Five steals of the 2017 NBA Draft


Sporting News

The 2017 NBA Draft gave many teams a chance to rebuild.

Adam Aaronson, Eastside Staff

After every NBA Draft, a common thing to look for is steals. That meaning, what players fell much later in the draft than they should have? Which late selections will provide a big impact for their team? When looking at the current landscape of the NBA, it’s easy to see why steals are so important. Just look at Draymond Green who was a second round pick by the Golden State Warriors. Or Celtics star Isaiah Thomas, who was the last pick in his draft class. So, what picks from the 2017 draft have the potential to be steals?


Toronto Raptors select OG Anunoby 23rd overall

Anunoby, who likely fell so far because of his torn ACL, was the biggest steal of round one. Once he gets on the court, he will immediately be a force defensively, a guy who will be able to guard all five positions. While there are questions about his offensive game, he’s a fantastic athlete who will only improve. He projects as such a good defensive player that any offensive production would just be an added bonus for Toronto. If they decide to rebuild soon, he is a great piece to have.


San Antonio Spurs select Derrick White 29th overall

They did it again. Seemingly every year, we walk away from the draft wondering how 29 other teams let (insert player) fall to the Spurs. And while Derrick White is a lot less known than some Spurs first rounders of the past, he won’t be for long. He is a gifted scorer who can play both guard positions, and will continue to improve defensively. White will likely become a good player for a very long time, and everyone will once again wonder, “how did San Antonio get this guy?”


Philadelphia 76ers select Jonah Bolden 36th overall

Jonah Bolden has had an interesting experience in the last few years. He played a season at UCLA, and then decided he’d rather go to Serbia and play professionally. He did so and dominated, raising his draft stock quite a bit. Many thought of him as an early first round talent who would fall because of his unusual path. Whether or not he will play for Philadelphia or stay in Serbia next year is unknown, but when he does come over he will be a great addition to the young core for the Sixers.


Boston Celtics select Semi Ojeleye 37th overall

With the 37th selection, the Celtics got the steal of the draft. Ojeleye will haunt the teams who passed on him, a fierce and intense competitor who dropped way too far. He can play both forward positions, and is an excellent shooter and defender. A team like the Sixers, who had two chances to take him, or the Trail Blazers, who could have used his skills perfectly, should be nervous about taking the risk they did.


Golden State Warriors (via Chicago Bulls) select Jordan Bell 38th overall

The defending champion Warriors came into this draft with no picks. But, they were able to acquire the 38th pick from the Bulls and snag Jordan Bell, a center from Oregon who fits exactly what they desire in a big. He can already rebound and protect the rim well, while also improving his offensive game, where he uses his great athleticism to score. So, what did they give up for Bell- obviously it wasn’t a star, but it had to be at least a valuable role player, right? Nope. So they had to have given up a future first round pick? Incorrect. They didn’t even give up a second round pick. All they gave the Bulls was cash. All it took for the Bulls to give up a valuable second round pick was cash considerations. At this point, it’s fair to say that Bulls management has no idea what they’re doing.


When we look back at this draft in a few years, we’ll look for the steals- and these five players might be the exact guys we notice.