The NBA Draft is Thursday night, and just a few hours before the fun starts, where should we expect Big Ten products to be selected?
Well, we don't have access to a functioning crystal ball, nor do we have a Charles Xavier type to peer into the minds of NBA general managers. So, we'll have to resort to mock drafts from around the Internet.
So here's a look at a few mock drafts and where they have Big Ten players going. We peaked at DraftExpress.com's latest mock draft, as well as those from Rotoworld's Jonas Nader and Ed Isaacson and our own Vincent Goodwill and Mark Strotman.
The consensus seems to be that we should expect to hear the commissioner call the names of a couple Spartans early on, with Deyonta Davis and Denzel Valentine almost universally predicted to be picked in the first round. DraftExpress has Davis going the highest, at No. 10 to the Bucks, and Nader, Isaacson and Goodwill all have him going either at No. 11 to the Magic or No. 12 to the Hawks. Strotman has Davis going a little lower, at No. 18 to the Pistons. As for Valentine, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, he's predicted to go a little later than Davis, with our esteemed quintet tabbing him at No. 12 (Jazz), No. 19 (Nuggets), No. 20 (Pacers), No. 21 (Hawks) and No. 22 (Hornets). Wouldn't it be something if he went to Charlotte and teamed with former Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky, putting the last two Big Ten Players of the Year on the same NBA team?
As for non-Spartans, Maryland big man Diamond Stone was the only other Big Ten product who popped up as a first-round pick on more than one of these mock drafts. DraftExpress and Nader both had Stone going to the Warriors at pick No. 30.
Only one other Big Ten name appeared as a first-rounder in any of these mocks: Michigan's Caris LeVert, with Goodwill projecting the former Wolverine would go at No. 25 to the Clippers.
Two of these mocks included second-round projections (DraftExpress and Isaacson). DraftExpress has four Big Ten players going in the second round: Purdue's A.J. Hammons at No. 45 to the Celtics, Maryland's Robert Carter at No. 47 to the Magic, LeVert at No. 49 to the Pistons and Maryland's Jake Layman at No. 52 to the Jazz. Isaacson has a whopping six Big Ten products going in his second round prediction: Stone at No. 31 to the Celtics, LeVert at No. 35 to the Celtics, Indiana's Yogi Ferrell at No. 38 to the Bucks, Hammons at No. 39 to the Pelicans, Carter at No. 51 to the Celtics and Layman at No. 57 to the Grizzlies.
We won't know what happens until it happens, of course, but at least this is a little guide of what you can expect.