D.J Wilson trending up in multiple NBA mock drafts per Wolverine 247

Submitted by mGrowOld on May 30th, 2017 at 11:25 PM

General consensus around here was Wilson made a mistake keeping his name in the draft but 6 of 7 NBA mock drafts think otherwise.  From the 247 article:

BleacherReport — 24th, Utah. Prior — none.

Sports Illustrated — 24th, Utah. Prior — 28th.

NBADraft.net — 25th, Orlando.  Prior — none.

DraftExpress — 27th, Brooklyn. Prior — 30th.

SB Nation — 29th, San Antonio.  Prior — 17th.

NBC Sports — 30th, Utah. Prior — none.

Only the Sporting News mock had him falling outside of round one and they rated him as the 30th best prospect available.  Although time will tell it seems that people outside of our little community of experts think he's making the right choice in leaving.






May 30th, 2017 at 11:30 PM ^

Isn't criticizing our little community of experts somewhat disingenuous and circular? I thought most of them were responding to his low mock draft projections. If those have changed I'd think a lot of opinions have too.


May 31st, 2017 at 12:24 AM ^

I thought it was a terrible decision.  But after hearing Utah apparently told him they were going to use one of their two picks on him, it gives me hope that he hasn't ruined his life.  Now that he has made the decision, I hope he makes it into the first round for that guaranteed money.

If he does make the first round, the decision becomes a great decision.  If he doesn't and can't make a team as a second rounder or a UFA the decision becomes a bad one.  Time will tell...


May 31st, 2017 at 10:15 AM ^

It's like people don't understand the phrase "sour grapes"..


If he said "I'm glad he's going to the NBA because I didn't really want him to come back because he wouldn't have helped anyway"

THAT would be sour grapes.

Longballs Dong…

May 31st, 2017 at 10:55 AM ^

Yes, That would be sour grapes, but is not the exclusive definition.  Sour Grapes, per googles, is a negative attitude to something because they can't have it themselves.  I don't see anyone having these extremely negative attitudes towards anyone else in the draft, only the one that impacts them. 


May 31st, 2017 at 11:18 AM ^



...and no one has shown a negative attitude to DJ coming back, which is the thing they can't have.


People have complained about his decision - but no one has complained about his person or his basketball skill. There is a negative attitude to the decision, but not to the thing they can't have.


June 1st, 2017 at 7:58 AM ^

Ummm... I've never expressed any concern. I think he made the correct decision and would have been making a poor decision not to go.


The fact that I corrected peoples misuse of "sour grapes" in no way means I agree with the butthurt expressed - I just understand that the butthurt in question doesn't qualify as "sour grapes".



Mr. Yost

May 31st, 2017 at 7:36 AM ^

Yesterday you got on me about misspeaking...pot meet kettle.

Step away from the edge. Not getting drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft doesn't ruin someone's life. Have some effing perspective.

You're also in no position to say whether or not it's a bad decision if it plays out the way you think it might. Not without knowing what it would've been like if he went the other way, not without having all of the info and knowing his circumstance.

Just because there may be a BETTER decision (in your opinion) doesn't always make the alternative a bad decision.

Mr. Yost

May 31st, 2017 at 7:30 AM ^

Because they WERE sour grapes.

People were (some still are) butt hurt about it, period.

Some will justify by saying that if he stayed he could elevate himself to a mid-1st round pick but unless those people know DJ personally, they have no right to say whether or not that should matter to him.

In the minds of too many the goal is to go as high as possible, those same people ignore timing, risk, and personal circumstance. They just feel like if he goes 26 this year and would've gone 16 next year they were right.

...until Jake Butt happens.


May 31st, 2017 at 9:20 AM ^

I mean, they are all valid statements.  And elevating your draft stock isn't foolish; it's a couple million dollars different over the life of the first contract to go #16 vs. #26.  And guys at the bottom of the first round don't necessarily have long NBA careers - check out the bottom of the 2012 draft and you don't see a lot of guys still in the league.  2013 was a solid bottom-of-the-round draft, but 2014 wasn't all that good, and most of these guys are still on the rookie deals that the team extended.  So it isn't a given all of them will stick around.  So there is a very valid argument that if you only get one shot at a contract, leaving over a million dollars on the table when you have the flexibility to come back and go higher matters.  But I get Wilson going and I think it's a good decision if he's going #24 or #26, but at the time there was a lit of "he might get into the bottom of the first" speculation.


