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5 Biggest Steals of the 2019 NBA Draft

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver prepares to announce a pick by the Brooklyn Nets during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Sarah Stier

The NBA Draft has come and gone, meaning newly-minted NBA athletes are currently meeting the coaches, players, and executives who will make help their transition into the Association much simpler. While some picks from last night were by the book, there were a few that had some hints of genius, and may pay huge dividends in the long run.

1. Goga Bitadze, Center, 17th pick (IND)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Goga Bitadze poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted with the 18th overall pick by the Indiana Pacers during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
2019 NBA Draft | Sarah Stier

Bitadze was the consensus second-best international prospect behind Sekou Doumbouya, and for good reason. The Georgian international has crazy length -- he can practically touch the rim while standing on his two feet -- and is an incredible scorer. Not to mention, he has a chip on his shoulder after being completely overshadowed by Zion Williamson at their presser time slot (half-kidding).

2. Mfiondu Kabengele, Center, 27th overall (LAC)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Mfiondu Kabengele poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted with the 27th overall pick by the Brooklyn Nets during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
2019 NBA Draft | Sarah Stier

Kabengele, like Bitadze, is a long big man with an impressive scoring touch. He possesses a nice touch of finesse and smoothness on offense, something hard to find in a player of his size, and at 21, he's already well into his physical development. Kabengele was a core piece for Florida State this season, and with the right training, he could soon be that for the Clippers, too (with his teammate Terence Mann joining him, too).

3. Keldon Johnson, Small Forward, 29th overall (SAS)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Keldon Johnson poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted with the 29th overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
2019 NBA Draft | Sarah Stier

The Spurs have had a knack for finding talent at the end of the first round, and it seems they may have found another gem at pick 29. Keldon Johnson has the exact type of personality to succeed under Gregg Popovich -- he's competitive, energetic, and aggressive. He doesn't have the best shooting touch, but he showed flashes of it at Kentucky, and that is something that can be refined quickly with the Spurs.

4. Talen Horton-Tucker, Small Forward, 46th overall (LAL)

TULSA, OKLAHOMA - MARCH 22: Talen Horton-Tucker #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones drives to the basket against C.J. Jackson #3 of the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half in the first round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at BOK Center on March 22, 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Ohio State v Iowa State | Harry How

The Lakers only had one pick in this year's draft after the Anthony Davis deal saw the No. 4 pick head to New Orleans, but they sure made the most of it. Horton-Tucker is an all-around talent who can play anywhere from the one to the four, a credit to his elite athleticism and feel for the game around him. He dribbles well, he shoots well, and he defends well, meaning the Lakers may have found another second-round steal.

5. Tremont Waters, Point Guard, 51st overall (BOS)

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Tremont Waters #3 of the LSU Tigers shoots the ball against Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans during the second half in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LSU v Michigan State | Patrick Smith

The fact that Waters fell into the late stages of the draft is beyond me. He's incredibly quick, both with and without the ball, he has a polished three-point stroke, and he was the leader for an LSU team that earned a three-seed in March Madness. Watch any LSU game from this season, and this guy will instantly stand out -- and with Kyrie Irving heading out the door, he should see some good minutes right away with Boston.