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Allonzo Trier named an NBA Draft ‘sleeper’ by CBS

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NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

If Allonzo Trier does go undrafted — and the experts believe he will — one national writer thinks NBA teams could be making a big mistake.

Matt Norlander of CBS Sports lists the former Arizona Wildcats guard as one of seven “sleepers” who “could make any team that passes on them look bad.”

Here’s Norlander’s explanation:

The Arizona lead guard averaged 18.1 points, 3.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds and shot a tremendous 62 percent from 2-point range. Any time a guard is clipping the 60-percent point from 2 while taking a fair share of 3-pointers, it’s a great sign. Trier, for what it’s worth, shot 38 percent from 3-point range last season and averaged 5.6 trey attempts.

I like him as a sleeper particularly because of where he is (or isn’t) projected. If he goes undrafted, his agent will have a long line of teams trying to land him right after the 60th pick is in. If he is picked, he’ll line up as a more promising offensive player than at least 20 of the guys taken in the second round. And it’s not just that he can score: I think he’s a good decision-maker with his shots, and I think he’s built to have the best range on his 3-pointer outside of any guard in this draft named Trae Young.

Deandre Ayton was Arizona’s best and most important player last year, but Trier seems to been pushed too far on the backburner over the past two-plus months.

It does seem crazy that an NBA team could sign a player who nearly shot 50/40/90 in a major conference as an undrafted free agent, but it’s the other aspects of Trier’s game that are holding him back, notably his defense and passing ability.

Let’s recap what Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo wrote about Trier, since he summarized it well.

Trier is a dynamic scorer, but his selfish style of play has earned him few admirers among NBA types. The ball sticks in his hands, and you question how he views himself and how willing he’ll be to adjust when he’s not the top perimeter option. He’s not a high-end athlete, which means a lot of contested threes and difficulty attacking the basket—there’s a high bar for guards who are professional scorers, so to speak. He’s not a playmaker or a great defender, and has little appeal beyond his shooting ability. Trier needs to score to be successful and certainly has talent, but needs to reinvent himself a bit to have a chance at sticking in the NBA.

Either way, Trier will get a chance to prove himself.

If he’s not drafted, he will likely sign somewhere pretty quickly and play in NBA Summer League.

Personally, I think Trier will end up going the Kobi Simmons route — sign as a two-way player and split time between the G League and NBA next season.

He’s just too good of a scorer to not get an opportunity somewhere.