2022 NBA Draft profile: Sixers should take into account Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley

The 2022 NBA Draft can be held on Thursday, June 23. For the reason that Nets determined to defer the decide owed to them as a part of the James Harden commerce, the Sixers will choose twenty third total. Forward of the draft, we’ll have a look at a number of prospects that would match the Sixers and be reasonable prospects at No. 23.

Increasingly more indicators level to Daryl Morey and Elton Model buying and selling their 2022 NBA Draft decide. The rumor with probably the most legs is that they are procuring Danny Inexperienced together with decide no. 23. But when they do choose to maintain this one, they may take into account taking one other very large swing.

And at 6-5, 187 kilos, a 19 year-old guard out of Notre DameBlake Wesley simply would possibly match that invoice.

The South Bend IN. native appeared in 35 video games final season, dropping 14.4 factors on 40.4% capturing from the ground, 30.3% from deep, 65.7% from the stripe, to go along with 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per outing. He supplied that coveted triple-threat ability set, and confirmed he is a expertise who can assist his staff off-ball and as a playmaker too.

Wesley made the 2021-22 All-ACC Second Staff, and the 2021-22 All-ACC Freshman Staff. Some of us questioned if he would possibly make a lottery leap in 2023 by sticking round yet another season, however he’ll be a one-and-done… Notre Dame’s first ever.

Solely a choose few of your favourite Sixers prospects acquired Inexperienced Room invitations (for the projected prime 20 picks). Wesley is a kind of guys. Tari Eason, Jalen Williams, MarJon Beauchamp and Wesley for instance acquired Inexperienced Room invitations for Thursday’s draft, whereas Jaden Hardy, Dalen Terry, Kendall Brown, Kennedy Chandler, EJ Liddell didn’t.

And you’ll see a few of why, at instances he seemed like a professional amongst faculty gamers, like that point he drained six triples vs. Wake Forrest:

Rankings:

  • ESPN has him ranked twenty seventh total.
  • The Ringer: twenty first
  • The Athletic: twenty fourth
  • CBS: twenty sixth

Strengths

Picture by Ronald Martinez/Getty Photos

Wesley has some thrilling burst, and is snug with change of tempo and route in small areas. He has put each slithery in addition to ferocious finishes on show in simply 35 video games at Notre Dame. He mixes feline quickness, squeezing via slim areas, with uncooked energy using a robust decrease physique, and has proven sufficient to color an summary portrait of a flexible two-way NBA combo guard sooner or later.

Watching his movie, I am stunned I have never heard his identify talked about extra in Sixersville. He is a powerful prospect.

Among the many nation’s prime ball handlers, Wesley was just too exhausting to remain in entrance of for many defenders, creating beneficial paint touches for his staff through isolation, and ball display motion, whereas brandishing uncooked playmaking chops as properly.

As Jake Rosen, who our Jackson Frank not too long ago caught up with, would possibly inform you, paint touches are what it is all about.

He is even proven a flare for giant moments, drilling some clutch pictures for the Irish vs. Georgia Tech, Boston School, College of Kentucky, and most notably, vs. Alabama within the match.

Defensively, he is proven he can keep together with his man, has fluid hips, fast ft and good steadiness. Because the yr went on, he developed a knack for selecting off passes as properly (44 complete steals) and creating excessive proportion transition seems to be for the Blue and Gold.

Wesley is an aggressive, and assured prospect. That may work for and in opposition to him. However he was a significant a part of the Combating Irish’s second match win over Alabama, ending 8 of 14 with 18 factors and three steals on the massive stage.

Wesley excelled in pick-and-roll conditions:

He is athlete who’d deliver any staff some tantalizing agility on the wing.

His plus 6-9 wingspan and 8-7 standing attain assist him on each ends of the ground, lending credence to the speculation he may someday guard 1-3 within the large leagues and enhance his ending on the rim.

Per ESPN, from Mar. 2022:

“Wesley is a big-time expertise who has NBA ft and shift off the dribble, can get a bit of the paint at will and has at the least proven sufficient off the dribble capturing potential to recommend there’s room to enhance. With a robust pre-draft course of, it is not out of the query that Wesley will get seems to be all through the kids, particularly if he shoots the ball properly.”

It stays to be seen if Wesley did sufficient within the pre-draft course of to warrant a decide within the teenagers, but it surely’s clear that he is impressed by exhibiting some critical NBA degree burst.

Weaknesses

2022 NBA Draft Combine Circuit

Picture by Brian Sevald/NBAE through Getty Photos

Wesley likes to play on ball, his utilization fee was 31.3, and there is not a obtrusive want for one more ball dominant participant on many contending groups deciding on on this vary. And he’d most likely be higher served in a secondary, tertiary or off-ball position early in his profession. However his catch and shoot recreation his might not be prepared for all that.

