Draft Watch: Final projections for OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant

  • 06/22/2017 9:37 am in

In our final “draft watch” before tonight’s NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we take a look at projections for OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant along with some notes and analysis:

OG Anunoby mock draft projections:

· Draft Express: No. 23 – Toronto
· ESPN: No. 13 – Denver
· Sports Illustrated: No. 20 – Portland
· CBS Sports: No. 14 – Miami
· Sam Vecenie: No. 21 – Oklahoma City
· NBA.com: No. 21 – Oklahoma City

Notes: Anunoby received a green room invite, which means he will be in attendance tonight in Brooklyn. His range in mock drafts is currently as high as No. 13 to Denver and as low as No. 23 to Toronto. If he falls to 21, NBA.com believes he could be a steal for the Thunder:

It wouldn’t be the first time Thunder GM Sam Presti went for a long-term investment in the first round. Anunoby would have been an easy call as one of the top defenders available and potential lottery pick until needing season-ending surgery on his right knee from an injury suffered Jan. 18 at Penn State. The health concern will obviously weigh heavily on the minds of front offices. But if the reports from team doctors are good, a front office in the late-teens or early-20s could consider Anunoby a steal, even with the uncertainty of when he will be back on the court.

As for the timetable for his recovery, Anunoby remains bullish that he’ll be able to play next season. Here’s what he told reporters on Wednesday in New York:

“I’m feeling great right now. No pain, doing a lot more. I think it should be October or November, back on the court. I can jump, shoot, work on ball handling stuff, passing.”

Analysis: “Teams are a bit divided when it comes to Anunoby’s recovery from a January ACL tear. Some see zero problems and feel he’s well on his way to a full recovery some time this winter. Others feel it could be longer. Either way, the Nuggets can afford to be patient. Picking Anunoby isn’t about the coming season, it’s about the future, and he gives head coach Mike Malone the best 3-and-D player in the draft.” – Chad Ford, ESPN.com.

Thomas Bryant mock draft projections:

· Draft Express: No. 39 – Philadelphia
· ESPN: No. 48 – Milwaukee
· CBS Sports: No. 37 – Boston
· Sam Vecenie: No. 52 – New Orleans
· NBA.com: No. 35 – Orlando

Notes: The projections for Bryant are more spread out given how unpredictable the second round can be. He’s as high as No. 35 to Orlando on the NBA.com mock and as low as No. 52 on Sam Vecenie’s mock. He’s still only 19, but NBA.com notes that Bryant likely hurt his draft stock by coming back for his sophomore year:

The decision to return to school to build on a good freshman season rather than coming out as a possible first-round pick does not appear to be paying off. Bryant is now hoping to follow Cody Zeller (2013) and Noah Vonleh (2014) from Bloomington to the first round. The appeal is a big who won’t need to grow into his body much more, plays hard and has a standing reach of 9-4, assets that add up to the possibility of rebounds and blocks as a pro.

As far as his plans for Thursday, Bryant told us late last week that he plans to be in attendance at the Barclays Center. Given the additions of two-way contracts that will allow NBA teams to carry two additional players and use them in the “G-League,” it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Bryant doesn’t receive a guaranteed deal of some sort from an NBA team for next season.

Analysis: “Bryant is an interesting offensive big man who plays hard, can handle it a bit for his size at 6–10 with a 7–5 wingspan, and has potential to shoot it from distance. The problem is that he has remarkably low lateral quickness right now, and will need to hope the lower half of his body fills out.” – Sam Vecenie for SethsDraftHouse.com.

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  • Thomas

    Given that it is the offseason and we’re all thinking about recruiting, I just went to look up these guys’ final rankings on the 247 Composite. Thomas was 20, Juwan was 109, and OG was 295. This was a truly remarkable class for Crean. All three have been big contributors to the program. I hope good things for Thomas, OG, and James tonight, and hope they each find a good situation.

  • Kyl470

    Just so I’m clear I hope that all three of these guys go on to have a 10 year NBA career and make millions and become great ambassadors for IU, but hear is my bold prediction.

