In case you missed it, Zeke Nnaji is reportedly the first Arizona Wildcats freshman to throw his hat into the 2020 NBA Draft after averaging an efficient 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds and being named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
Fellow UA freshmen Nico Mannion and Josh Green are expected to follow suit eventually.
The pre-draft process could be virtually non-existent this year due to the coronavirus crisis, which could mean NBA personnel have to rely heavily on college game tape to evaluate players as opposed to getting their own up-close look at them.
For now, the draft is scheduled for June 25, and Nnaji has until June 15 to withdraw his name from consideration, though that is not expected to happen.
Here is what Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo wrote about Nnaji’s pro potential:
Nnaji has been extremely effective despite playing a somewhat predictable style as a scorer—he’s a good offensive rebounder, has great touch that lets him take and make a lot of short and mid-range jumpers, and if he extends that range beyond the arc on a consistent basis, he could fit into a rotation as an energy guy. Nnaji isn’t great defensively, both at the rim or in space, and still has to get up to speed on that end. It’s possible he remains efficient playing against NBA size, adds strength and becomes a viable stretch big, but he could also struggle to consistently find the same types of shots and touches in the paint that are often available to him in college. He’ll have to become a much better face-up player to stick, and makes more sense as a late first-rounder than he does in the Top 20.
Do other outlets agree? Here is where Nnaji stands in several mock drafts, including Woo’s:
- Bleacher Report: Outside Top 30
- CBS: 30th
- NBADraft.net: 23rd
- Sporting News: Outside Top 30
- SB Nation: Outside Top 30
- ESPN: 34th (early second round)
- The Athletic: 29th
- Sports Illustrated: 25th
- NBC Sports: 28th
The consensus? Nnaji is a fringe first-round pick.