It’s NBA Draft Night!

By Jack Drapkin

We’ve been waiting, or at least myself and those of who root for the 28 minor league teams currently parading the NBA, have. Tonight’s the night of hope. There are no draft busts tonight, just questionable decisions and shocking selections. Thon Maker at 10?! Are you kidding me? (By the way it sure looks like the Bucks were right again, note to self don’t question those guys again).

Anyway, the Knicks get their shot at returning to the glory years with the promise of potentially adding Dennis Smith Jr., and the Lakers seem poised to try and bring back ‘Show Time’ with the addition of Lonzo Ball. Meanwhile “The Process” sure seems to be well under way in Philly with the presumed addition of Markelle Fultz.

This is the time to be positive and rejoice for many lottery teams who frankly will be lottery bound again next season. (Looking at you Sacramento, let’s see what Georgios Papagiannis does this season huh).

So here are three things I’ll be looking for come draft night.

Number one:

Does my favorite NBA Draft Prospect Jonathan Isaac sneak into the top-5? I think this comes down to whether the Phoenix Suns pull the trigger at four. Pairing him with Booker, Bledsoe and last year’s selections Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender would  give the Suns an exciting young core.

Number two:

Speaking of the Kings, which draft prospect gets thrown into the tornado that is Sacramento. I think it will be difficult for a non-PG to have success there with the number 5 pick. Therefore, it is vital that the Kings end up with either De’Aaron Fox or Dennis Smith Jr.

Number three:

When will the first senior be selected? The first senior has typically been selected just outside the top-10 the past five seasons. This season should be no different, in fact my prediction is that no senior will be selected in the first 20 selections. If I had to bet I’d say Wesley Iwundu from Kansas State will be the first one selected near the end of the first round. If your reaction is ‘Who?’, I don’t blame you, long gone are the days of 4-year dominate collegiate players.

Meet 5 Seniors (Dinosaurs) in the 2017 NBA Draft Class

By Jack Drapkin

In a loaded draft class dominated by diaper dandies, the stock of several seniors has slid under the radar. In fact, if you look closely at many mock drafts it will be hard to find just one senior who is selected in the first round.

Josh Hart is everyone’s favorite pick to be this year’s, Malcolm Brogdon. For good reason, he has the advanced offensive game and serial mentality. However, unlike Brogdon who was an excellent defender in college, Hart still needs work on the defensive end of the court and is not near the athlete Brogdon is. However, Hart is a tremendous worker and an intelligent basketball player. He’s got a shot.

Frank Mason is one of my favorite players to watch period. He and his backcourt mate Devonte Graham, were a joy to watch at Kansas grow over the past three seasons. Look this guy even has a song “B*#$h I’m Frank Mason”. Give it a listen. Mason is too tough, too competitive, and too gifted offensively not to find success at the next level. He won’t be a 1st rounder, and maybe not even a 2nd but he will play in the NBA. Book it.

Alec Peters from Valparaiso has been talked about for what seems like forever. As a 6’9 Forward with a sweet-shooting stroke it makes sense. However, I think his upside is a Channing Frye, Jon Leur-type player, who is limited athletically and is therefore a minus on the defensive end. I’m not sold his game will translate to the next level.

Wesley Iwundu from Kansas State is one of my biggest sleepers in this year’s draft class. Here’s a guy who improved every year he was in school and averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game last season. Oh did I mention, he’s 6’7″ with a near 7-foot wingspan. As an excellent defender Iwundu has everything you look for in a 3 and D guy.

Monte Morris from Iowa State is your consummate floor general. Ever since his freshman year, this guy has been among the nation’s leaders in assist/turnover ratio. This year was no different as he posted a prolific 5.17 assist/turnover ratio. He simply does not make mental mistakes on the basketball court. He’s got a shot at the next level.

Shoot me a message on Twitter @NBADraftWhiz for any of your NBA draft questions!