NBA: Rookies in Tough Spots

The NBA Draft came and went. There’s optimism for almost every team that the draft will help lay or compliment the foundations they have set. This could be one easily one of the deepest drafts we’ve seen in quite some time. However, there are a few rookies that fit in certain situations better than others. Here are some players and teams that have the appearance of questionable fits:

1. Jerome Robinson – Los Angeles Clippers

Its been a long time since Jerry West has been wrong. Personally, it’s hard to bet against the guy. The selection of Robinson is a bit of a head scratcher though. They have Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, whom they drafted shortly before Robinson, and Lou Williams, who definitely needs to guard point guards. Doubling down on a position where you’re already loaded isn’t usually a recipe for success. Expect some movement in the backcourt to make this all work.

2. Aaron Holiday – Indiana Pacers

The Pacers went high floor, low ceiling here. Holiday does everything well nothing great. At his size and skill set, he’s probably best as a backup point guard on a contender. With the Pacers coming off their improbable near upset of the Cleveland Cavalierss, they could swing for the fences in getting Victor Oladipo some help. This grades out as a “filling out the roster” type move if that happens.

3. Moritz Wagner – Los Angeles Lakers

Wagner went the Frank Kaminisky route, being dominant in the NCAA tournament to buoy himself in the draft. He’s got game as he is able to go down in the post, yet also stretch the floor. His place on this list is purely due to the Lakers plans in the offseason. We’ve all heard the targets. The playoffs will be the bare minimum if that all comes to fruition. It will be hard to see Wagner hanging on the floor with the Rockets and Warriors of the world during the playoffs. He will however be able to soak up the minutes Brook Lopez vacated though if the Lakers strikeout on the free agency sweepstakes.

4. Marvin Bagley – Sacramento Kings

First off, there’s nothing wrong with Bagley. He should be a stud in the mold of a Amar’e Stoudemire. That’s definitely a win. But, always a but on this list, the Kings just added him to a roster full of big men that can only play the five spot, which is where Bagley probably fits the best in today’s NBA. With all of those bigs, that means he would have to play some minutes at the four spots for stretches this season, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. However, they also should not have their best player (or second best depending on De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield) playing out of position at all.

5. Anfernee Simons – Portland Trail Blazers/Troy Brown – Washington Wizards

Here are two picks for the price of one. They are questionable fits because they highlight the same issue. Both the Wizards and the Blazers have a backcourt basically ready to win now. It doesn’t seem their front offices feel the same. Both of these prospects should develop into fine players. However, a secondary scorer that can play off the ball would have suited them better. Instead they drafted projects who will likely top out as glue guys.

Certainly, these players are in questionable spots, but it is still early in their careers. Heck, their careers have not even started. Things can change in a hurry as a few roster moves could put them in a position to succeed.

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