• Cameron Wright

7 NBA Draft Prospects to Keep an Eye on This Year

The Cardinal Connect

If you’re here to read about James Wiseman, R.J Hampton, or the Italian Medallion Nico Mannion, then prepare to be disappointed. These A-List prospects will have a spotlight all season, and there are plenty of intriguing assets that may not get the recognition they deserve throughout this NCAA season. Here are some young men that may make a considerable impact around the 2020 Draft.

Samuell Williamson, SF Louisville

Before you ask, no. He’s not related to Zion. However, this 6-7” wing is one of the most elite scorers in this incoming freshman class. He’s got nearly limitless range, and a soft touch around the rim. Joining the already elite Chris Mack-led Cardinals, Williamson will be one of the deadly scorers to watch in the ACC this season.

Kerry Blackshear Jr, F Florida

Blackshear Jr. was one of the most sought-after transfers this offseason. He was a key piece on an elite Virginia Tech team, handling scoring down low and controlling the glass. With his 6-10”, 250lb frame, he will make a sizeable impact in the Gator’s frontcourt, and be on the wishlist for any NBA team that’s looking for a forward in the draft.

E.J Montgomery, F Kentucky

Don’t let last season’s 3.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG fool you, this 6-10” Sophomore has the ability to do what his teammate P.J Washington did last year for the Wildcats. Look for Montgomery to develop into an elite stretch forward who can hold down the paint on the defensive end.

Kai Jones, C Texas

Texas has become a hot spot for young big men to develop and prepare for the NBA with players. Kai Jones joins the likes of players like Myles Turner and most recently Jaxson Hayes.

This 6-10” center out of Orlando may look a bit lanky, but he makes up for it with his ability to run the court, send back shots on defense, and even step out beyond the arc and make you pay from deep.

Terry Armstrong, G Southeast Melbourne Phoenix

Along with R.J Hampton, this top-50 prospect chose to skip college after signing a letter of intent with the Arizona Wildcats, and chose to play overseas to develop professionally. The 6-8” wing from Flint, Michigan has incredible driving power, a deadly spot up jump shot, and incredible court vision for his size.

Overseas leagues are becoming more viable options for young talent. Armstrong could have been a central player for an already stacked Arizona team, but instead will force NBA teams to keep their eyes peeled abroad.

Xavier Tillman, F Michigan State

Putting up 19 points and 9 rebounds to knock out Duke in the Elite Eight is no small feat. Tillman, who will be a Junior this year, was a key player in the Spartans tournament run last March and will be crucial to their success this year as well. Although Tillman may seem undersized at first, being 6-8, he has 260 pounds of raw muscle that demands respect in the paint. As he is quickly developing a silky jumpshot, Tillman could be an incredible steal in next year’s draft.

Mamadi Diakite, F Virginia

De’Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy may have led the charge for the National Champion Cavaliers last season, but there would be no celebration for Virginia had Diakite not sent the Elite-Eight thriller against Purdue to OT with his incredible buzzer-beating tip-in. The 6 8” forward from Guinea did a lot of much needed maturing last March and stepped up to the plate for the Cavs.

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