Quiet down, I can hear you groaning from my desk. Yes, the NBA Draft took place last night. Time to relax and finally fully embrace the offseason, right? WRONG.
This is the offseason baby. That means we’re already looking ahead to next year’s NBA Draft.
The 2018 draft saw five mid-major prospects get drafted: Chandler Hutchison, Mitchell Robinson (yes, we still claim him), Alize Johnson, Kevin Hervey and Kostas Antetokounmpo.
Will the 2019 bring mid-major players the same success? Here are a few early candidates to hear their name called on draft night next year.
Charles Bassey - Western Kentucky
Bassey’s decision to reclassify to the 2018 class was probably one driven by his desire to get to the NBA sooner. You can’t blame him! The 5-star recruit will almost assuredly be a one-and-done prospect. He’s already starting to pop as a lottery pick in some mock drafts.
Caleb & Cody Martin - Nevada
The Martwins were some of the absolute last players to withdraw their name from the draft this year. One would think that they feel like another year could further cement their candidacy as prospects. Whether it works out remains to be seen, but they’re already on the radar of NBA front offices.
Jordan Brown - Nevada
Speaking of Nevada and 5-star prospects, Brown sits in the center of that Venn-Diagram. There hasn’t been much buzz around him as a one-and-done prospect, but a 5-star recruit should always be considered a threat to make the jump. Playing in Eric Musselman’s NBA-style system should help.
Rui Hachimura - Gonzaga
Hachimura showed flashes of his absurd potential at different points during the year. He’s an athletic big that can defend and is already showing signs of a dynamic offensive game. He’s already being tabbed as a potential lottery pick by a lot of sites. Look for Rui to have a monster year.
Killian Tillie - Gonzaga
As if having one NBA caliber big man wasn’t enough, Gonzaga gets to trot out Tillie alongside Hachimura. The big man from France is already an elite perimeter shooter. His continued development as a stretch big could make him a first round lock.
Zach Norvell - Gonzaga
Gonzaga is going to be really good, you guys. Norvell came in as a freshman last year and averaged double figures for a veteran team. It’s not unreasonable to think he takes another step forward and becomes an even more dynamic scorer.
Kellan Grady - Davidson
Grady was already an elite scorer as a freshman. Now, without Peyton Aldridge in the mix, Grady is going to be the focal point of Davidson’s offense. He has great size and can create his own shots. Here’s a prediction: Grady will be in the top five in points per game next year.
Jalen McDaniels - San Diego State
Long, athletic, raw talent. NBA front offices love all of those traits, and McDaniels has them. He tested the waters this year, but ultimately decided to return for his sophomore year with the Aztecs. With another year of strength and conditioning to go with continued skill development, McDaniels is going to be an intriguing prospect for a lot of franchises.
Jon Elmore - Marshall
A breakout performance in the NCAA Tournament was enough for Elmore to test the waters before returning for his senior year. Simply put, Elmore is a bucket getter. Dan D’Antoni runs a system similar to that of his brother Mike in Houston, and Elmore is the James Harden of the Thundering Herd.
Mike Daum - South Dakota State
A big man that can score at will and also happens to be one of the best shooters in the country? Need I say more?