Here is yet another list of prospects. Keep in mind that there is talent to be found near the back of the draft, especially with this year’s class. None of these guys are by any means locks to have productive NBA careers, but they all have some form of a chance.
Jordan Miller 6’6″, 192 lbs. Miami SG/SF – Senior, Age 23
Another mid to late second round prospect that can feasibly fill an NBA role fairly quickly is Jordan Miller out of Miami.
One of the noticeable things about him is that he runs the floor very well. He finished with the sixth best three-quarter sprint at the combine and would run very well with a fast-paced team.
He’s an efficient scorer as illustrated by 61.6% true shooting percentage. The speed allows him to be a great off-ball player who makes great cuts and makes more than 60% of his shots in two-point range. In addition to scoring at the rim, he also possesses some form of a mid-range shot.
Miller shot 35.2% from three on 2.5 attempts, but in the first 23 games, he hit 37.9% of his 2.9 attempts before closing the final 14 hitting 28.0% on less attempts. He has demonstrated the ability and his 78.4% clip from the free throw line indicates some touch.
More of a certain strength, Miller is a high-IQ player who makes the right play. He averaged 2.7 assists to just 1.3 turnovers in his last season at Miami. And he is equally aware that crashing the glass can be another form of creation; he grab the board and lead the break, and on the other end, he can create another opportunity (2.1 offensive rebounds per game).
Defensively, he may not be anything special because he’s not very tall and he’s just 192 lbs., but he should be good enough to guard the 1 through the 3 at the NBA level. He’s stronger than his frame would suggest and his 7’0″ wingspan is a major asset. Better yet, his awareness as a team defender is typically on display.
As alluded to in regards to his shooting, Miller sometimes shies away and becomes very passive on offense, especially in regards to three’s. He proved he has the ability to hit them, so the lack of confidence only hurts his ability to be consistent. Just as is the case for most players, an outside shot will be critical for him.
In addition to his lack of size, he’s also at a very ripe age. He played five years of college ball, the first three of which were at George Mason University. Questions about his developmental ceiling are naturally going to arise.
But Jordan Miller has thrived as his role has grown year to year and he’s done the same in some big moments. He may be on the older side, but he could turn out to be a great find.
Mouhamed Gueye 7’0″, 213 lbs. Washington State (by way of Senegal) PF/C – Sophomore, Age 20
After two years at Washington State, Mouhamed Gueye is taking his raw physical and athletic upside to the NBA draft.
At 7’0″ with a wingspan over 7’3″, Gueye’s profile is made even more dynamic by his ability to run the floor with good freedom of movement. He almost glides through the open air on dunks, having some ability to play above the rim. And he can get up some great contests and bother some players with his immense length.
Adding to the intrigue, he handles the ball well for a guy at his height.
The idea that Gueye can develop his shot to become a stretch big exists. He has a decent stroke that can look really smooth, and he uses his height to his advantage.
If he establishes position, he can operate out of the post because he exhibits relatively strong footwork. Gueye can also pass a little bit out of the post, having averaged about 2 assists a game, so there is some amount of upside. Plus, he’s slippery on the offensive glass, averaging 3.4 boards on that end.
However, for all the good, there’s something bad.
Gueye is painfully inefficient with a putrid 53.2% true shooting percentage. He shot 48.8% from the field as a center, and he hit just 27.5% of his 1.2 three-point attempts. Even as a big, he tries very hard to be a ball-dominant player, but it translates to him taking a lot of bad shots for the Cougars. As is clear with the shooting numbers, he has a lot of work to do before he can be a stretch big, which is typically a good way to get on the floor at the next level.
On defense, he’s a bit of the same as he is said to be one who frequently “chased a lot of blocks.” He’s long and athletic, but when he moves laterally it’s nothing special; quicker 4’s in the NBA would go right by him. Watching his highlights, it’s evident that all his defensive clips against smaller players are on the reel because they bailed him out with a jump shot. And because of his slight frame he’s susceptible to getting bullied by bigger 4’s and 5’s.
That light frame and his limited strength would eliminate most opportunities to establish any post position unless it’s an advantageous mismatch.
In all, Mouhamed Gueye is a project. He’s still pretty young, his athleticism and length is appealing, but he has a lot of developing to do before he could help an NBA team out.
Nikola Djurisic 6’8″ 218 lbs. Mega Basket (Serbia) SF – Age 19
Nikola Djurisic provides a load of upside near the end of the second round, and coming from the same team, he’ll try to follow in the footsteps of last year’s 27th overall pick Nikola Jovic.
Djurisic is not wowing anyone with his athleticism, but he’s got good size both in terms of height and frame to be a solid wing.
