With the NBA Draft Combine rolling along and plenty of attention being paid to the top prospects available, it is easy to overlook players that project to land comfortably outside the top-20 overall picks. Those prospects can exist in a variety of ways, ranging from high-floor, proven college veterans to high-ceiling, risky athletes will all kinds of potential and plenty of downside. However, teams can extract all kinds of value if they are able to unearth talent between picks 20 and 40. Today, our mission at this (very) early stage is to point to a few potential diamonds in the rough.
From a criteria perspective, players include below are widely projected in the second round, even with full knowledge that a few of them could pop into the top 30 picks if a team falls in love. Famously, it only takes one front office to change a calculus on a player but, in the same breath, it is instructive to work from a consensus at this point. These players might be viewed as second rounders, but don’t be surprised if they end up sticking around and having productive NBA careers.
Jevon Carter – PG, West Virginia
Carter will be 23 years old when his first professional season starts and that is sure to scare some NBA teams (and online scouts) away from him as a prospect. That, however, would be a mistake.
His physical limitations are legitimate, as Carter measured a shade under 6’2 at the combine with only average athleticism. Still, he is an utterly terrifying defensive prospect, as the West Virginia standout is the best on-ball defender in this entire class. It is fair to point out that Carter may be a specialist at the NBA level and that means a bench role in most places, although he did hit 39.3 percent of his threes and 85.8 percent of his free throws as a senior.
Regardless, Carter would be a great sidekick to a primary offensive initiator on the wing and his mentality is infectious in the best possible way.