SI latest mock draft has DJ to Lakers with 28th pick

Submitted by KennyHiggins on May 17th, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Don't shoot the messenger - I still think he and Moe need one more year.  Should be an interesting week.  Have to fish or cut bait by May 24



May 17th, 2017 at 11:24 AM ^

And Bleacher Report has him going #38. The variability of mock drafts and lack of consensus is just terrible for these kids. There has to be a better system. Would be great if they could decide to return to college if they are not taken in the 1st.

38. Chicago Bulls (via Kings): DJ Wilson (Michigan, SF/PF, Junior)


    The first round sounds like a stretch for Wilson, who only averaged 11 points as a junior. But he'll still draw interest for his unique versatility as a 6'10" forward with some handles, range and defensive quickness.


    May 17th, 2017 at 11:33 AM ^

    I hope so, but that's not my point. For every mock draft that has him late first there's another that has him middle second. You could take 5 mock drafts and there are probably 50 different names that show up in the first round. 20 of those kids will have made bad decisions. It's a flawed system for everyone involved.


    May 17th, 2017 at 11:55 AM ^

    That is your point, though.  Players are not looking at random websites to determine their draft stock.  They are talking with coaches and scouts from team directly.  There is no perfect system, but if you haven't been told by any team that "yes, we want you in the first round under circumstances X, Y and Z" then maybe you know you are unlikely to go in the first round.


    May 17th, 2017 at 12:01 PM ^

    Yep, just providing a yin to the OP's yang. He cherry picked a mock draft that shows DJ going 28th. I googled nba mock draft and BR was the first one that popped up for me and it showed him going 38th, just to show the variability and noise that's out there.

    There will be a dozen kids that leave early because they received poor/inaccurate information which is a shame.


    May 18th, 2017 at 9:54 AM ^

    Here's a "point:"  both players are probably getting just as wide a range of estimates from professionals as they are from the amateurs on BR.  Unscrupulous team personnel will often tell a player they want him in the first round, only to not take him at all.  Various scouts have various ways of assessing players.

    I would be willing to bet that both have been told they are mid-first round picks by at least one professional and both have been told they are mid-second round picks by another.  They system is not only flawed; it is weighted in the NBA's favor.  

    The NCAA should just allow players to enter the draft but still play if they haven't signed a pro contract.  They are making some players bet their futures on an inside straight.  I still can't figure out why the NCAA would kiss the NBA's butt so badly when it hurts their own product, not to mention the "student athletes" they are supposed to "represent."

    Lee Everett

    May 17th, 2017 at 12:05 PM ^

    To be more exact, of those twenty, only the underclassmen made a decision of any kind; the seniors were draft eligible regardless.…

    To help your point: Last year three freshman, seven sophomores, and twenty juniors went undrafted.

    It was the first year with the rule change that allowed players to go through the combine and one team workout before withdrawing, (58 out of 117 underclassmen withdrew).  The data is fresh and last year may not be like this year, but I hope someone pointed out to them that 46% of the underclassmen had to scramble to keep their hoop dreams alive after not hearing their names called in either round.

    Lee Everett

    May 17th, 2017 at 4:42 PM ^

    That's the curious thing.  

    When they submit their names for early entry, they get some feedback about where they're expected to land.  Let's say both got late-first/-early second grades.  

    They decide to stick it out and go to the combine and try to boost their stock, hoping to get into that mid-first/late-first range.  They can manipulate the combine a bit, showing off strengths or hiding weaknesses and choosing to hold out of certain events.  

    They then get to work out with a team, and hope to get a promise from them, or at least compel them to reach on that player.  Maybe you are expected to go in the 15-30 range, but all it takes is one team to fall in love with you and draft high.  

    It happened with Hardaway Jr., happened with McGary, happened with Caris.  All went higher than we expected.

    Now, think about all the stages where an early entry player who went undrafted could have gotten the invaluable feedback they needed.  If your initial grade doesn't mention the first round, drop out!  If you have a bad combine, drop out!  If you didn't absolutely shine in the individual workout, drop out!  

    They're deluded somehow, either getting bad advice from someone, being lied to by scouts/management, or are just too far seduced by hoop dreams to quit now.  I'd be interested in comparing the high school rankings of the undrafted kids, just to see if and when they drank their own kool-aid and never adapted to new feedback.