His shooting percentages were not great this past season, but the Serbian is a project whose appeal lies in his believable ceiling. With a high release and a smooth shot form, he projects to be able to hit shots consistently. As it stands now, his mid-range efficiency is noticeably good.
One of the most appealing things about him is the ball skills and playmaking. Djurisic can handle the ball well for his size, he makes some creative passes, and he has an undeniable baseline of game processing. He is great in transition, especially with the ball as he creates and sees the floor best in those scenarios. He also has a good instinct to attack the basket, averaging close to 5 free throw attempts per game.
Defensively, his lack of athleticism does not make for an exciting prospect on that end, but his adequate height and weight will give him the tools necessary to get by. Though, it should be noted, his wingspan is known to be just 6’8″, but it could be longer.
He won’t be able to control the growth of his body, but he has got to control some other things. One of those things is his touch near the rim. Djurisic has the ability to get to the rim, but his ability to finish is an area in need of work. He uses the pull up mid-range well, but without the threat of converting at the rim and through contact, defenders will key in on defending that shot.
Of course, the rate at which he converts his outside shots is something that needs attention as well. It’s one thing to have a nice stroke with a high release point, but in the end, numbers tell the bulk of the story.
The game processing could also be more consistent. While he makes some quick and savvy reads, sometimes he’ll make some bad ones and sometimes a lack of timing makes itself known. In fact, he plays best when he lets things come to him, and he doesn’t always do that. And lengthy defenders will create problems for him as he aims to create.
Still, Djurisic has upside and its the kind that has the makings to be a steal in the latter half of the second round.
Ricky Council IV 6’6″, 208 lbs. Arkansas SG – Junior, Age 21
After two seasons at Wichita State, Ricky Council transferred to a talented Razorbacks team and was able to make nice contributions as a starter.
The things that give Council a legitimate chance in the NBA is that he has adequate athleticism and good positional size. His movements, when decisive, carry an intensity, and he’s a tremendous leaper. Council has great speed in the open floor, and if he’s able to get going downhill, he showcases a lot of burst.
Add in his size and 6’9″ wingspan and he’ll matchup well against shooting guards and many 3’s at the NBA level.
Council is a great cutter with excellent feel for timing them out. He’s particularly good on backdoor cuts. What gives him a nice boost is the fact he’s a strong finisher through traffic and he’s able to convert some really tough attempts at the rim. And with the ball in his hands, he has a good feel as an attacker, but his mid-range shot is the most notable thing due to his excellent body control and his high release. Also, his floater has been pretty efficient as well.
In terms of of shooting, Council has upside as an outside shooter because of the release point and the smooth form. His 79.4% clip from the free throw line points to some shooting touch. However, at just 27% from three, he has some work to do in terms of consistency.
Also, he’s not going to be reliable at the next level with the ball in his hands due to the fact he has a first step that does not align with some of his athletic strengths. In fact, outside of cutting, it’s hard to see how he’d score at all in the NBA.
As is the case for a lot of prospects, the outside shot is imperative for Ricky Council. But Council made immense steps in terms of improvement, going from a solid college player to a good one in a year’s time, so there is a track record of development.
Hunter Tyson 6’8″, 215 lbs. Clemson SF – Senior, Age 23
After five years at Clemson, Hunter Tyson is trying to take his outside shot to the professional level.
This past season, the young man hit 40.5% of his 6 three-point attempts per game, proving to be one of the more talented outside shooters in this draft, which is a skill that can catch any NBA team’s attention. His form is repeatable and fairly quick, and the range is authentic. Plus, he’s always looking for an open shot, probing the perimeter with persistence, always ready with his hands.
As one can tell, he’s also got great positional size. He’s got all the basics in terms of fitting in with his height, frame, and length (6’10” wingpsan). And that extra reach really helps expand his outside shooting game.
Going back to that, he has just great touch on all shots. His mid-range looks and turnaround fadeaway’s look like they were dipped in butter.
Tyson was regarded as one of the hardest workers on the team. He’s a leader and he has a fiery side as he often gets pumped up after big plays, which he admittedly produced fairly often at Clemson. He’s also a smart player with a great feel for position on both ends, including on rebounds (9.2 per game) and sneaky cuts, both of which can make up for some limitations.
Such limitations include his athleticism, which in spite of his size and feel, will not not make him the most effective defender. He has the baseline of tools to hold his own, but the average athleticism is discernible.
He also doesn’t create much for himself. Tyson is mostly an off-ball player that would really like to get up a three seeing as how nearly two-thirds of his shot attempts were from beyond the arc.
And yet, Hunter Tyson is exactly the type of player to surprise people by carving out an NBA role. His confident shooting, his solid size, and his IQ really give him a chance despite the fact he’s not making the cut on all mock drafts.