John Wall, Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, and DeMarcus Cousins are all players who should have a big fantasy impact in their rookie seasons, but what about the second rounders? DeJuan Blair, Marcus Thornton, and Chase Budinger all showed that the second round can be equally as important as the first. While the players below could be drafted in the first round, their projected slot is in the second round. Here are five players who could make a fantasy impact this season despite being selected later in the draft.
1. Willie Warren, PG, Oklahoma: We saw just what kind of impact rookie point guards can make in 2009, and one player who could keep that trend going is Warren. Expected to be a lottery pick after his freshman season, Warren elected to go back to Oklahoma for his sophomore season where he disappointed to some extent. Maturity and attitude are both issues with him, but if he can put those aside he is a great athlete with excellent upside. As it will be with all these players, he will need to find the right fit but could be an injury away from starting.
2. Trevor Booker, PF, Clemson: Glen Davis proved that being able to rebound and fight for position can log you 20+ minutes in the NBA, and Booker is the same kind of player who could make the same kind of impact. Booker, a four-year starter for the Tigers, has excellent rebounding skills and fights inside for position. He is still raw offensively after four seasons, but he’s a player that teams could plug into the rotation right away.
3. Jon Scheyer, PG, Duke: For whatever reason, Scheyer has not been given the kind of attention he deserves. Many believe he is not a good enough athlete to compete in the pros, but his shooting and size say otherwise. He has been battling mono the last couple of weeks so GM’s have not been able to see much of him, but what they have seen has been good. There are more players with better upside so he probably won’t be a first rounder, but some team will take a flyer on him and he has enough experience to produce right away.
4. Lazar Hayward, SF, Marquette: College production was the name of the game for Hayward, who finished fifth in points and second in rebounds all-time at Marquette. Things will be different in the pros, where Hayward lacks a true position and will be undersized at whatever position he winds up at. However, GM’s would be wise to take note of Wesley Matthews’ success in Utah last season. Hayward has an improving perimeter game and is a great rebounder for his size, making him a potential back-up and role player in the pros.
5. Greivis Vasquez, PG, Maryland: For all the negatives that follow Vasquez (maturity, hothead, lack of athleticism), his numbers speak for themselves and you can bet he will find a home somewhere on draft night. He averaged 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists during his senior season and flat-out gets it done. He has great size for his skillset (driving to the basket at 6-foot-6) and is an excellent passer. His age (23) might keep him out of the first round, but he is NBA-ready and could be a great back-up as a rookie.