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Manny Machado Chicago Bound?
Most of the NBA Draft talk so far has centered around the top 10 players, and rightfully so. But there are several players in this draft who will be picked in the late first and second rounds who can come in and contribute for an NBA team immediately.
Here are some of those names:
This isn't just Michael Porter Jr.'s little brother, Jontay is a legitimate NBA prospect. While he's a big man, he knows how to get open on the perimeter and has become a confident three-point shooter.
He's not afraid to bang in the post though, and has shown some impressive moves down on the block.
He will need to add more muscle if he wants to reach his full potential as a player, but he's just what NBA teams want in their bigs: long, skilled and can shoot the three.
Allen tested well at the NBA combine on Thursday, which is no surprise if you've watched any of his games at Duke. I mean, he had one of the most violent dunks I've ever seen.
Expect his stock to continue to climb into the late first round. Allen was a 2,000-point scorer at Duke and also had a big part in helping the Blue Devils secure a National Championship in his freshman year. He was a great shooter and even better leader.
His on-court antics will continue to be a part of his reputation, but it's hard to watch his sophomore year film and be convinced that he's not worth a first round pick. Allen will be an interesting player to follow at the next level.
The AP SEC player of the year last season, Maten has been the driving force behind the Georgia Bulldogs for the past couple of years. He has a high basketball IQ and is a skilled and confident post scorer.
It was almost impossible to stop him if he got the ball down low.
He's developed his shot enough to be considered a stretch four, which will increase his value in this year's draft.
It doesn’t make sense that this year’s Wooden Award winner is considered a sleeper in the NBA Draft, but most mocks have him going late in the first round.
The floor general of the budding basketball dynasty of Villanova, Brunson was instant offense for the Wildcats for the past four years. He was a threat from deep and had no problem scoring against bigger athletic players in the post.
He’s a decent defender if matched up with a point guard, but if forced to switch on a screen, another guard or forward will create an instant mismatch for the opposing team.
That being said, Brunson’s offensive game should translate well to the NBA and he’s proven in college that he’s a bona fide first round pick.
The legend goes that West Virginia coach Bob Huggins visited a gym at eight o’clock in the morning and found a kid full-court pressing all by himself and outworking everyone on the floor.
That kid was Carter.
Huggins knew that he had to have Carter, and he quickly became a local celebrity in Morgantown.
My favorite part about Carter is his mid-range game. He seems to have almost better vision in a confined space and is a master at creating space for himself.
He has as much experience as any guard in this class at running an offense and shows more effort than any prospect I've ever watched.
Carter is a legitimate NBA player.
If it’s not Carter or Brunson, Graham is the most experienced guard in college basketball and is known for his deadly jump shot. He shot 40 percent from deep in three of his four years at Kansas and knows how to attack the basket and do so quickly and through contact.
One thing to note about Graham is how versatile he was in terms of his role in college. In his first couple of seasons, he had no problem playing off of the ball while letting players like Wayne Selden Jr. and Frank Mason III set him up for good looks on the perimeter. In his senior year however, Graham averaged 17 points per game and thrived as a ball-dominant point guard, showing the ability to score at will as well as the ability to set up his teammates for good looks.
Graham is a smart player, a proven scorer and someone who can accept whatever role you want to put him in.
There may not be a better shooter in this 2018 class than Mykhailiuk. It doesn’t matter who’s around, if he can get the shot off, it has a good chance of going in.
He shot 44 percent from deep in his senior year at Kansas, but he's not strictly a three-point shooter, Mykhailiuk has shown good vision as a passer and also some grit on defense. He’s a player who doesn’t take any possessions off, and it’s already showing at the NBA combine.