With more than 20 prospects projected to become at least starting caliber players, some great players may be overlooked and some may be overestimated. Every year there are a handful of sleepers and an equal if not a greater amount of reaches. Using the online sportsbook’s odds, we project which five prospects will be taken earlier or later than anticipated.
5 Prospects to Watch
Moses Moody (G)
In a guard-driven league, you can expect more than half of the NBA teams picking a guard in the first round. In fact, most projections have at least eight of the 14 lottery picks to be guards. This class is rich with 1s and 2s that one might just fall through the cracks.
That might be Moody, a guard out of Arkansas whose injury history could scare away some teams. He’s projected to get taken as a late lottery pick. But others like Josh Giddey and James Bouknight are seeing their stocks rise and may all get picked at the expense of Moody. Don’t be surprised to see Moody fall to the mid-teens.
Pick: Over 11½ Overall Pick (+110)
Ayo Dosunmu (G)
Opposite of Moody may be Illinois guard Dosunmu who could get taken much earlier than his 27.5 projection. The combo guard led Illinois to a top-seed in the NCAA tournament and even though they fell short, he didn’t fail to impress.
Teams like the Pelicans (17th pick), Lakers (22nd), and Clippers (25th) are in dire need of better guard play at a bargain price. One of these teams may just roll the dice on Dosunmu, who was a junior and is one of the more NBA-ready guards available in this spot.
Pick: Under 27½ Overall Pick (-110)
Miles McBride (G)
Keeping up with the theme of guards, we have West Virginia’s McBride who may get egregiously overlooked. Projected to be a late first-round pick, McBride may just fall to the second round given all the other guards available.
McBride’s game won’t immediately “wow” anyone but he’s a solid two-way player who can blossom into a longtime NBA starter. But of course, teams may opt to pick bigger names like Tre Mann out of Florida or Joel Ayayi out of Gonzaga.
Pick: Over 30½ Draft Number (+115)
Neemias Queta (C)
BIg men like Queta are quite rare these days and that’s why we could see a team reach for him before his projected 47.5 draft number. Quetta is a defensive big man in the mold of a Robert Williams or Mitchell Robinson. He is a high motor guy who was the MWC Defensive Player of the Year.
Williams was drafted late in the first and Robinson, early in the second. Queta will likely be one of the first names called in the second round either by the defense-starved Pelicans (35th) or the new “Grit n Grind” Grizzlies (40th).
Pick: Under 47½ Overall Pick (+105)
Luka Garza (C)
The NBA odds have Garza being taken around the 55th pick, which would make him the latest picked Naismith College Player of the Year. That’s an insult to Garza considering that guys like Frank Kaminsky and Doug McDermott were lottery picks not too long ago.
Whether people believe in it, being the College Player of the Year still holds tremendous clout. A team like the Spurs (41st) or Celtics (45th) can feasibly draft Garza. Heck, some maverick general manager might even burn a first round pick on him. There’s always that one GM every draft.