenix Suns at 13.
- Brady Buck–8th overall to the Toronto Raptors. Initially slotted as a late lottery pick, Rivers has climbed up draft boards in recent weeks, despite being one of the more polarizing prospects in the draft. With the eighth pick, I predict that the Raptors will make what some may consider a reach and draft Rivers. After averaging a meager 90.7 points per game last year, which was third worst in the league, Toronto desperately needs offensive firepower. Rivers could provide some instant-offense from day one with his electric first step, NBA shooting-range and advanced offensive skill set.
- Daniel Carp–10th overall to the New Orleans Hornets. Rumors have been swirling for weeks that Austin Rivers has already been promised a selection by a lottery team. The Hornets lack confidence that they will be able to re-sign Eric Gordon to a long-term deal and are salivating at the possibility of Rivers and Anthony Davis running the pick-and-roll. If Gordon leaves,Rivers can fill the void as a go-to scorer on a young and athletic team.
- Bobby Colton–36th overall to the Sacramento Kings. The second round is virtually impossible to predict. If the Kings don’t take Andre Drummond in the first round, Plumlee makes sense as an athletic big man to spell Demarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson. If the Cleveland Cavaliers don’t go with a big man at 24, Plumlee could make sense at 33 or 34 as well.
- Brady Buck–27th overall to the Miami Heat. Bosh’s absence for much of the Eastern Conference Finals nearly cost the Miami Heat a championship. So it’s no mystery that the recently-crowned champs need to add size and length to their frontcourt. Plumlee’s greatest attributes—size, athleticism and rebounding—would be conducive to Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra’s up-tempo system. The eldest Plumlee would not be depended upon to score in either, making him a seemingly good fit in South Beach.
- Daniel Carp–33rd overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miles Plumlee has been a question mark on everyone’s draft board, ranging from the late first round to the bottom half of the second round. I think it’s going to be difficult to predict who will actually be in position to grab Plumlee based on the amount of trading that will be expected, but I see Cleveland as a viable destination. They’re currently in position at 33rd and 34th overall to draft Plumlee, and would benefit from the presence of the athletic big-man teaming up with former Blue Devil and current future of the franchise Kyrie Irving. When the Cavs add Plumlee the Eastern Conference will have its own Lob City.