7 NBA Draft Prospects Who Will Not Be In The Lottery That Could Surprise Some People
The NBA has all of its attention on who is going to go first and second in the draft and what type of an effect those players will have on their respective teams, but the players that go at the end of the first or even second round can be just as important in some cases.
Most people are eyeing the players on teams like Kentucky and Duke, which both have several players that will be going high and it’s all but guaranteed that Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor will take the top 2 spots.
However, there are other players sprinkled throughout the league who have made a difference for their team, and in some cases simply gained the attention of the public through their outstanding play during the NCAA tournament.
Ahead of the NBA Draft, take a look at 7 great NBA prospects that could surprise some people:
Dez Wells (SG, Maryland)
Wells was held back a bit last year with Melo Trimble taking center stage as a freshman, but the senior guard has remained with the team until his senior year and is ready to make the leap to the NBA. He has been with the team in both the ACC and the Big Ten, which could certainly be tough on a player but he terrorized teams in both conferences, even giving the Michigan State Spartans a loss on their home court for the Terrapins’ first game in the conference. Wells is a great shooter and he can do it all as a bigger guard capable of driving to the basket and grabbing rebounds as well.
Ryan Boatright (PG, Connecticut)
His story is extra special as a player who stuck with UConn until his senior year through the controversy and wanted to come back for a championship. He helped lead the Huskies to a championship in 2014 along with standout guard Shabazz Napier, but Boatright is an excellent shooter to watch out for as well. He is a smaller guard and although his final season with UConn wasn’t the greatest, he certainly has what it takes to be a guard similar to Stephen Curry when making the jump to the NBA.
Branden Dawson (SF, Michigan State)
Dawson was one of the difference makers on the Michigan State Spartans and had some amazing games during his 4 years with the team. Commentators would often say something like “If Branden Dawson has a great game, the Spartans will certainly be able to get a win tonight,” and his points and rebounds stats were good enough to rival anyone in the NBA as someone who will be able to compete with the best when he makes the switch. He was the big man that they needed and helped lead Michigan State to yet another Final Four for coach Tom Izzo in 2015.
Rakeem Christmas (C/PF, Syracuse)
The Syracuse team has had its ups and downs over the past few years including the academic controversy that kept them out of the NCAA tournament in 2015, but Christmas has remained a powerful and significant player over his 4 years with the team, steadily improving. He averaged 18 points and 8.9 rebounds over the course of his senior season, doing whatever it took to try to overcome the obstacles in the tough ACC that seems to be getting better every year. He is not high on most people’s draft boards, but he could be a sleeper that makes a big difference with his size and athleticism.
Jordan Sibert (SG, Dayton)
He is certainly the least known on this list and perhaps one of the most underrated players entering the draft. It is almost absurd that Dayton does not get more credit where its due after reaching the Elite 8 in 2014 and retaining Jordan Sibert, Dyshawn Pierre, and more from that team in 2015. The Flyers had an excellent season in the increasingly tough Atlantic 10 conference and Jordan Sibert had another excellent performance in the NCAA tournament, despite getting screwed with a low seed. He is a great shooter that would fit in well with a number of NBA teams.
Montrezl Harrell (PF, Louisville)
Harrell was the glue that held the Louisville Cardinals together over the past few seasons. He led the team in rebounds and he is an excellent scorer as well, providing some amazing dunks throughout his college career. Along with other star players such as Chris Jones and Terry Rozier, also set to go high in the draft, Montrezl Harrell helped Louisville become one of the best teams in the ACC immediately after joining the league. He is a big man that any NBA team would dream of having on their roster and he can do it all on the court.
R.J. Hunter (SG, Georgia State)
It is a bit ironic since prior to the 2015 NCAA tournament, almost nobody knew who RJ Hunter was, and now, he may be going higher in the draft than anyone else on this list. He proved that he can score from anywhere on the court during his outstanding performance, and although his team didn’t make it quite as far, his shooting ability and clutch play was certainly reminiscent of Stephen Curry’s time at Davidson. He is leaving after his junior season and after becoming a household name in March, he should have what it takes to make it big in the NBA.