The NBA Draft takes place tonight, and if you’re reading this, your team may have just signed a Big Ten conference player. You might be thinking – who the hell is this guy and is he any good? Determining who will be the best in the NBA is a shit for the less trained eye, but luckily science will guide us tonight.
Franz Wagner, Michigan: So your team decided to write Gumby. Wagner is the Big Ten’s best prospect in tonight’s draft, and should go somewhere between the 7-12 picks. The reason his draft stock is so high is because of his defense – he’s 6 ‘tall. 9 ” with extra long, wavy Gumby arms. and can keep guys big or small. He was so good on defense that the Big Ten completely shut him out of their All-Defensive squad. Maybe Kevin Warren was in charge of that too.
Either way, Wager’s defense is solid, as is his pass. The key to knowing if he can start in the NBA is whether he can shoot straight. He has a bit of a stiff fixed stroke, like my old gym teacher. It’s not bad when he has time to settle in, but he can’t really get his own three-point pointer, although he can drive all the way to the basket at times. If he develops a solid three, he can play in the NBA. Otherwise, well, he’ll at least look like Gumby.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois: So you decided to write Batman. Ayo’s broken nose caused him to don an all-black mask that made him look and feel like a superhero. He’s led the Illini to a regular season championship (which should have been) and a true B1G tournament championship, and now he’s looking to be drafted in the 20-30 range of the draft.
There’s a lot to like about Ayo’s game – he’s a willful defender and can be assassinated with the ball in transition. In the half court, he still attacks relentlessly and was quite solid with shots at mid-range. The blow on him (like Franz) is whether he can still shoot straight from the depths. He was good last year, hitting 39%, but no one confuses him with Steph Curry. His ability to develop consistent outside shots is what keeps him in or out of the starting lineups.
Joe wieskamp, Iowa: Kind of anti-Franz. Although he displayed stunning athletic traits in the NBA Combine, he, uh, never really looks so athletic on the basketball court, especially in defense. Still, he’s going to be drafted tonight, maybe in the first round, because he’s a great outside shooter. He shot over 46% out of three last season, and being tall and shooting three pointers pays off in the NBA.
Isaiah Livers, Michigan: A makeover version of Wieskamp, ââLivers isn’t quite the shooter but is still very good, hitting at least 40% out of three in three different seasons. He is also a much more willing and capable defender. The hits on him are that he’s had a lot of injuries, and he’s not very good at attacking the basket or doing much on the offensive end other than his shot on the spot.
Aaron Henri, Michigan State: Yet another wing, Henry leans back towards the defensive end. Planning to lead Sparty last year, things have gone wrong at times, especially with his outside shot, which has dropped below 30%. His athleticism and defensive skills should get him signed tonight, but he’s never been a particularly scary player to deal with. May end up in the G League until he finds an identity in attack.
Luka Garza, Iowa: Luka has finished terrorizing the B1G with his post movements and three pointers and a very slow sprint. Luka could be the ultimate sign of how the NBA is evolving. He’s the leading scorer in the one-mile draft, he’s a formidable rebounder, and while he wasn’t known for his defense, he’s not bad near the basket. He can also shoot at three, and in another life he might be a much higher choice. But the NBA today needs guys who can move, and that’s not their specialty.
Aaron Wiggins, Maryland: A little surprised that he left the Terrapins, although he took advantage of the G League to win an invitation to the NBA Combine. He’s an athletic winger who doesn’t really stand out in any area, but also doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. Sounds like the guy who could hang out in the NBA forever just on general skill alone.
Dalano Banton, Nebraska: * Look at the name * … * look at the school *
Looks like we have an NBA prospect from Nebraska. This information is as shocking to me as I am sure it is to you. I’m not sure there is much of a chance he will be drafted, yet here we are. The book about Banton is that he’s an efficient passer and a huge goalie, but he can’t shoot straight. Really, I just want to see him get drafted for ESPN to try to find the Nebraska basketball highlights.
Chaundee Brown, Michigan: A transfer from Wake Forest, Brown provided one hell of a season for the Wolverines last year. His shot was strong (42% of 3) which was an unexpected surprise. He is also a very willful defender, although at times a little too willful, as he has been torched on several occasions due to his aggressiveness. Still, he’s a guy who looks the part and will do his best. If his shot is as good as it looked last year, he stands a chance.
Duane Washington, Ohio state: Another guy who used the G League to get an invite to the real thing, you can see a role for him in the NBA being a microwave type shooter who charges teams when they leave him alone. He was at times absolutely scary in college with the ball in his hands and even developed some ability to attack the rim. But its inconsistency also led to a lot of scary moments for OSU fans. The only scary thing in his defense was his lack of ghostly appearance. He’s got a lot of moxy and confidence, and an NBA pedigree, but it would be surprising to see him be drafted.