Featured Image by: Mark D. Smith/USA Today Sports
Written By Ben Pfeifer
Everyone knows about the big prospects in the upcoming NBA draft, Simmons, Ingram, Hield, etc. Many late round picks have turned into current NBA stars, such as Draymond Green (35th) , Marc Gasol (48th), and Isaiah Thomas (60th). Here are some less notable players to watch out for.
Kahlil “Kay” Felder, PG, Oakland
Felder is another one of those 5’9 point guards that everyone has written off because of his height. But Kay Felder has incredible talent and plays with heart. Felder shined at the 2016 combine recording 44 inch max vertical, the second best in combine history, while still being the shortest player at the combine. Felder was also incredible during the NCAA season, averaging 24 points and 9 assists in 37 minutes at Oakland, being named to the All American 3rd team. Felder could possibly make a splash in his rookie year, such as Langston Galloway did.
Caris LeVert, SG, Michigan
Many people forget that just two years ago Levert was a projected top 5 pick. But like many others, the last two tears have been riddled with injury and went from a top commodity to a player not many people know of. Nevertheless, Levert has incredible talent. He has ideal size for an NBA winger at 6’7 and 191 pounds. He is an amazing 3 point shooter, a fluid athlete, has good vision and good handles. Look for a team to take a chance on LeVert late in the 2nd round.
Dorian Finney-Smith, SF, Florida
Finney-Smith is a fluid athlete with ideal NBA intangibles. Smith stands at 6’8 with a 6’11 wingspan. Smith’s biggest offensive strength is his ability to score from beyond the arc. Over the last 2 seasons, he shot 42% from three. Smith has shown flashes of attacking the rim and finishing strong but he must improve. His abilities and intangibles make him an intriguing three and d prospect.
Joel Bolomboy, PF, Weber State
Bolomboy is an incredibly athletic player that not enough people talk about. Bolomboy was a standout at the draft combine, and was one of the best at his position in a class littered with talent at power forward. Bolomboy had the best lane agility time, fifth best 3 quarter sprint, and the sixth best shuttle among ALL prospects. Bolomboy’s ability to play defense, rebound, and hit the three-pointers gives him incredible role player potential in the NBA.
A.J. Hammons, C, Purdue
Hammons is a traditonal NBA center after staying all 4 years at Purdue to refine his skills. He is 7’0 and 261, but moves fluidly. Hammons has a polished post game, with the best jump hook in the class, and the ability to pop out and hit the mid-range jump shot. Last season, Hammons averaged 13 rebounds per 40 minutes which is the same production surefire Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal averaged during his illustrious career. Hammons has all of the tools to be an incredible center, but a lack of usage of traditional centers has slid him down draft boards.
Other notable sleepers to watch:
Marcus Paige, PG, North Carolina
Fred VanVleet, PG, Wichita State
Chinanu Onuaku, C, Louisville
Troy Williams, SF, Indiana
Ron Baker, SG, Wichita State