The 2019 NBA Draft is two days away and Maryland basketball fans will soon have an answer to their questions: how long does Bruno Fernando stay on the board, and where does he end up?
The Angolan center has long impressed teams with his size and athleticism. Fernando stands at 6’10 with a 7’4 wingspan and 9’1 standing reach, but has remarkable mobility and is a force at the net. He was a First Team All-Big Ten selection this spring and led the Terps to the NCAA Tournament, where they reached the second round.
In the draft process, Fernando’s rankings have varied quite a bit. Some outlets have him as a top-20 prospect, while others have dropped him to a projected second-round pick. There’s a lot uncertainty outside of the top three picks in this year’s draft, so there’s really no telling where he will fall. Either way, he should hear his name called Thursday night.
Take a look at where Fernando is projected to land:
|Yahoo Sports||16||Orlando Magic|
|NBADraft.net||19||San Antonio Spurs|
|Basketball Insiders||24||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Sports Illustrated||27||Brooklyn Nets|
|CBS||28||Golden State Warriors|
|Tankathon||28||Golden State Warriors|
|SB Nation||30||Milwaukee Bucks|
|The Athletic||40||Sacramento Kings|
|The Ringer||42||Philadelphia 76ers|
Yahoo Sports is high on Fernando’s size and successful pre-draft workouts, projecting him to join a Magic frontcourt with Mo Bamba and Aaron Gordon. The Ringer and Basketball Insiders both see Fernando going to the Philadelphia 76ers, although their evaluations of his stock are wildly different. The Ringer sees an upside in Fernando’s body being very NBA-ready at 240 pounds, writing that his “body seems to have been built in a lab.”
CBS and Tankathon see him fitting in well with the Golden State Warriors — with a lack of depth at center and DeMarcus Cousins entering free agency, Fernando may be just who Golden State is looking for. It’s also worth noting that when he worked out with the Atlanta Hawks, who hold the 8th, 10th and 17th picks in the draft and already have two Terps on their roster, he was the only player asked into the coach’s office to go over film and have further talks.
Fernando’s strengths include his rebounding and passing, and The Ringer also emphasized his “clean shooting form,” which gives him the potential to be a strong NBA three-point shooter. The biggest question marks revolve around his ball-handling skills and defensive awareness. His athleticism will earn him a chance, but some scouts seem unsure what kind of role he’ll fill in the league.
There are still questions, but they will be answered Thursday night, and Maryland fans will have a new team to pull for during the NBA season.