With the NBA Draft on Thursday night, these are five players who should be drafted higher than they are projected:
1. Jacob Evans, SG/SF, Junior, Cincinnati
After recently watching film on Jacob Evans, I was wondering why he wasn’t ranked higher. Evans will be the definition of a solid Three and D player in the NBA, as he shoot the three in the upper 30s, low 40s percentage wise. His athleticism will allow him to be more than that if he can develop a bit more. After three years of college experience, Evans can step in and play off the bench for a team right away, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he sneaks into the back end of the first round.
2. Omari Spellman, PF/C, Freshman, Villanova
I expected Omari Spellman to return to school, but clearly he received some sort of assurance that he’ll go in round one, or he wouldn’t have stayed in the draft. Meanwhile, I still see Spellman projected in round two all over the place. Omari Spellman should be a top 20 pick. There’s no doubt in my mind about that. Spellman shot the three at over 43% in his only season at Villanova, and averaged nearly 11 PPG and 8 rebounds. I think that Spellman will be a great stretch four in the NBA, and think he’s tremendously underrated.
3. Keita Bates-Diop, SF/PF, Junior, Ohio State
Keita Bates-Diop was one of the only reasons why Ohio State dominated in Big Ten play last year. He took over games, and averaged nearly 20 PPG doing so. Bates-Diop can do everything, and fits the mold of a small forward at the next level. If he’s drafted to the right team, Bates-Diop can provide nice production from that position. I like Portland as a potential landing spot for him at pick 24.
4. Jevon Carter, PG, Senior, West Virginia
Jevon Carter is a player that is likely going to be a second round pick. However, you know what you’re getting in Carter. Carter is going to be a defensive pest, and fit into the same category as guys like Patrick Beverley, Marcus Smart, and Draymond Green. There were rumors that other NBA Draft prospects were dropping out of workouts with Jevon Carter because they didn’t want to be shut down. Expect a contending team to buy an early second round pick to land him. I like the Warriors to do that.
5. Tony Carr, PG, Sophomore, Penn State
Tony Carr is one of those players who’s stock was blown up by Jevon Carter. When Carr had the opportunity to raise his stock to late first round at the combine, he was guarded by Jevon Carter where he scored 0 points before getting injured a bit later in the game. However, Carr came in second in Big Ten scoring last season behind Keita Bates-Diop, and carried Penn State to 26 wins (including the NIT). Carr has great size at 6’5″, and shot 43% from downtown last season. He can really develop into a nice bench scorer in the league if drafted by the right team.