2022 NBA Draft profile: Sixers should think about Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley

The 2022 NBA Draft might be held on Thursday, June 23. Because the Nets determined to defer the choose owed to them as a part of the James Harden commerce, the Sixers will choose twenty third general. Forward of the draft, we’ll have a look at a number of prospects that would match the Sixers and be lifelike potentialities at No. 23.

Increasingly more indicators level to Daryl Morey and Elton Model buying and selling their 2022 NBA Draft choose. The rumor with essentially the most legs is that they are buying Danny Inexperienced together with choose no. 23. But when they do decide to maintain this one, they could think about taking one other very huge swing.

And at 6-5, 187 kilos, a 19 year-old guard out of Notre DameBlake Wesley simply may match that invoice.

The South Bend IN. native appeared in 35 video games final season, dropping 14.4 factors on 40.4% capturing from the ground, 30.3% from deep, 65.7% from the stripe, to go together with 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per outing. He offered that coveted triple-threat talent set, and confirmed he is a expertise who can assist his staff off-ball and as a playmaker too.

Wesley made the 2021-22 All-ACC Second Group, and the 2021-22 All-ACC Freshman Group. Some people questioned if he may make a lottery leap in 2023 by sticking round yet one more season, however he’ll be a one-and-done… Notre Dame’s first ever.

Solely a choose few of your favourite Sixers prospects obtained Inexperienced Room invitations (for the projected high 20 picks). Wesley is a kind of guys. Tari Eason, Jalen Williams, MarJon Beauchamp and Wesley for instance received Inexperienced Room invitations for Thursday’s draft, whereas Jaden Hardy, Dalen Terry, Kendall Brown, Kennedy Chandler, EJ Liddell didn’t.

And you’ll see a few of why, at instances he regarded like a professional amongst faculty gamers, like that point he drained six triples vs. Wake Forrest:

Rankings:

  • ESPN has him ranked twenty seventh general.
  • The Ringer: twenty first
  • The Athletic: twenty fourth
  • CBS: twenty sixth

Strengths

Picture by Ronald Martinez/Getty Photographs

Wesley has some thrilling burst, and is comfy with change of tempo and path in small areas. He has put each slithery in addition to ferocious finishes on show in simply 35 video games at Notre Dame. He mixes feline quickness, squeezing by way of slim areas, with uncooked energy using a robust decrease physique, and has proven sufficient to color an summary portrait of a flexible two-way NBA combo guard sooner or later.

Watching his movie, I am shocked I have never heard his title talked about extra in Sixersville. He is a powerful prospect.

Among the many nation’s high ball handlers, Wesley was just too laborious to remain in entrance of for many defenders, creating invaluable paint touches for his staff through isolation, and ball display screen motion, whereas brandishing uncooked playmaking chops as effectively.

As Jake Rosen, who our Jackson Frank not too long ago caught up with, may let you know, paint touches are what it is all about.

He is even proven a flare for large moments, drilling some clutch photographs for the Irish vs. Georgia Tech, Boston Faculty, College of Kentucky, and most notably, vs. Alabama within the match.

Defensively, he is proven he can keep together with his man, has fluid hips, fast ft and good steadiness. Because the yr went on, he developed a knack for choosing off passes as effectively (44 whole steals) and creating excessive proportion transition appears to be like for the Blue and Gold.

Wesley is an aggressive, and assured prospect. That may work for and in opposition to him. However he was a significant a part of the Preventing Irish’s second match win over Alabama, ending 8 of 14 with 18 factors and three steals on the large stage.

Wesley excelled in pick-and-roll conditions:

He is an excellent athlete who’d convey any staff some tantalizing agility on the wing.

His plus 6-9 wingspan and 8-7 standing attain assist him on each ends of the ground, lending credence to the speculation he may sooner or later guard 1-3 within the huge leagues and enhance his ending on the rim.

Per ESPN, from Mar. 2022:

“Wesley is a big-time expertise who has NBA ft and shift off the dribble, can get a bit of the paint at will and has at the least proven sufficient off the dribble capturing potential to counsel there’s room to enhance. With a robust pre-draft course of, it isn’t out of the query that Wesley will get appears to be like all through the kids, particularly if he shoots the ball effectively.”

It stays to be seen if Wesley did sufficient within the pre-draft course of to warrant a choose within the teenagers, but it surely’s clear that he is impressed by exhibiting some severe NBA degree burst.

Weaknesses

2022 NBA Draft Combine Circuit

Picture by Brian Sevald/NBAE through Getty Photographs

Wesley likes to play on ball, his utilization price was 31.3, and there is not a obvious want for an additional ball dominant participant on many contending groups deciding on on this vary. And he’d in all probability be higher served in a secondary, tertiary or off-ball position early in his profession. However his catch and shoot sport his is probably not prepared for all that.

