Stock watch: Top Jayhawks project as 2nd-round picks in 2018 NBA Draft

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets around Missouri guard C.J. Roberts (0) during the first half of the Showdown for Relief exhibition, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets around Missouri guard C.J. Roberts (0) during the first half of the Showdown for Relief exhibition, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. by Nick Krug

Devonte’ Graham’s shooting display in Miami this past weekend was so impactful it wowed Heat president Pat Riley, who, according to Kansas coach Bill Self, said the senior guard “put on a show” in a victory over Syracuse.

That 35-point deluge alone — even coupled with Graham’s 35-point outburst versus Toledo that preceded it — won’t guarantee the 6-foot-2 Jayhawks veteran a spot in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.

In a new mock draft from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (formerly of DraftExpress.com) released on Tuesday, neither Graham’s name nor the those of any of his teammates appear in the first round.

As of early December at least, with 24 regular-season games and an entire postseason in front of him, Graham is considered an early second-rounder. Givony projects KU’s current leading scorer (18.6 points per game, 46% field goals, 41% 3-pointers) as the 38th pick overall, a slot occupied for the moment by the Memphis Grizzlies.

The charismatic senior also has shown improvements in other areas of his game, with career-best averages of 4.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists at this early juncture of the non-conference schedule.

ESPN’s predictions consider another KU senior, 20-year-old shooting guard Svi Mykhailiuk, a second-round talent, as well.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) puts up a shot over Toledo forward Luke Knapke (30) and Toledo forward Nate Navigato (35) during the first half on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) puts up a shot over Toledo forward Luke Knapke (30) and Toledo forward Nate Navigato (35) during the first half on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Givony’s mock draft forecasts Mykhailiuk being taken eight picks after Graham, 46th overall, by Utah.

After testing out the draft process this past spring without signing on with an agent, Mykhailiuk’s final go-around with the Jayhawks is off to a promising start, with improved defense and a better-than-ever 3-point stroke.

The 6-foot-8 guard from Ukraine enters Wednesday’s non-conference matchup with Washington in Kansas City, Mo., averaging 17.1 points, fueled by 25-for-46 accuracy (54.3%) from beyond the 3-point arc.

Mykhailiuk, while not as well-rounded as Graham, also has picked up his rebounding (4.0 a game) and passing (1.9 assists) with increased playing time as a senior.

The Kansas seniors are the only Jayhawks on ESPN’s mock draft in the first week of December. However, Givony’s list of top 100 prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft also includes junior Lagerald Vick, listed at No. 61, and sophomore Malik Newman, 92nd.

A great deal can change between now and the NCAA Tournament, let alone in the pre-draft workouts and interviews that follow the season. Graham and Mykhailiuk won’t soar into lottery status, but both appear to be on trajectories that could get them closer to — or maybe even into — the first round in the months ahead.

Comments

Suzi Marshall

I clicked on the provide link to Givony's ESPN site. I can believe he/ESPN expects people to pay real money for a load of BS.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Steve Zimmerman

Lillard is 6'3''. Tae needs to showcase his leaps and driving prowess before entering 1st round. Fair enough. Wait till he can light up from downtown with precision and quicker trigger by the end of the season; combined with his court vision - it'll be stupid not to draft Tae earlier.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Alan Dickey

So, who is going to be gone from this amazing roster?:

FRONT COURT
C - Udoka Azubuike / Jr. / 7-0 / 280
C - David McCormack / Fr. / 6-10/ 260 (Rivals #33)
PF - Dedric Lawson / RS-Jr. / 6-9 / 230
PF - Billy Preston / So. / 6-10 / 230
PF - Silvio De Sousa / Fr. / 6-9 / 240 (Rivals #25)
PF - Mitch Lightfoot / Jr. / 6-8 / 210

WING
SG - LaGerald Vick / Sr. / 6-5 / 175
SF - KJ Lawson / RS-So. / 6-8 / 210
SF - Sam Cunliffe / RS-Jr. / 6-6 / 190

BACKCOURT
SG - Malik Newman / RS-Jr. / 6-3 / 190
PG - Devon Dotson / Fr. / 6-1 / 180 (Rivals #17)
PG - Marcus Garrett / So. / 6-5 / 180
PG - Charlie Moore / RS-So. / 5-11 / 170

1 week, 4 days ago

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Jonathan Allison

if Udoka and Vick aren't NBA ready, then Billy Preston would be the percentage play.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Michael Gentemann

You forgot Quentin Grimes

1 week, 4 days ago

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Allan Olson

And Quentin makes 14 scholarship players when added to the above list. NCAA limits each school to 13, right? So, who's the odd man out! Can somebody explain this to me? And, why is Coach still interested in one or two more recruits? This math makes no sense!!!

1 week, 3 days ago

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Robert Brock

Garrett is a shooting guard. Grimes will play mostly at the 3 spot.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Tim Orel

I'm amazed Udoka isn't a top-100 talent. Simply from size alone. Granted, he's still young and he'll have just over a year of college ball, but that's interesting.

1 week, 3 days ago

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Jonathan Allison

I agree, I think that his body will make him a first rounder. Granted he definitely has some rough edges and some things to improve. If he can become a >60% free throw shooter then his upside should land him in the lottery.

1 week, 3 days ago

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Dirk Medema

I see 0 chance that Dok comes back. Yes yes he has plenty to learn but he doesn't have to learn to be huge or while going to class on student wages.

Gerald coming back would seem dependent on how the season ends. He's playing exceptionally well. If that continues successfully through the end of the season he'll leave a champion ala Mario. I see it less likely he comes back because while he would be the elder statesman of the team he wouldn't be the leader on the floor as much as Sherron, Frank, Devonte (PGs).

Whether Billy leaves or not will likely be determined in the next month. This assumes there's some resolution. Hopefully he's picked up enough that he won't be a liability on D in particular. It is pretty apparent that he has the O ability but the question is will the rest of his game be developed enough to steal enough minutes from the others. Then it might be a matter of does he think he'll get the minutes in a deep frontcourt next year. I'd expect him to test the waters regardless.

It is always possible Malik comes out of his funk also. Lots of games to be played.

1 week, 3 days ago

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Alex Beal

Dok will not be drafted this year. The NBA game has changed. nbadraft.net has Vick in the first round. si.com has Graham in the first round. Malik will be at KU until his handle gets better.

1 week, 3 days ago

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