After reviewing Thursday’s NBA draft, it’s uncertain if C.J. Wilcox was smart to return to Washington for his senior year.
At best the Husky sharp-shooter was considered a late first-round choice while a more conservative pre-draft NBA review projected he’d be an early to middle second-round pick.
By most accounts Wilcox would have been taken among the 60 picks, however the goal for underclassmen prospects is landing in the first round where the contracts are guaranteed.
This year eight shooting guards were taken in the first round. Here’s the list.
Victor Oladipo, No. 2, Orlando
Ben McLemore, No. 7, Sacramento
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, No. 8, Detroit
Shabazz Muhammad, No. 14, Utah (traded to Minnesota)
Sergey Karasev, No. 19, Cleveland
Tim Hardaway Jr., No. 24, New York
Reggie Bullock, No. 25, LA Clippers
Archie Goodwin, No. 29, Oklahoma City (traded to Phoenix)
Nemanja Nedovic, No. 30, Phoenix (traded to Golden State)
Before Wilcox took his name out of the draft, several scouting services ranked him ahead of Bullock, Goodwin and Nedovic. It must be noted Wilcox underwent offseason foot surgery, which would have tempered his draft stock. It must also be noted the 2013 rankings that included Wilcox were published before the two prominent national scouting combines and team workouts. In the months preceding the draft, opinions change and players rise and fall in the rankings.
Consider Muhammad. He was considered the top high school recruiting prospect last year and projected as a top five NBA draft pick.
And consider Caldwell-Pope. Several mock drafts had him being taken in the second half of the first round. However, the Georgia sophomore was one of 13 players invited to the NBA green room.
Among shooting guards, perhaps the biggest draft night disappointments were California’s Allen Crabbe and San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin. Both were considered first-round picks, but fell into the second round.
Crabbe was taken 31st overall, one spot away from a guaranteed $2.7 million deal. Franklin fell to No. 41. There were six shooting guards taken in the second round.
And finally, Thursday was a good night for the Pac-12, which tied the ACC for the most players drafted. Here’s a look at Pac-12 players chosen and where they landed.
UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad, No. 14, Utah (traded to Minnesota):
The 6-6 wing could be a great pick for Timberwolves. He’s a natural scorer and Minnesota needs offensive-minded players. Wouldn’t be surprised if Muhammad starts and contends for Rookie of the Year honors.
Arizona’s Solomon Hill, No. 23, Indiana:
Not sure how the 6-7 wing fits into the rotation. He’s a solid defender and the Pacers identity is defense. It will be interesting to see if Hill can defend NBA point guards and power forwards. Hill’s arrival could mean Indiana will shop Danny Granger.
Colorado’s Andre Roberson, No. 26, Minnesota (traded to Oklahoma City):
The 6-7 forward is a rebounding machine who doesn’t need the ball to be effective, which is a good thing because he’s not likely to get a lot of scoring opportunities with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the floor.
California’s Allen Crabbe, No. 31, Cleveland (traded to Portland):
Paired with Damian Lillard, Portland may have assembled a backcourt that shoots as well as Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Arizona State’s Carrick Felix, No. 33, Cleveland:
The defensive-minded guard is a nice fit for defensive-minded coach Mike Brown, who needs a stopper on the bench.
Arizona’s Grant Jerrett, No. 40, Portland (traded to Oklahoma City):
Many questioned his decision to leave, but the 6-10 forward was a reserve last season and would probably have been a backup again next season. Instead of playing behind Aaron Gordon, Jerrett will likely spend significant time in the NBA Development League.
Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi, No. 54, Washington (traded to Philadelphia):
It’s difficult to find value this late in the draft, but the Sixers picked up a skilled, hard-working player who is a relentless rebounder.