There is plenty of hot talk from the wings for the upcoming NBA Draft, with Michael Porter, Luka Doncic and Mikal Bridges headlining the list. But who just below these names could be a real difference maker?
Here are five non-obvious potential small forward steals from the 2018 NBA Draft.
1. Caleb Martin, Nevada
One half of the University of Nevada’s Martii with his brother Cody, Caleb Martin showed what he could do this season, winning the Mountain West’s Player of the Year award. While, in years passed, this has not been a must-draft accolade, the competitiveness of the Wolfpack’s conference this year, combined with his performance in the NCAA Tournament should see him on plenty of second-round radars.
2. O’Shea Brissett, Syracuse
Capable of both scoring and operating in a high-level defensive scheme, O’Shea Brissett is a readymade NBA bench player who won’t take points off you on either end of the ball.
The Canadian may not be on many team’s draft boards – he may indeed have to play his way onto a team in Summer League – but for a 6'8" wing scorer, he is a tremendous rebounder (8.8 per game) who can operate in small-ball setups.
3. Jacob Evans, Cincinnati
Jacob Evans led one of the most surprising teams in the country this year, leading the University of Cincinnati to a high number five ranking in the country, and the AAC Tournament Championship.
He’ll need to improve either his playmaking ability or 3-point shooting (preferably both), but Evans’ ability to find the cup will be coveted among teams in the second round who’ll believe he can become a valuable bench scorer.
4. Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
Chandler Hutchison’s 20 points and 7.7 rebounds per game will be laughed off as superfluous numbers in a subpar MWC, but feel free to doubt the rangy 6'7" wing prospect at your own peril.
A good team will see Hutchison as the opportunity to develop an elite scoring and defensive talent, perhaps not to a starter’s level, but to a level necessary on any team with championship aspirations, similar to Golden State’s Shaun Livingston.
5. Kris Wilkes, UCLA
At just 18 years of age, Kris Wilkes is young. But he was put in a position at UCLA to thrive with no attention or pressure, as the team was manned mainly by Aaron Holiday and Jaylen Hands.
As a result, Wilkes put up an impressive 13.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in his freshman season while being far from a first option, and now projects as one of the higher-upside late picks.
Did we miss anyone? Who are your power forwards to look out for in this year's NBA Draft? Comment below!