May 31st, 2017 at 11:11 AM ^

While there's upside in the initial contract, people often overlook the fact that the biggest impact - if they can stay at the NBA level beyond their initial contract - isn't the initial contract but their last contract.  DJ Wilson will likely retire from the NBA at the same age regardless of when he enters the NBA.  So by staying in school another year, he's actually giving up a year of salary at the end of his career (i.e., peak earnings, not the capped rookie earnings).  If he thinks he'll be making $10 million/year, that's what he's giving up by staying in school for a year (which may or may not be offset by the extra guaranteed money if he thinks he can move up in the draft).


May 31st, 2017 at 2:21 PM ^

It doesn't take injury risk into account.  DJ has had two serious injuries in his career - one in high school and one his freshmen year at Michigan (I think foot and back?).  

There's no way to predict the future, but for somebody who has two serious injuries, a third injury before entering the draft would be major red flag.  It's definitely in his best interest to get to the league sooner.  That way, if he suffers an injury, he already has a guaranteed contract and top tier medical resources (although I'm sure Michigan has those, too).

Even if he were to slip to the front end of the second round, he's would be highly likely to get a guaranteed contract, as that's the way the league has headed in recent years.  

Congrats to DJ on what was sure to be a difficult decision and best of luck going forward.


May 31st, 2017 at 6:03 PM ^

Here's an article that goes over NBA success by draft position http://www.82games.com/nbadraftpicks.htm.

I would think players in the "Deep Bench" category still earn a second contract of some variety.  There's definitely a drop off after the first round (unless you get picked 37th, oddly enough).  I would argue that the disparity between late first and early second will decrease with the NBA's addition of two two-way contracts that allow teams to develop more young players.  

Assuming you had information about where you'd be picked and how much another year would help/hurt you, you could do the math.  

- Where you expect to get picked this year X expected success rate

- Where you expect to get picked next year X expected success rate 

It gets tricky figuring out where you get picked next year once you factor in the injury risk.  Also have to factor in how realistic is it to increase his draft stock when Beilein isn't likely to run the majority of his offense through his 4 guy.  Then, how easy is it for him to improve his consistency - seen as one of his biggest issues?  

To me, it seems like going back to school just increases the variance.  Could improve a decent amount but also could be extremely detrimental.  Might as well give it a shot now. 



May 31st, 2017 at 8:58 AM ^

Way before much of the board's collective memory but Ty also suffered by staying a year too long.  After the 93 season and his amazing Rose Bowl performance he was projected to go top 3 in the upcoming NFL draft but elected to stay for his final year at Michigan tweaked a hammy that year and fell all the weay to 17 when he was drafted costing himself a LOT of money.

Let's be real here.  If ANY of the "he's making a huge mistake" crowd was offered a multi-million dollar contract their sophomore or junior year at Michigan to go work in their chosen field (whatever that might be) they'd leave school so fast they'd leave burn marks on the carpet.  


May 31st, 2017 at 9:09 AM ^

Most comments (beyond the goober drive-by ones that hate everything) were basically "good luck, but it's a risk at the bottom of the first round without an assurance".  Which remains the case.  He isn't a lock to go in the first round; #24-29 are fluid spots, and teams can change their mind quite a bit especially if there is chaos ahead of them.  And maybe it doesn't matter either way, because if he goes in the top of the 2nd he probably gets a guaranteed contract like Davis did last year.  But there are holes in his game, and in the NBA they can be exploited.  Sure, I would have liked if he came back because it makes Michigan better, and that's a sentiment shared by a number here, but with a year of eligibility left and a chance to maybe play himself into the lottery, it isn't some terrible take to wonder (at the time) if he was taking a risk.


May 31st, 2017 at 9:21 AM ^

Isn't that exactly the point of the poster to whom you replied? Few mocks at the time projected DJ as a first-rounder, so it looked like a bad decision.

I agree with a poster below who observes that some of these ranking jumps are mostly due to DJ's affirmed commitment to the draft, but that doesn't negate that the mock drafts are generally seen as the best information available for evaluating a player's decision.

Of course, any comments then or now that criticize DJ as a person (rather than his decision) are silly, but that's not the point. Folks who thought the decision was bad then were working with information available at the time. With updated mocks, DJ's decision looks more reasonable.


May 31st, 2017 at 3:02 AM ^

Most were making their own "expert" assessment that he was making a big mistake, is not good enough for the first round, won't play minutes for years, etc.  Very few bothered to consider whether there were 30 better prospects, very few bothered to realize that tons of guys go in the first round on less production when they have the kind of potential he does, and very few around here take defense into account (or are capable of evaluating defense) when determining a player's value or "production".

And the draft projections haven't changed much other than the sites that assumed he'd come back so they previously didn't bother to mock him.  It's like a football recruit that hasn't been evaluated and isn't ranked by some services but is 4-star on others.  Once he declared they put him in the first round like most of the rest of the projections.


