Sponsored

Suggs leads NBA draft prospects to watch in Gonzaga vs. Baylor

/ by Chase Hughes
Presented By Chasen Boscolo
Sponsored

For as much chaos and parity as there was in the early rounds of this year's NCAA Tournament, ultimately it was two No. 1 seeds that emerged in the final. We have undefeated Gonzaga, who edged UCLA on a buzzer-beater, taking on Baylor, who blew out Houston.

With two powerhouse teams ready to play for the championship, each roster features some high-end NBA draft talent. There are guys on each team expected to go in the first round and six total players expected to be drafted between the schools. 

Here's a look at the best NBA prospects set to take the floor on Monday.

GONZAGA

Jalen Suggs, G, top-5 pick - Suggs is the headliner as a likely top-5 pick who could go as high as No. 1 overall. He's a 6-foot-4 combo guard who is an explosive athlete with the basketball IQ and instincts to match. Suggs joined arguably the most talented team in the country and immediately began separating himself.

He averages 14.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 50.2% from the field. Suggs is likely to be one of the first players off the board and how high he goes will likely depend on what teams think about his three-point shooting potential, as he knocks down only 33.3% from long range.

Corey Kispert, F, lottery pick - A 6-foot-7, four-year college player, Kispert is a lights-out three-point shooter. He has shot 40.9 percent from three for his career and this season makes 44.5% on 6.5 attempts per game. That's the main reason why he averages 18.8 points, second on the Zags. He also brings in 5.0 rebounds per game and shoots 87.8% from the free throw line.

 

Kispert's draft stock will largely depend on how teams view his upside. Teams always seem to prefer younger players over the four-year college guys, no matter how good they are.

Joel Ayayi, G, 1st round pick - Ayayi is originally from France, as one of the latest examples of international players thriving at Gonzaga under coach Mark Few. He's a 6-foot-5 combo guard who can score, rebound and defend. He's averaging 12.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals while shooting 39.4 percent from three.

Ayayi has a chance to be a late first-round pick or an early second-round pick. That could make for an interesting decision on whether to leave for the draft or not.

Drew Timme, F, 2nd round pick - The leading scorer on Gonzaga, Timme has become known during this year's tournament for his signature handlebar mustache. He also loves to celebrate after making shots while running back on defense. Timme may be flashy, but he can play. He's quick and crafty around the rim and in the midrange, this season averaging 19.2 points despite not being a three-point shooter.

Timme's also a solid rebounder, bringing in 7.1 boards per game. Given he's only a sophomore, he could end up returning to school. A more reliable outside shot would make him a safer bet as a first-round pick.

BAYLOR

Davion Mitchell, G, 1st round pick - Mitchell is a 6-foot-2 guard who can make threes and is one of the best defensive players in the country. He averages 14.0 points, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 45.3% from three-point range.

Mitchell could end up being as high as a mid-first round pick, though it wouldn't be surprising if he was selected late in the first round. 

Jared Butler, G, 2nd round pick - The leading scorer on Baylor, Butler is a 6-foot-3 guard who can fill it up from long range. He's averaging 16.6 points, 4.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 41.5% from three on 6.1 attempts per game. 

Butler is likely to be drafted in the second round as an undersized guard who could end up becoming a decent bench scorer. His success in the NBA will be determined by his three-point shot and whether he can provide scoring in a second unit role.