Prospects from all over the world will hear their names called tonight during the NBA Draft. Several names from Kansas City-area schools are in the mix, as Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas State all made the NCAA Tournament this year led by top-end talent.
What players from nearby schools could turn their dreams into reality tonight?
NBA Draft Prospects From Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas State
Gradey Dick, SG/SF – Kansas
The top prospect from the area, Dick is a projected lottery pick that could even sneak into the top 10 selections.
KU’s second-leading scorer from last season, the 6’8″ wing averaged 14.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting over 40% from beyond the arc and 85.4% from the charity stripe.
He’s been tied to Utah, Orlando, Oklahoma City, and New Orleans, all teams in dire need of the shooting prowess Dick would provide.
Jalen Wilson, SF/PF – Kansas
The undisputed leader of the Jayhawks’ team and a national champion, Wilson is projected to go in the second round but has a wide range of potential outcomes. It appears likely he’ll go in the early-to-mid second, which creates some exciting possibilities including a potential reunion with Christian Braun in Denver.
After averaging over 20 points and eight rebounds per game with strong shooting splits, Wilson fits a team well as a bench scorer and strong rebounder.
Kobe Brown, G – Missouri
Brown burst onto the scene as an elite three-point shooter, draining 45.5% of his treys while leading Missouri to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. After averaging 15.8 points per game thanks to that stellar outside shot, Brown is a likely second-round target for a plethora of teams in need of shooting.
He averaged over six rebounds per game each of the last three seasons and at 6’8″, Brown has tremendous size for a guard. It’s easy to see him sticking as a role player in the league. It’ll be a surprise if his name isn’t called tonight.
Keyontae Johnson, SF/PF – Kansas State
One of college basketball’s best stories of the last several years, Johnson was once considered a first-round talent but is now expected to go in the second. At 6’6″, 230 lbs, he makes up for his lack of height in size and leaping ability and could serve as a sparkplug off the bench for a number of teams.
The 23-year-old averaged 17.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game while adding great defense and shooting over 40% from three with the Wildcats, so he’s a well-rounded prospect that could impact the game in a number of ways.
Markquis Nowell, PG – Kansas State
Johnson’s running mate in Manhattan became the breakout star of the NCAA Tournament, setting a tournament record with 19 assists in a single game while averaging over 20 points per game and leading the Wildcats to the Final Four.
Standing at only 5’8″, Nowell’s size is his biggest weakness, but he displayed an uncanny ability to control a game and isn’t afraid of big moments. It’s easy to imagine Nowell carving out a role as a quality, undersized backup point guard similar to Tyus Jones.
Even if Nowell isn’t drafted, expect him to catch on with a team as an undrafted addition.
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