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: Wesley Iwundu
School: Kansas State
Position: Shooting guard/small forward
2016/17 stats: 13.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.3 bpg, 48.1 FG%, 37.6 3PT% (0.9 3P/2.4 3PA), 76.7 FT%
Projections: DraftExpress 56th, NBADraft.net 24th
5 things to know:
*A Big-12 All-Defensive team selection, Iwundu is a versitile wing defender capable of guarding guards and small forwards. He is very good at steals and defensive rebounding. He grabbed five or more defensive rebounds in 21 games this season. He had 11 defensive boards against Maryland and 10 against Iowa State and Texas Tech.
*Iwundu made a significant improvement in his three-point shooting as a senior. In his first three years at KSU, he shot just 28.8 percent on 0.7 attempts per game from long range. But in 2016-17, he hit 37.6 percent on 2.4 attempts per game. That was great timing for him, as the NBA puts a big premium on outside shooting. If he can continue to improve from three, Iwundu could develop into a solid three-and-D player.
*Iwundu's biggest selling point on offense is his ballhandling ability. He got to the rim consistently in college and has the size and leaping ability (36-inch vertical) to play above the rim. He will need to diversify his game to score at the next level, though, as it won't be nearly as easy getting past NBA defenses.
*Iwundu recorded a 7-foot-1 wingspan at the NBA Combine, which is excellent for a wing player. That should help his ability to get steals translate to the next level.
*He was just 5-10 as a sophomore in high school before had a huge growth spurt. Iwundu measured in at 6-6 3/4 with shoes at the combine.
Fit with Wizards: Though the Wizards need help at the backup shooting guard position, it's unlikely Iwundu would make an impact right away. He could ultimately help a team on defense which is where the Wizards were lacking when they needed it towards the end of last season, but he would need to be paired with a scoring point guard to really be effective early on.
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