With the NBA Draft set for Thursday evening, Memphis Tigers freshman post Jalen Duren, Iowa guard Keegan Murray and high school baller Shaedon Sharpe look to be among the upper echelon of players who will be taken with immediacy.
Arizona’s freshman shooter Bennedict Mathurin and Notre Dame’s freshman playmaker Blake Wesley are a pair of players who should have their names called early and have opportunities to fit on teams that pick them.
According to NBA betting sites, the following are five players who have a tremendous opportunity to make an impact for the teams who choose to draft them.
Sharpe Has Abilities to Make Immediate Impact
According to NBADraft.Net, Shaedon Sharpe has a 49-inch vertical leap and can already shoot with NBA moxie after averaging 21.4 points per game last season. He had the potential to spend the second semester in a blue Kentucky Wildcats uniform but chose not to.
Wildcats coach John Calipari fed the NBA scouts only what he as a coach had to show the NBA scouts as they would come into Lexington to watch Sharpe work out once he gained admission to the school and enrolled. Sharpe is generally thought of as a pick just inside of being selected inside the lottery as a small forward. He hasn’t played in competitive circles in over a year. Many scouts have discussed his immense talent as well as the loss of play as a freshman in a potential program in one of college basketball’s potential conferences.
He is given a (-7.5) as his position in the NBA Draft Lottery with odds set at (-120) to go over the 7.5 and (-120) as well to be under the 8.5. Who reading those as they occur in print, over the 8.5 would be that he is picked ninth or higher while that number would see lower if he was the eighth pick of the draft or better.
The 6-5 shooting guard has discussed his parents, trainer and Calipari as people he talked to about how it was his own choice not to suit up for the Big Blue Nation. Sharpe has been listed at 7.5 and he is a good bet, according to some hoopsters, to go under the 7.5 with odds at (-115) to do so
Memphis Big Man Rises as Solid NBA Draft Prospects
One major happening for Memphis Tigers basketball this past season was about a year ago when coach Penny Hardaway named Hall of Famer Larry Brown as his assistant coach with the Tigers.
Brown has noticed NBA talent in Tigers post Jalen Duren, who is likely another solid defensive threat such like several of his NBA contemporaries. He is a tough passer, according to Brown, who has compared him to former Wildcat and current Miami Heat post player, Bam Adebayo. The Hall of Fame coach patrolled the sidelines for the New York Knicks for only one season from 2005-06 and was subsequently fired after the team’s 23-59 record. Nevertheless, Brown’s coaching ability and his NBA acumen are highly stated products in our game.
The posts have set Duren’s draft number at 10.5 as he has a (-110) to go under 10.5, but a (-130) to go over the 10.5.
Duren is known to frequent the inside on offense in trying to find his scores in the post as he has odds at (+25000) to be the number one pick. That ties Duke forward A.J. Griffin and Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis in addition to Bennedict Mathurin, who was Tommy Lloyd’s scorer at Arizona and Kansas scorer Ochai Agbaji.
Murray Will Give a Solid Shooter to New Team
Keegan Murray, last season’s scorer for the Iowa Hawkeyes, averaged 23.5 points per game while shooting 55.4 percent as he shot 39.8 percent from the three-point line.
Murray’s statistics improved dramatically across the boards over his initial year in Iowa City as he also shot 55.4 percent from the field. He also made a name for himself on the boards as well as he was Iowa’s leading rebounder with 8.7 per game. Several NBA Draft experts and scouts like Murray’s odds as an obvious first-round pick of the Sacramento Kings, who will be looking for their first playoff berth in 17 years as of next season.
Murray is projected to have a high pick in the NBA Draft as his number is set at 5.5 with (-155) as under the number and (+115) over 5.5. As a 6-8 forward, Murray is filled with athleticism and versatility and likely can start right away in the NBA with his experience. He is 22 years old and just finished his sophomore season as a Hawkeye.
He scored so much last season and improved his scoring average by around 16 points, so less about his solid defensive ability was discussed. He averaged 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals per game as those accounted for high percentages of his defensive forte. Murray is also marked at 5.0 for his draft spot and he is listed at (-120) for odds to be the fifth pick in the NBA Draft. He is at a 5.5, overall, with a (+130) given for the over.
Mathurin Also Lends Athleticism, Consistent Shots
Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin is a quality shooting guard as well as a small forward and can follow the lead of Keegan Murray with his footwork plus the solidity on the offensive end of the floor in manning an NBA perimeter.
Mathurin also improved himself offensively over his first season as he moved to 17.7 points per game from 10.8 as well as posting 5.6 rebounds in ’21-22 after pulling down 4.8 in his freshman season. One of his biggest assets is his penchant for playmaking as he doubled his assists from 1.2 to what was 2.5. His size at 6-7, 220, will be a major issue at the NBA level as he will be a tough cover or his defense and athletic ability will provide problems on the post-up.
Oddsmakers have set Mathurin’s over/under numeral at 6.5. This would push his odds to (-120) whether it was over or under a pick of 6.5.
NBA teams will want to see Mathurin develop himself to a higher level defensively.
Mathurin is seen as the fifth pick of the NBA Draft in most places as he would then wind up with the Detroit Pistons. He has odds at (+650), (+750), (+800) and (+1,000) to end up as that fifth draft pick.
Notre Dame Guard Could Serve Several Teams
The athletic ability of guard Blake Wesley was an entity throughout the season for the Fighting Irish as he helped drive them to No. 3 in the ACC and also to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as they beat Rutgers in the First Four and Alabama but lost to Texas Tech.
Wesley is an outstanding athlete with point guard and shooting guard skills who can handle the ball impeccably well and he also has plenty of speed which allows him to create in the open floor. The 6-5 guard has a lower number which is set at 22.5 as under 22.5 is sitting at (-140) while over the 22.5 has been given odds of (+100). Where he sits can get him squarely on a playoff team as the Memphis Grizzlies hold the 22nd pick while the 23rd choice belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers. Wesley averaged 29.3 minutes per game but he only shot 40.4 percent from the field. His 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals discuss his possession of two keys that could garner him minutes on defense.
With his size, Wesley could proliferate as a 2-guard and then he can create off the dribble and get to the rim. Watching him, he has a penchant for being solid in reading an offense and playmaking off of the dribble.
Wesley is also listed at 23.5 with (-150) for an over of 23.5 and a (+115) Under of 23.5. I will go with the under and say he lands with the San Antonio Spurs with that 20th pick because Gregg Popovich has three first-round picks and could use the potential of an athletic playmaker such as Wesley.