    OG will be a first round pick however his offensive game won’t every develop and he never fully recovers from his knee injury and isn’t the defensive player teams hope for. He spends most of his days in the G-League and doesn’t receive a second. (again I hope I’m wrong and he is an All Star)

    Thomas Bryant gets picked in the second round, but never becomes a mainstay on a NBA roster. He bounces back and forth from the NBA to G-League, but washes out of the systems after four year. (again I hope I’m wrong and he is and All Star)

    JBJ goes undrafted, but like Yogi he catches on with a NBA team after spending the first month in the G-League. He never becomes a major rotation guy but he finds himself on a NBA roster year after year much like a James Jones simply because he can be a dangerous 3 point threat. 10 years from now we are looking at IU players currently in the NBA and we are all shocked to see JBJ still on someones roster. We scratch are heads and say something like “I didn’t know JBJ was on the Raptors.”

  • HoosierMumma

    I just hope OG gets draft early enough that he gets interviewed by the on-floor reporter.

    Reporter: How do you feel now that you know your are going to be a (insert NBA team)?

    OG: Great. (walks off to head back to the green room)

  • TomJameson

    Why so full of good cheer, Kyle? 🙂 Here’s the optimistic flip side.

    OG goes first round (the no-brainer part). He defense is superb, but gets a little better. His shot improves a lot because of all the hard work he puts into it. He’ll be a step below the super-star level, but will have a long career in the NBA as a proven contributor.

    TB goes middle 2nd round and plays in the G-League for a year while he changes his body and works on skills full-time. He’ll be playing on an NBA team in his 2nd or 3rd year at the most, and will improve to be a steady role player for some NBA team for another 10 years.

    JBJ will go either very late 2nd round, or find a spot on a team via the Yogi route. He’ll bounce around between the G-League and some team for a year or two, until all those 25+ games become so steady that they have to bring him on board.

  • Ivan Renko

    NBA outcomes IMO:

    Thomas Bryant: best case scenario – DeAndre Jordan type of player, protect the rim and make open dunks; worst case scenario – lateral quickness never improves, can’t back up his emotion with quality play, fizzles out after several years in the G-League. Most Likely scenario – isn’t fast enough to be a perimeter player like he tried to showcase at IU last year. will find himself on a roster most years to give a starting center some gas and fouls for a few minutes per game.

  • Ivan Renko

    OG Anunoby: Best case scenario – top 20 3&D player in the league after 3-5 years. enjoys a 12 year career with 6th man minutes anywhere he goes. Worst case scenario: offensive game doesn’t improve, knee injury disallows his highlight reel poster dunks we enjoyed at IU, doesn’t have much to offer outside defense, so g-league and fizzle out. Most likely: comes back from knee injury and becomes 3-D role player. limited minutes on an average or below average team

  • Ivan Renko

    JBJ: Best case scenario – knees hold up and he shoots 38% from 3 for a scoring lift off the bench. Worst case – doesn’t get signed anywhere after summer league. tries to stick it out in g-league but never gets called up. most likely – doesn’t get signed after summer league and goes to Europe to play.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I’m going to chalk up these bold predictions to a healthy “fan-bias”? Being a fan for years you get used to disappointment because we are too close to the situation so to speak. We follow these teams and watch these players and analyze their weaknesses too much perhaps. Anyway, I think we will be pleasantly surprised by at least a couple of these kids. Any one of them just need more development and the right team to give them a chance. Good luck to them all!

  • John D Murphy

    You think he moves into the bottom of the first round? First ten picks of the 2nd?

  • John D Murphy

    I’ll say OG goes 15 – 20. And TB 41-47.

  • John D Murphy

    Assuming JBJ doesn’t get picked, I would like to see him play summer ball for the Warriors. Someone is going to overpay Ian Clarke and the W’s value shooting and really need cheap young players to fill the roster. As crazy as it sounds, finding a roster spot on the Warriors might be easier than anywhere else for a guy who can shoot.

  • calbert40

    I’m very surprised OG got a Green Room invite. I think he could go in the late lottery, but if he starts to fall too low, he will get into the group of teams that are wanting to compete immediately and get someone to help them win right now. If those teams aren’t fully convinced that OG can do that due to his injury, he might fall out of the 1st entirely. NBADraft . net has him at 32 to the Suns.

  • Chappy Dan


  • Outoftheloop

    Thomas is 30-40 as I have said since he hired an agent. OG is 12-22 as I have said since he hired an agent. James will go undrafted, play in all 3 summer leagues, be invited to a training camp, and appear in the first game. If he hits 40-45% on his 3’s, he will. E in the League go 10 years. Go IU! Whomever drafts Swanigan will love him in the League!

  • Outoftheloop

    I humbly disagree, see my post above.