In the second round, one of the picks who stood out was Jalen Pickett going to the Denver Nuggets. Pickett was the star of Penn State’s offense and led them to a March Madness run. Out of the G-League Ignite, Leonard Miller was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is another player who stood out in this round.
Later in the draft, the Nets took Jalen Wilson, a power forward from Kansas. He played a vital role on a #1-seeded Kansas team and won Big 12 Player of the Year last year. He was a high-value pick that late in the draft. The Pacers also took Miami guard Isaiah Wong (the ACC Player of the Year), who is a great scorer and ball handler, with the 55th pick.
He was a big part of the Hurricanes team who made it to the Final Four. Another big surprise later in the round was Indiana standout Trayce Jackson-Davis falling to the second-last pick in the draft. Projections had him going higher as a big man with a solid handle who could score in the post and defend the glass at will. Being an undersized center without much of a jump shot hurt his case. Jackson-Davis could be a good fit with great playmakers and shooters with the Golden State Warriors, who traded for him.
Photo Cred: NBA.com
Many players signed on two-way or Exhibit 10 contracts. Two-way contracts allows players to play for the NBA team or in the G-League, while an Exhibit-10 contract is a minimum deal. Adama Sanogo, center from the champion UConn Huskies, was picked up on a two-way contract by the Bulls, as was Kentucky star Oscar Tshiebwe, who signed with the Pacers. Other notable collegiate players who signed two-way contracts were Sir’Jabari Rice from Texas and Markquis Nowell shined brightest during March Madness at Kansas State. Rice signed with the Spurs, and Nowell went north of the border with the Toronto Raptors. Azoulas Tubelis was one of three players to sign two-way contracts with the 76ers.
Star forward Drew Timme from Gonzaga was one of the biggest names to be signed to an Exhibit-10 contract. Timme was picked up by the Bucks. Tosan Evbuomwan, who led Princeton to a surprise Sweet Sixteen run, signed with the Pistons. Rutgers guard and defensive stalwart Caleb McConnell joins a young Thunder team and hopes to compete for a roster spot.
Photo Cred: USA Today
It was a successful draft, overall. America and the world’s best basketball players get to live their dreams. The focus shifts to free agency and potential trades that can shake up the league. The young stars will make their NBA debut in the NBA Summer League. Summer League will take place this July in Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City. Games include head-to-head match ups between the top-five picks in the draft.