    May 17th, 2017 at 11:32 AM ^

    I've come to the conclusion that in all likelihood we're going to have Wagner and not DJ next fall. Anything more is a nice surprise.

    uncle leo

    May 17th, 2017 at 11:39 AM ^

    Wagner apparently just had a really bad combine. With the 5 on 5s, he was exposed as a poor rebounder and defender and his team always performed better without him on the court. He HAS to come back.

    I still feel there's enough mystery to DJ Wilson that he can land in the first round.


    May 17th, 2017 at 11:38 AM ^

    He's been in the late 20s in a bunch of drafts, it'll come down to whether he is comfortable with early 2nd enough to take a shot at the first round.

    Leaders And Best

    May 17th, 2017 at 11:52 AM ^

    Outside of SI, where are you seeing this?

    ESPN no longer has him in the 1st round. ESPN actually has Moritz Wagner at 30 because he is a prime draft-and-stash candidate.

    DraftExpress has DJ Wilson at 30.

    Sporting News, CBS Sports, and USA TODAY no longer has either listed in the 1st round.

    A lot of guys look like they have played their way into the 1st round in the last week bumping both of them down and out.



    May 17th, 2017 at 12:01 PM ^

    sbnation has been bullish on him the entire cycle and has him in the top 20. I guess I view 30 on draft express as the same as 28 which is just late first round option.  That would be three in the first round to 3 in the second.  He's right in the mix for a late first round pick. 

    Leaders And Best

    May 17th, 2017 at 12:16 PM ^

    EDIT: I missed it. Did not expect to see him listed at #17. But I really don't trust the mock drafts from people who are not covering the Combine or talking to agents/scouts. This seems like a huge outlier.


    May 17th, 2017 at 11:43 AM ^

    Like Corundum said, DJ is getting better info from the teams themselves. If a team says they're going to draft him in the 1st round, he's going. But if I had to guess, I doubt he gets that assurance this year.


    May 17th, 2017 at 11:52 AM ^

    As much as I want to see DJ back, I don't think he will improve his stock all that much by doing so. It's doubtful he plays himself into the lottery. He should do what's best for him. I just don't see how moving maybe a few picks up in the draft really does anything for him.

    Leaders And Best

    May 17th, 2017 at 12:02 PM ^

    I think the more important question is he ready to play in the NBA? If you are not in the 1st round, you do not get a guaranteed contract. The 1st 5-10 picks of the second round is not a bad place to be selected because most of those guys do better for money than late 1st, but you need to be able to play to make that happen. If you are not ready to play in the NBA, getting selected in the 2nd round is risky as you will probably end up trying to scratch your way in from the D-League.

    Glenn Robinson III was living on the edge his first couple years in the NBA and had to prove his worth to stay in the league.


    May 17th, 2017 at 12:52 PM ^

    Caleb Swanigan will never be a lottery pick despite being the B10 player of year two years in a row. If you are not a sure fire pick after three years on campus, you will likely not be after a fourth. DJ also had injury issues in the past. He is going to be a late first or early second either this year or the next. Either way, he's getting a contract.

    Caris was still relatively young when he made his decision and potentially could have played himself into the lottery. Injuries derailed that.

    McGary would have been a lottery pick (if he didn't smoke pot and played one more year instead of having to sit out) but he had to weigh what teams would think if he didn't substantially improve by the time he was 23 (when he would be available if he had stayed at Michigan). DJ similarly is not that young for a NBA prospect. He's going to be 22 next year.


    May 17th, 2017 at 1:34 PM ^

    I don't think McGary was getting into the lottery had he stayed. I don't really see him displacing any of the lottery picks in 2015, and, increasingly, there's not a place for players like him (bigs that don't protect the rim or space the floor) in the NBA. Maybe if he stays, he develops a pick and pop game that he was never able to build in the NBA or d-league (and OKC has been an absymal team for him, both in terms of their roster and in terms of its offensive player development).

    In fact, 2014 was probably a better time for him to go because the NBA hadn't yet fully gone to the floor spacing offense that currently dominate the league. He probably got over-drafted given the way the league was moving.

    Here's the 2015 draft:


    May 17th, 2017 at 3:44 PM ^

    Good points.  You may be right.  

    I thought at the time McGary would have improved with one more year of Belein under him but for the fact that I don't believe in hindsight he had the requisite focus.  To me, he just needed a relatively consistent midrange jumper, and he would be worth a top 15 pick.    


    May 18th, 2017 at 2:48 AM ^

    he wasn't an elite rim protector but he could block shots and he had a freakishly high steal rate for a big.  He brought enough to the defensive end that, along with his stellar rebounding, could have carved a solid niche in the NBA even without a pick and pop game. There is plenty of room for plus defenders and plus rebounders as bigs even if they don't do much on offense other than set screens and finish off the PnR (both of which he's also very good at).

