Even with March Madness over, basketball is just heating up as the NBA Playoffs and NBA Draft near. More and more players have declared for June’s draft after the tournament, and Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has come out with an updated, post-tournament mock draft.
With the 26th pick in the draft, Wasserman has the Portland Trail Blazers selecting freshman small forward Zhaire Smith from Texas Tech.
Despite being raw without a great deal of skill, Smith has become an interesting name in the draft discussion for his explosive athleticism, defensive playmaking and flashes of shot-making (18-of-40 3PT). He hasn’t made a decision on whether to enter his name, but long-term potential could be enough in the 20s of a top-heavy draft that appears to lack depth.
Smith averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in 37 games in college, showing potential to blossom into an effective NBA player.
To note for Ducks fans: Oregon one-and-done Troy Brown is predicted to go 27th to the Boston Celtics.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Blazer’s Edge contributor Kody Tarbell for this write-up.