NBA Roundup: Will DJ Wilson crack the first round?

Dylan Burkhardt

The NBA Draft is just two days away and all is silent from DJ Wilson’s camp.

Other than a press release and tweet announcing his intention to stay in the NBA Draft, Wilson hasn’t been heard from since he pulled out of the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago with a quad injury. Despite the silence, he still appears to be trending toward the late first round of Thursday’s draft.

Around the combine, I tweeted that sometimes silence can be the best weapon in the NBA Draft process. At times it feels like teams become more fascinated with the unknown and what could be rather than nitpicking for flaws during workouts, interviews and more strenuous examination. There’s also been consistent speculation that someone could have promised that they would draft Wilson late in the first round — although I’d argue that any ‘promised’ prospect would be better off signing with an agent immediately rather than waiting until the deadline.

Whether Wilson has a promise or not, he’s clearly playing his cards like he is comfortable with his position and wants to stay where he is. A spot that he hopes is in the last 10 picks of the NBA Draft first round.

Here’s a rundown of the most recent mock drafts from various outlets, most of which have Wilson tabbed somewhere between 20 and 30. The trendy landing spots for Wilson over the last few weeks have consistently been Brooklyn, Utah and Los Angeles (Both Utah and Brooklyn have two picks in the final third of the first round).

Mock Draft Projections:

Sports Illustrated has Wilson going the highest at No. 21:

Wilson is a combo forward who can guard multiple positions, projects as an excellent pick-and-roll defender, and shoots the three fairly well. The second half of the first round is full of centers and forwards who don’t totally fit with where the NBA is going, but Wilson is the exception. He’s the 6’10 forward who’s suddenly twice as valuable, and he’d be a nice addition for an OKC team that’s been searching for a credible bench wing for what seems like a decade. mocks Wilson in the second round, focusing on his injuries, but notes his potential:

Wilson is 21, but has only one real season of college experience as a third-year sophomore, after being limited by a knee injury to four games in 2014-15 followed by just 6.1 minutes in 2015-16. What a one season it was, though. The Wilson of 2016-17 showed the range of an NBA stretch four with agility and ball-handling skills for a big. He is heading in a good direction.

ESPN’s Chad Ford sounds much higher on Wilson’s rebounding ability than I am.

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  • bobohle

    I certainly hope so. Either way he will have to live with his decision. I just hope he wasn’t misguided during this whole process.

  • MrLG

    I expect low 20’s and I wouldn’t be surprised if he cracked 20. DJ has a great set of skills for today’s NBA. Risk factors are previous injuries and basketball IQ. (I am still puzzled by how DJ managed to s*ck so bad in 15/16.. But NBA draft is all about potential and DJ has plenty of that.

  • Coltrane

    Funny Utah, after all the rumors, only shows up once in the projections.

  • scott

    wasted pic for some team