He was simply 32 p.c on catch and shoot jumpers, and 33 p.c on all jumpers.

As Mike Schmitz wrote, earlier than he left ESPN for the Portland Trailblazers:

“Among the many 143 gamers to take at the least 130 photographs on the rim within the half court docket, Wesley ranks 142nd in effectivity. He will even must show himself as a fringe shooter all through the pre-draft course of, as he completed the yr at 30.3% from 3.”

So regardless of the clear upside and expertise, there’s a rawness to Wesley’s sport that leaves scouts questioning when (or if) he can put all of it collectively.

Turnovers and perimeter capturing have been actually points for him at instances final yr. He completed simply 3 of 14 within the ultimate elimination sport vs. Texas Tech with three turnovers. The sport regarded a bit of quick for him at that time.

There are the lackluster capturing splits the freshman completed with: 40.4/30.3/65.7.

Newer appears to be like:

His ease attending to his spots, and creating separation, his obvious consolation capturing off dribble tease at some upside as a leap shooter. However the reality stays, his present kind his is n’t a completed product. And which may be why he settles for contested pull ups too usually when his most popular rim assaults his get stymied.

His capturing mechanics are compact however there was a touch of catapult motion final yr, as he pulls the ball in the direction of his face with a bent elbow then fires, missing optimum arc:

If this leap shot comes alongside, he’ll doubtless be a serious steal the place he is projected to be picked. However as a result of vital, lasting enchancment for shooters is rarely a positive factor, Wesley slides into the second spherical of some mocks.

Right here, his free throw kind exhibits he is received a lot of the ideas down, but it surely nonetheless appears to be like a bit Frank Ntilikina stiff:

This exaggerated backwards lean (see his hips out in entrance of his shoulders) hints an an imbalance:

However he is labored on it a ton since and it does look a bit smoother these days. The suitable elbow can end low, however that is workable.

His capturing arm is simply too low. He must stick with it, elbow eye-level so he will get extra arc. Lock out that elbow, and freeze the comply with by way of.

Match on Sixers

If the Sixers resolve to maintain this choose, it will likely be tempting to take one of many highest upside prospects on this vary. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor instructed Philadelphia take Wesley as a result of he appears to be like like he can get buckets. KOC sees shades of Tyler Herro, Jamal Crawford, and Bones Hyland in Wesley’s sport. Although I am unsure I might agree on these comps, given the smoothness of these dudes’ leap photographs, I can actually get behind the concept of ​​drafting BW is that they preserve this choose.

Do the Sixers really feel a way of confidence they will work with a prospect who is sort of however not all the best way there but?

Recall, Tyrese Maxey’s launch wasn’t as clean as it’s at the moment:

Maxey had the fundamental basis of an excellent shot. So if Philadelphia’s entrance workplace thinks Wesley does too, thinks he is a tireless employee, thinks they can assist him with the remainder, then this choose makes loads of sense.

Talking of…Krysten Peek caught up with B-Dub, who’s an enormous Maxey fan (emoji eyes):

KRYSTEN PEEK: What NBA gamers do you watch and attempt to emulate your sport after?

BLAKE WESLEY: Tyrese Maxey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Oh, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander?

BLAKE WESLEY: Yeah, him. And Caris Le Vert. Individuals remind me Caris LeVert, as a result of I received the motion like him and like the flexibility to leap like him and just like the bounce like him.

However nonetheless, the probabilities that Wesley can’t earn minutes this coming season appear respectable. He can overthink and make the improper learn, he can hesitate then accept tough midrange photographs. That is actually not what the Sixers are searching for, and a part of why Jaden Springer spent a yr with the Blue Coats, as Daryl Morey has hinted. They want somebody who can merely let it fly from deep within the corners when open with out overthinking it, and D up.

Blake Wesley is probably not prepared for that. However he could be higher offensively than Matisse Thybulle for instance. And he is a much better defender than names like Jaden Hardy. Nonetheless, he did not draw too many free throws. His choice making his was suspect. So he is probably not able to step on the ground and power a coach as conservative as Doc Rivers to play him straight away, the best way Maxey as soon as did; particularly with James Harden on the town.

So if I hear Wesley’s title known as on Thursday, I will not be shocked if it is for an additional staff in a pending commerce. He is a uncooked prospect with legit NBA instruments and expertise so loads of groups will doubtless be excited to mould him. Once more, market worth come into play if you need an asset that figures to understand. But when they do keep on with him, you possibly can slowly permit your self to get excited they took one of many greater swings on the board at choose 23. And I am fairly optimistic in that leap shot being workable. So if groups began calling about Wesley, I might be tempted to say “yeah, umm, we’ll get again to you on that.”

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