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Mississippi State’s Robert Woodard II entering NBA draft as borderline first-rounder

Mississippi State forward Robert Woodard

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 22: Robert Woodard #12 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts to a play against the Liberty Flames during their game in the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at SAP Center on March 22, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Will Robert Woodard II become the first first-round pick out of Mississippi State since Arnett Moultrie in 2012 and just the second since Erick Dampier and Dontae’ Jones in 1996?

Jonathan Givony of ESPN:

Mississippi State sophomore Robert Woodard II is entering the 2020 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Thursday.

“I am going into the draft with the intention of not going back to school,” Woodard told ESPN. “I am maintaining my eligibility because of the uncertainty about the dates and what workouts will look like, but I don’t look it at is as testing the waters. I am all-in with this thing.”


Woodard projects as a borderline first-round pick.

NBA teams can’t get enough small forwards, and Woodard (6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and good athleticism) looks the part. He can defend multiple positions. His 3-point percentage (43) was high.

But don’t assume Woodard will make it as a 3-and-D player. He shot a low volume of 3s, waiting for the best looks. His free-throw percentage – a key indicator of shooting ability – was just 64.

Beyond his 3-and-D skills, there’s even more reason for concern. Woodard is a lackluster ball-handler and distributor.

That said, teams should place more value on players like Woodard in the draft. It’s worth rolling the dice on wings with the tools to pan out. Many won’t. But the ones who do will fill a position where options are scarce.

Correction: This article previously said Raptors forward Terence Davis attended Mississippi State. He went to Mississippi.