Dribble Handoff: Gamers who can profit most from sturdy 2021 NBA Draft Mix displaying in Chicago


After an unorthodox and geographically decentralized NBA Draft Mix final 12 months for a somewhat underwhelming draft class, the annual pre-draft showcase is fortunately happening in a standard format this week. Representatives from throughout the league are gathered in Chicago to judge 69 gamers with aspirations of being chosen in the course of the draft on July 29.

Although there appears to be a transparent consensus round who’s most certainly to be chosen on the prime of the 2021 NBA Draft, there may be nonetheless loads to be sorted out as groups attempt to discover gamers who can turn into stable skilled contributors. Usually occasions, the mix could be a setting for some beforehand undervalued gamers to blossom into coveted draft evening property.

If nothing else, the group of gamers auditioning for skilled franchises this week will get the real, full-fledged alternative to indicate their stuff that final 12 months’s draft class missed out on because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this week’s version of the Dribble Handoff, our writers are predicting the gamers who will profit most from the NBA Draft Mix and, consequently, see their inventory rise as draft evening approaches.

Jalen Johnson

Jalen Johnson was a projected lottery decide popping out of highschool, and he may nonetheless get picked inside that vary within the 2021 NBA Draft. We’ll discover out July 29. However there isn’t any getting round the truth that he give up his staff at Duke the second his minutes have been slashed after consecutive subpar performances, and that must be a doable level of concern for entrance places of work attempting to determine which participant is value their first-round decide and the tens of millions of {dollars} tied to it. 

A 12 months in the past, James Wiseman additionally give up his staff at Memphis, however the Golden State Warriors nonetheless took him second total. With the good thing about hindsight, that already seems to be a mistake. So franchises choosing within the lottery of this draft most likely must be cautious about making the same mistake with Johnson. Did he have legitimate/comprehensible causes for quitting at Duke, or was the transfer one thing that speaks to him, and never in a great way? I am glad to let others determine. However the best way Johnson spends this week rationalizing his determination to stroll away from his teammates midseason may play a task in figuring out the place he is chosen subsequent month.  — Gary Parrish

Greg Brown

I might be fast right here. Brown is a former five-star prospect who had an up-and-down, one-and-done season at Texas. There was scuttlebutt in the summertime of 2020, earlier than he dedicated to play for Shaka Sensible, that Brown would go the G League route. If he had, I believe it is affordable to counsel his draft inventory can be a tad higher than the place it stands proper now. At Texas, Brown averaged 9.3 factors, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 block whereas taking part in 20.6 minutes. His effectivity: a 91.6 offensive ranking, per KenPom, together with 50% capturing from 2-point vary and 33% from past the arc on 91 makes an attempt. 

Brown could have a shot at transferring himself up draft boards, right into a safe first-round decide, if his pure athleticism and defensive instincts shine by means of towards different prospects. He was projected as a lottery decide 12 months in the past; a few of that would creep again in if he can present out. He is too naturally gifted to not assist himself in Chicago. — Matt Norlander

Max Abmas

Max Abmas quietly led the nation in scoring final season for Oral Roberts earlier than bursting onto the NCAA Match scene the place he scored 29, 26 and 25 factors in three video games towards groups seeded No. 2, 7 and three, respectively. It validated his standing as one among school basketball’s greatest pure scorers and piqued the curiosity of NBA groups, who now see the sophomore as one of many draft’s true X-factors. Nonetheless, Abmas is 6-foot-1 with apparent defensive limitations and possesses just-OK athleticism. So can he put up large manufacturing on this stage towards NBA athleticism? 

Nobody thinks his displaying in March Insanity was a fluke, however seeing him in 5-on-5 settings shall be precious for groups to scout Abmas and the place his recreation’s at now, and much more precious a chance for Abmas to show he belongs. Warts apart — and there are warts — he has the offensive talent set to be a deadly participant in as we speak’s NBA. Serving to his case as he prepares for this week in Indy is a similarly-sized lead guard in Trae Younger, who had related defensive limitations and related offensive prowess as a scorer at Oklahoma. Now Younger has emerged as a star for an Japanese Convention Finals-bound Atlanta Hawks staff. — Kyle Boone

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Robinson-Earl would have made an NBA roster final 12 months after successful Massive East Freshman of the 12 months honors, however after returning for his sophomore season and main the Wildcats in scoring, capturing share, rebounding, blocks and steals, it is fairly apparent he is an NBA expertise. The query, then, is the place he’ll be chosen. CBS Sports activities’ Kyle Boone has Robinson-Earl at No. 40 on the NBA Draft Massive Board getting into the mix, however I believe that Robinson-Earl’s inventory will enhance in the course of the mix for a pair causes.

As a 6-foot-9 large man, Robinson-Earl might have been labeled as a “tweener” within the latest previous since he is not a real middle or a prototypical perimeter participant. However now, gamers along with his versatility are coveted. Robinson-Earl can defend each place and is an enhancing 3-point shooter who operates effectively within the put up and the mid-range on offense. The thought of a “positionless” participant is one factor, however Robinson-Earl truly has the abilities and IQ to successfully fill the function. He is adept at studying passing lanes, is aware of how one can discover his spots within the put up on offense and has the seemingly uncommon present of defending nicely with out fouling. These intangibles will shine by means of in his work on the mix and impress NBA groups.

The opposite setting by which Robinson-Earl will shine is in conferences. He was named a CoSIDA All-American final month due to his 3.56 GPA, and that may shine by means of in conversations to positively impression his inventory. Finally, Robinson-Earl brings sufficient NBA talent to be an early contributor within the league whereas additionally providing sufficient upside to warrant a first-round choice. — David Cobb



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