WE are nearly into single-digit days until the NBA Draft is here as mock drafts flood Twitter feeds across the globe. Players’ position in rankings and big boards is constantly fluctuating, but there are some themes that are starting to emerge. Whether it’s for better or worse, players (like the eight hopefuls on this list) are starting to get an accurate idea of when/if they’ll hear their name called on the night.
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FROM a defensive standpoint Thybulle is one of the best prospects to come out of college in recent memory. The reigning NCAA Defensive Player of the Year led the nation in steals and finished inside the top-20 for blocks, which is saying something given the fact that he’s on 6′ 5″. The heart and soul of Washington’s defense is flying up draft boards, with the potential to solidify his offensive skills and become a stellar two-way player in the modern NBA. Don’t be shocked if he keeps moving up and finds himself drafted in the teens.
ONE could argue that no one has vaulted higher up draft boards in recent times than Coby White. The fast twitched combo guard improved his stock significantly in his sole season at North Carolina, scoring an efficient 16.1 PPG. His output was increased during inter-conference play with White dropping 18.1 a night against stellar ACC opponents. While he may lack the natural playmaking ability of textbook point guards, White is a versatile scorer who can play both backcourt positions. As a result, his spot in mock drafts only continues to climb, with White slotted to go 7th overall to Chicago in a lot of recent predictions.
Image from tarheelblog.com
DEADLY shooters are coveted players in today’s NBA and that trait will likely see Tyler Herro picked in the first round a few short weeks from now. After netting 35.5% of his three-point attempts, Herro has seen his draft profile rise with every passing week, now nestled on the fringe of the lottery. With good instincts on both ends of the floor, there’s a chance that if he falls into the right place, Herro may end up being that late first rounder that a lot of think can emerge as a star of this class 5-10 years down the line. That’s a lot of praise for a guy who only averaged 14 points this season, but his game represents another former Kentucky scoring wing in Devin Booker, with the comparisons giving a lot of us serious déjà vu.
YOU may not have heard a lot about Talen Horton-Tucker before the end of the collegiate season. However, since then the former Cyclone has moved his name into first-round contention with a lot more people hitting up his Wikipedia page. There’s no doubt that he needs to make tweaks to his game, but at just 18 years old an NBA team can help mould him into an impactful player in the league. His style of play reminds me of Andre Iguodala and there’s a chance he could become a Warrior if he lasts until the 28th pick on Draft night.
THE most polarizing player in this year’s class continues to see his landing spot inside the top-10 fluctuate. Everyone has their own personal opinion on Cam Reddish, with the highly touted recruit failing to enhance his draft profile during his 36-game Duke career. He continues to slide in mock drafts around the web with Atlanta the favourites to secure his services at No. 8. There’s a chance that Reddish develops into a future star scorer, making him great value in the second half of the lottery, but the questions over his effort and consistency could see him become Ben McLemore 2.0 (no offense to the former Jayhawk).
MUCH like his brother 12 months prior, injury concerns are the biggest red flag for a Missouri draft hopeful. Two ACL tears in six months have seen Johntay Porter go from fringe lottery candidate to second-round hopeful at best. When he was on the court there’s no denying his talent, showing playmaking skills out of the post and doing all the little things you need from a big man on the offensive end. Arguably the greatest attribute a player can have is durability and a lack of it could see Portay miss out on being selected entirely.
THE definition of a project player, Tacko Fall will probably be snapped up by a club when the draft rolls around later this month. The 7′ 6″ center offers tantalising potential that is bound to warrant a second-round selection, but his chances of being a first-round flier could be over. Fall returned back to school for his senior season after originally declaring for the 2018 draft and didn’t exactly wow, averaging 11.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 24.8 minutes. While his length and absurd 8′ 2″ wingspan has some scouts salivating at what he can become at the next level, speed and strength are glaring weaknesses for the UCF beanpole. My guess is he’ll be taken somewhere in the 40’s or 50’s, or sign with a team shortly after the 20th of June.
Image from ncaa.com
THERE weren’t many times that Romeo Langford looked like the 5th overall recruit that Indiana recruited out of high school at the collegiate level. A rough shooting year for the Hoosiers won’t completely derail Langford’s draft stock, but he isn’t going to push for top-5 selection like he once hoped. There’s still a chance he becomes a single digit pick, but as time passes more and more projected wing players seem to be overtaking him. Like I said, not all hope is lost for Langford, who could make a team like the Hornets, Heat or Magic very happy in the middle of the round.