    Alas, drugs.


    May 17th, 2017 at 11:58 AM ^

    I had DJ going to Sacramento Kings and Moe going to Memphis Grizzlies.

    who wants to play for those teams?

    I think they should come back to M.


    May 17th, 2017 at 12:00 PM ^

    Are we still following daily mock drafts? These things are hands down the dumbest development in sports. I'm surprised people aren't still debating the NFL draft as they're so in need of attention and airtime.


    May 17th, 2017 at 12:08 PM ^

    I just have a feeling that he's a solid first-round pick because he has the chance to be the perfect, modern NBA big man. I'd love to see him go to my Nuggets, where he would be a great running mate for Nikola Jokic. 


    May 18th, 2017 at 3:00 AM ^

    then, the answer from at least one NBA team is clearly, yes, you're ready enough that we want to give you a gauranteed contract.  And that's huge.  So draft position is everything.  That's the indicator of whether he's ready.  

    If definitely first round, he should go.  If unclear, he should come back.  And it sounds like that's what his plan is, but I suppose he might risk it, if its close to 50/50.


    May 17th, 2017 at 2:08 PM ^

    I don't know why people keep saying that a year won't make a difference. He was good for like 7 games at the end of the season this year and disappeared in many games early on. If he puts it together for a full season, he is going in the lottery. If he goes this year, he might be going in the second round.


    May 17th, 2017 at 6:56 PM ^

    Shit, before this year, a large portion of our own fan base was questioning why Wilson was offered a shcolarship. Wilson isn't like most kids who are in school for 4 years because he really hasn't shown anything outside of about 15-20 games his entire college career. Not sure why people think he can't help his stock by coming back


    May 17th, 2017 at 7:09 PM ^

    Last year was very much an outlier, given that you have to go back to 2009 to find the last time multiple seniors went in the lottery. Of course, the lottery is quite an arbitrary cutoff, and Wilson would need to make a rare Buddy Hield type leap to get there. Still, he's likely to go higher next year for no other reason than the class won't be as strong.


    May 18th, 2017 at 3:11 AM ^

    a narrative that he was only good at the end of the year.

    He came out and was a revelation in NYC, scoring an efficient 10 pts and grabbing 12 boards against Marquette.  He was the kenpom MVP against IUPUI and Texas.

    He had arguably his best stretch of the season at the beginning of conference play when he absolutely dominated Iowa for 28 pts, 14 rebs and 6 assists (!!!).  He played great at Illinois in the 4th game of the big ten season, scored in double digits in the first 5 games of conference play.

    He actually had a mediocre stretch starting with MSU through Nebraska at the end of conference play.  He was consistently inconsistent with streaks of brilliance scattered evenly throughout the year.

    It was at the end when we put him at center that his rim protecting was really able to shine through, so maybe that's what has people off?


    May 17th, 2017 at 2:25 PM ^

    I see so many comments opining that DJ needs another year before he is ready. I agree that DJ could benefit from another year, but this notion of readiness needs to die. The NBA doesnt care if a player is "ready." Sure, DJ needs to be stronger in his lower body to rebound better. He will get stronger either as a pro or a Wolverine next year. It doesn't matter.

    The reason he is a first round prospect is because he has an intriguing combination of length, athletecism, and skill. Could he improve his 3pt% by a few points? Sure, but that improvement may come no matter what uniform he puts on. It doesnt matter to his draft stock.

    DJ can be a top 15 pick next year if he returns to Michigan and converts that potential into production. He can make the transition from a potentially dominant player into a legitimately dominant player and find himself in the top half of the first round. He needs to have a 17pts/8reb/3ast/3blk type of season.

    If his production matches his potential, he is a lottery pick.


    May 17th, 2017 at 2:38 PM ^

    Honestly I'm surprised by any talk of Michigan guys going in the draft. I haven't followed all of CBB too closely, but can only assume it's a relatively weak draft pool overall if DJ and Wagner keep creeping into mock drafts. No offense to them at all, just don't seem like NBA material at the moment to my untrained eye. Maybe Wagner, but even still.


    May 17th, 2017 at 4:08 PM ^

    NBA drafts a lot on potential.  Players tend to get a lot better when they can focus on basketball.  A 6'9 guy with the length to occasionally guard the 5 who has a stroke to hit three is a dream player to build on for an NBA team.