Vernon Carey – Duke
Vernon Carey is another power forward that’s extremely smooth for his size. Standing at 6’10, 270 lbs, Carey finds it incredibly easy driving inside and physically dominating his opponents, while using his scary agility and speed to move his way to the basket, which he’s very good at finishing at. He’s very old school with the way he plays and won’t go outside the arc to prove he can shoot from there, he’ll stick to what he knows and perform to a high standard.
Carey is a defensive coach’s dream. With his size, weight, and a 7’0 wingspan, Carey is a strong, energetic defender that will translate to the NBA on that side of the ball incredibly well.
He averaged almost 9 rebounds per game at Duke, along with 2 blocks and almost a steal, which is incredible for his size. He has the speed and agility to keep up with the more athletic forwards in the NBA. Whilst his volume was low at the 3 point range, his percentage was 38 and he shows a good enough shooting form that I think he can develop into a solid 3 point shooter.
The main holes in his game are technical. His footwork is a step behind where other prospects are at and that will need to improve if he wants to have a chance in the NBA. He also struggles at the free-throw line, with a 67% shot so far, but he does get there often so I can see that improving over time.
His weight may also cause some concerns, especially if he gets disinterested at the next level or requires substantial time off due to injuries. Carey, like Nnaji, is only 19 so time is definitely on his side, which is why these negatives aren’t too much of a worry, given most can be taught over time.
Tyler Bey – Colorado
Tyler Bey is a prospect who you’ll find either in the last few picks of the first, or in the first few picks of the second round and he’ll have value to a team, even if he doesn’t improve in the areas he needs too.
While he stands on the smaller side for a power forward, coming in at 6’7, 215 lbs, Bey excelled in college on the defensive side of the ball and NBA teams will love that. With a 7’1 wingspan, Bey excels in every area of defending. He understands his role, can easily defend multiple positions given his height and weight and can block anywhere on the court. He has extremely active hands that get steals easily and can rebound like some of the best big men in this draft class.
Bey averaged 9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per game in his final year with Colorado, however, that comes at a price. Bey isn’t the most efficient offensive player, only averaging 1.5 assists and 13.8 points per game, but he does have the right mechanics and technique when it comes to shooting. He will struggle to add an outside shot in the NBA due to a lack of fluid mechanics and he isn’t the best playmaker. But as an athlete and defender, Bey offers a lot to the team as a bench piece.
Kaleb Wesson – Ohio State
Kaleb Wesson is a prospect who I really believe in, even though many do not. He’s hardly been anywhere in draft buildup articles and it’s quite surprising considering he ripped the shooting drills apart at the combine a few weeks back. Standing at 6’9 and 252 lbs, Wesson is a huge player who plays a seriously physical game and surprises many with his shooting ability.
Wesson is a lethal big man who is able to knock down spot-up threes and dominate in the post. He really showed his scoring prowess in Ohio with a 42% 3 point shot and a 52% 2 point shot whilst impressing at the foul line with a 73% mark.
Defensively, Wesson can use his big frame and strength to stop big men in the post, although, he can struggle to defend players on the perimeter due to his lack of speed and athleticism.
Wesson is mainly thought of as a guy who may go in the late 2nd round due to his performances at the combine but realistically there’s a good chance he goes undrafted. For me, I think he’s worth a late 2nd round pick gamble as he has a really intriguing game.
You struggle to find the shooting and physical prowess Wesson possesses at any point of the draft, never mind in a guy who may go undrafted.
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