Arizona Wildcats should soak in every moment of the Nico Mannion-Josh Green era because it’s probably not going to last very long.
Sports Illustrated released its first 2020 NBA Mock Draft on Wednesday and both are projected to be first-round picks.
SI’s Jeremy Woo projects Mannion will be selected 11th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Green will picked 24th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Here is a portion of Woo’s analysis for Mannion:
While Mannion has grown to 6’3” and his body has begun to fill out, scouts have understandable questions about how well his game translates athletically at the highest level. His upside is somewhat capped by the fact he’ll never be a physically dominant playmaker. But his savvy and change of speeds has gotten him to this point, and as long as his jump shooting continues to progress well, Mannion should be able to carve out a pro career of some substance. There’s an it factor to his game that has always popped.
Here’s part of what Woo has to say about Green:
He’s a well-rounded wing and elite run-jump athlete who could be a useful glue guy at the next level. The Australian native will likely have to make his money on defense, where his length and physicality could make a difference, and where he’s shown a commitment to being a stopper in the past. To maximize his potential on the other end, his offense needs to improve in all facets, including cleaning up a somewhat basic handle and demonstrating consistency as a jump shooter. Green has a decent feel and should be able to finish plays, but if he can’t generate offense for himself or others, some of his upside will be capped.
The other Wildcat who could get drafted in 2020 is fellow freshman Zeke Nnaji, who has been impressing in practice, recently winning the gold jersey. At 6-foot-11 with good mobility and a diverse skill set, he is a nice fit for this pace-and-space era of basketball.
But he will have to prove himself this season because he does not enter college with the same kind of pedigree as Mannion and Green, who were McDonald’s All-Americans.
Arizona, by the way, is not the only Pac-12 school to have two players projected to be first-rounders. Washington freshman Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart are projected to be picked 10th and 14th, respectively.