The NBA Draft gets underway on Thursday night, so now is a good time to check in on when Maryland basketball’s entrants are expected to hear their names called.
The Terps have two draft hopefuls this year in Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson. Huerter exploded onto the scene later in the process, initially entering without an agent before a stellar showing on the draft combine’s first day. He worked out for a handful of teams in the middle of the first round, and isn’t expected to slide past guaranteed contract territory.
On the other hand, Jackson has still been hindered through the pre-draft process with the same injury that shut him down early this season. After entering the draft last season without an agent and tantalizing scouts, the forward is likely to hear his name called near the end of the second round at best.
Entering the combine, the two were viewed similarly in terms of their draft range. Huerter separated himself from the clutter of names in the class, while Jackson’s stock has been relatively the same, if not worse.
The Draft will take place in Huerter’s home state, getting underway at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on June 21 at 7 p.m. ET.
Kevin Huerter — stock: through the roof
SI (Big Board): 18
Ringer (Mock Draft): 21
ESPN (Big Board): 20
Entering the combine, Huerter was viewed as likely to return barring an breakout performance. But that’s exactly what happened, and he made the tough withdrawal-deadline decision to stay in this year’s draft, where he’s almost certain to hear his name called in the first round. He was invited to be one of the NBA’s “green room” participants on Thursday night, but the Clifton Park, New York, native decided to watch with his friends and family, according to The Baltimore Sun’s Don Markus.
In a draft heavy on big men, the wing stands out as one of the best shooters in the class. At the next level, he profiles as a versatile 3-and-D player with upside as a playmaker on the offensive end, and the ability to guard multiple positions on the other end. There’s a rumor that the Lakers may have promised him at No. 25, but he may not last that long. Even after a hand surgery, all signs point to Huerter being the highest Maryland selection since Alex Len was taken fifth by the Suns in 2013.
Justin Jackson — stock: slightly down
No longer the shiny, new prospect on the block, Jackson is barely hanging on to relevance in this class. After only playing 11 games before being shut down with a torn labrum, the Canadian entered the draft with an agent, but was only able to participate in measurements at the combine.
He’s a likely late second-rounder, and could potentially go undrafted, but has also worked out for the Lakers. The 6’7 forward underwent surgery in January and will be able to participate in contact work come July, according to PressBox. He’s been able to go through some drills, but will have to hope he’s done enough to convince a team he’s worth a flier. If a team bites, he may end up being one of the draft’s sleepers.