The Washington Wizards hold the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Who will they take? Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select. Check back for more as we continue to get closer to the draft...
Name: Jaron Blossomgame
Position: Small forward
2016/17 stats: 17.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.9 bpg, 49.8 FG%, 25.5 3PT% (0.7 3P/2.8 3PA), 71.3 FT%
Projections: DraftExpress 54th, NBADraft.net 43rd
5 things to know:
*Blossomgame proved himself as a scorer in the tough ACC as a four-year player for the Clemson Tigers. He enjoyed a breakout season last year as a junior by averaging 18.7 points per game on 51.3 percent shooting from the field. As a senior, those numbers dipped to 17.6 points per game on 49.8 percent shooting, still very good for a guy who was the focus of every opposing defense.
*He is an excellent rebounder for a small forward. He averaged 6.5 boards per game in his four years at Clemson, including 8.2 as a sophomore. Last season he grabbed 6.3 per game. He had 20 double-digit rebounding games in his career, including seven games with 12 or more.
*Blossomgame's shooting ability is an interesting case to evaluate. He was not a threat from three-point range for three of his four years, but as a junior he knocked down 44.1 percent from three on 3.3 attempts per game. The next year, however, he took a major step back and posted an ugly 25.5 percent from beyond the arc. Blossomgame became consistent at the free throw line (72.3% for his career) after shooting just 59.6 percent as a freshman, so that trajectory is encouraging.
*He is the second-oldest player in DraftExpress.com's top 100 prospects group. That said, his athleticism should convince teams he has a high ceiling to tap into. He is a full 6-foot-7 with shoes, boasts a 6-foot-10 wingspan and a decent 35.5-inch vertical leap.
*He redshirted as a freshman due to a compound fracture in his leg that he suffered late in his senior year of high school. He then had another surgery on that leg the following year in 2013.
Fit with Wizards: The Wizards may not need a player like Blossomgame if they have plans to re-sign Otto Porter and/or Bojan Bogdanovic. But if they expect to let either go, Blossomgame could represent an intriguing scoring option off their bench to offset Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s defense. Blossomgame could also play some at the four position in small-ball lineups.
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