He was simply 32 p.c on catch and shoot jumpers, and 33 p.c on all jumpers.

As Mike Schmitz wrote, earlier than he left ESPN for the Portland Trailblazers:

“Among the many 143 gamers to take at the least 130 pictures on the rim within the half court docket, Wesley ranks 142nd in effectivity. He will even must show himself as a fringe shooter all through the pre-draft course of, as he completed the yr at 30.3% from 3.”

So regardless of the clear upside and expertise, there’s a rawness to Wesley’s recreation that leaves scouts questioning when (or if) he can put all of it collectively.

Turnovers and perimeter capturing have been definitely points for him at instances final yr. He completed simply 3 of 14 within the last elimination recreation vs. Texas Tech with three turnovers. The sport seemed somewhat quick for him at that time.

There are the lackluster capturing splits the freshman completed with: 40.4/30.3/65.7.

More moderen seems to be:

His ease attending to his spots, and creating separation, his obvious consolation capturing off dribble tease at some upside as a leap shooter. However the truth stays, his present type his is n’t a completed product. And that could be why he settles for contested pull ups too typically when his most well-liked rim assaults his get stymied.

His capturing mechanics are compact however there was a touch of catapult motion final yr, as he pulls the ball in direction of his face with a bent elbow then fires, missing optimum arc:

If this leap shot comes alongside, he’ll seemingly be a serious steal the place he is projected to be picked. However as a result of vital, lasting enchancment for shooters isn’t a certain factor, Wesley slides into the second spherical of some mocks.

Right here, his free throw type exhibits he is acquired many of the rules down, but it surely nonetheless seems to be a bit Frank Ntilikina stiff:

This exaggerated backwards lean (see his hips out in entrance of his shoulders) hints an an imbalance:

However he is labored on it a ton since and it does look a bit smoother currently. The correct elbow can end low, however that is workable.

His capturing arm is simply too low. He must stick with it, elbow eye-level so he will get extra arc. Lock out that elbow, and freeze the observe via.

Match on Sixers

If the Sixers resolve to maintain this decide, will probably be tempting to take one of many highest upside prospects on this vary. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor advised Philadelphia take Wesley as a result of he seems to be like he can get buckets. KOC sees shades of Tyler Herro, Jamal Crawford, and Bones Hyland in Wesley’s recreation. Although I am unsure I would agree on these comps, given the smoothness of these dudes’ leap pictures, I can definitely get behind the concept of ​​drafting BW is that they preserve this decide.

Do the Sixers really feel a way of confidence they’ll work with a prospect who is sort of however not all the best way there but?

Recall, Tyrese Maxey’s launch wasn’t as clean as it’s right now:

Maxey had the fundamental basis of shot. So if Philadelphia’s entrance workplace thinks Wesley does too, thinks he is a tireless employee, thinks they can assist him with the remaining, then this decide makes loads of sense.

Talking of…Krysten Peek caught up with B-Dub, who’s a giant Maxey fan (emoji eyes):

KRYSTEN PEEK: What NBA gamers do you watch and attempt to emulate your recreation after?

BLAKE WESLEY: Tyrese Maxey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Oh, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander?

BLAKE WESLEY: Yeah, him. And Caris Le Vert. Folks remind me Caris LeVert, as a result of I acquired the motion like him and like the power to leap like him and just like the bounce like him.

However nonetheless, the probabilities that Wesley can’t earn minutes this coming season appear first rate. He can overthink and make the unsuitable learn, he can hesitate then accept troublesome midrange pictures. That is definitely not what the Sixers are searching for, and a part of why Jaden Springer spent a yr with the Blue Coats, as Daryl Morey has hinted. They want somebody who can merely let it fly from deep within the corners when open with out overthinking it, and D up.

Blake Wesley might not be prepared for that. However he could be higher offensively than Matisse Thybulle for instance. And he is a much better defender than names like Jaden Hardy. Nonetheless, he did not draw too many free throws. His resolution making his was suspect. So he might not be able to step on the ground and drive a coach as conservative as Doc Rivers to play him immediately, the best way Maxey as soon as did; particularly with James Harden on the town.

So if I hear Wesley’s identify referred to as on Thursday, I will not be shocked if it is for one more staff in a pending commerce. He is a uncooked prospect with legit NBA instruments and expertise so loads of groups will seemingly be excited to mould him. Once more, market worth come into play if you would like an asset that figures to understand. But when they do keep on with him, you may slowly enable your self to get excited they took one of many greater swings on the board at decide 23. And I am fairly optimistic in that leap shot being workable. So if groups began calling about Wesley, I would be tempted to say “yeah, umm, we’ll get again to you on that.”

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