May 31st, 2017 at 9:34 AM ^

Let's be honest here. People were negative because they were primarily interested how his decision was going to affect their own enjoyment in watching the Michigan basketball next year, not really on how this was going to affect DJ.

DJ made the right choice. We should be happy for him.

Mr. Yost

May 31st, 2017 at 7:40 AM ^

The fact that people still think production matters is crazy to me. Look at all the guys firmly in the lottery who really didn't produce.

Carolina just had a freshman big man who didn't even start keep his name in the draft. The guy about to go #1 lead his team to what, 9 wins playing point guard?

NBA has drafted potential over production for 20+ years now. This isn't a new phenomenon.


May 31st, 2017 at 9:32 AM ^

Fultz averaged 23 ppg, 5.7 boards, 5.9 assists, shot 42% from 3, and had a PER of 28.3  Wilson averaged 11, 5.3, 1.3, and 37%.  He's also 2.5 years older than Fultz, so there may be less room in his game to mature.  Tony Bradley averaged basically the same number of boards as Wilson, has a wingspan of a 7'5" guy, is 2 years younger than Wilson, and had a better PER for a guy who played less than half the minutes Wilson did.

The NBA drafts guys on what they can do now.  Wilson is talented and has a lot of measurables that give you hope he can be a solid stretch 4 in the NBA.  But the NBA does draft guys based on potential AND the ability for that game to translate to the NBA.  Sure, they don't just look at the box score for a guy, but when they have more tape on you they will analyze it more deeply and have a better ability to figure out if you are worthy of a pick.  There's a school of thought that says you should leave as soon as possible because the more teams see you, the more holes they find and the easier it is to fall in the draft.  GRIII is a great example recently here at Michigan.  But at the same time, you had guys like Held, Valentine, Dunn go in the lottery last year probably higher than they would have because of great last seasons as upperclassmen.  So it goes both ways.


May 31st, 2017 at 10:35 AM ^

Last year's draft was probably one of the worst in recent memory and I wouldn't use that as the measuring stick for where prospects will be drafted. This is made more true when you look at the candidates for the NBA rookie of the year voting. Brogdon will probably win it and he got drafted in the 2nd round. The next two guys in the voting were taken in the 2014 draft. GM's in last year's draft were reaching for a lot of players in the first round. Dunn, Valentine, and Heild would be late 1st round picks in this season's talent rich draft


May 30th, 2017 at 11:37 PM ^

I think we all agree he's a talented player that might get picked in the 1st round. We also think he has a few gaps in his skillset that another year under Coach B will help shore up and help him get drafted a decent amount higher.  People thought Trey Burke hit his ceiling after his freshman year but that 2nd season made a huge difference in his value.


May 31st, 2017 at 12:19 AM ^

Trey Burke was also very close to entering the draft for a similar reason.  He was not sure if he reached peak value at the time.  Trey was also a younger prospect without any significant injuries.  

There was absolutely no guarantee that DJ would increase his value in any respect with another year under Belein.  If prospects always progressed linearly, every Belein prospect would never even question staying through their senior years.    

The comments that subtlely imply DJ made the wrong decision are asinine.  DJ is likely going to make millions of dollars.  He can come back and get his degree, and he can still develop while trying to fulfill his lifelong dream.  No, he is not a guaranteed first round pick, but there is absolutely no way to predict that he would improve his stock by staying.



May 31st, 2017 at 3:10 AM ^

ceiling after a mediocre 34.8 percent from three and a freshman-like 18 percent TO rate?  I don't recall anyone thinking he had hit his ceiling.  There were very clear paths to improvement - paths that guys, especially PGs, often make from freshman to sophomore year.

With having injury history and already having played three years of college ball, the calculus was totally different for DJ. Not to mention, he clearly received a very positive assessment at the combine and likely has a first round spot much more solidified than Trey did after his freshman year.


May 30th, 2017 at 11:43 PM ^

Wilson has length and skill and NBA execs drool over that. How long he sticks in the league is going to depend on his motor and toughness. Not trying to be mean but he's soft. If he had Novak's motor he would be a lottery pick.


May 30th, 2017 at 11:49 PM ^

Is this the teams revealing their criteria and judgement more, DJ getting healthier in the last two weeks, or just shuffling names as clickbait?


May 31st, 2017 at 11:21 AM ^

I chatted with DJ on his way home from the combine (we sat next to each other on the flight to Sacramento) and he spoke very highly of his combine experience, even despite his injury.  He hadn't made a decision at the time (or at least, wasn't going to volunteer to me that he had and I didn't ask him directly), but was clearly very happy with how things went.