With the NBA Draft on the horizon, it is time to take a look at the West Coast Conference players that have a shot at hearing their name called at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Realistically, there are four names that come up as the most likely to be selected, if at all. Those would be Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Davies, Matthew Dellavedova, and Elias Harris.
Olynyk is the only lock at this stage while the other three are in limbo and hoping for a second round selection or an invite to a NBA camp, which is very likely for all of them.
The NBA Draft is on Thursday and will air on ESPN at 4:30 p.m. PDT.
Here is a quick look at the four and then a look at the rest of the pack.
Kelly Olynyk, F, Gonzaga
Projected selection: Early to Mid First Round
The Gonzaga forward was a lock to be selected about midway through West Coast Conference play. He was many of the tools and skills NBA teams are looking for.
None could be more obvious as the fact that he is a 7-footer. NBA teams are always looking for more 7-footers to fill their frontline.
Olynyk presents the unique (at least for a 7-footer) ability to shoot from the wing and to have decent ball handling ability. Those were abilities he already had prior to his redshirt year in 2011-12.
He used that year to get stronger and develop an inside game, which is incredibly critical for a 7-footer. How often has Chris Bosh been criticized for taking threes in the Finals when he should be inside like a big man should be?
That is what Olynyk was three years ago.
Although, any excitement about his offensive ability is quelled by his slow feet on defense. Against quicker and more agile players in the NBA, Olynyk could struggle to stay in front of them and this could get him into foul trouble.
Olynyk is likely best suited to be a power forward on the next level.
Brandon Davies, F, BYU
Projected selection: Late second round
The 6-foot-9 forward had come on strong since the end of the college basketball season. He is a true power forward and has both the size and toughness to play the position on the next level.
This was reaffirmed when he was named the MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational in April.
Davies can consistently hit a mid-range jumper, is solid playing with his back to the basket, and also a solid rebounder against better competition. He had 11 games with double digit rebounds, including a season-high 17 against Baylor in December.
Davies did get into foul trouble a number of times this season and his defense could be in question but he possesses all of the physical tools to be successful in the NBA. He could very well be a Carl Landry-type player.
Davies has worked out for a number of NBA teams and is being considered a sleeper pick in this year’s draft.
Matthew Dellavedova, G, Saint Mary’s
Projected selection: Undrafted
This one is likely a tough pill for the Saint Mary’s fans to swallow.
Dellavedova is a great college player. He is likely the best in the college’s history. The chances of him getting drafted? Slim.
His best traits are his court vision, ability to run an offense, and his basketball intelligence. All of these things are needed to be a point guard at the next level.
He is 6-foot-4, which, again, is perfect for the NBA.
The fallbacks for Dellavedova is his lateral speed on defense. It would be tough to necessarily call him a good defender. Defense at the point guard spot in incredibly important. Every night in the NBA is a night against Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Tony Parker, and the list goes on.
Let’s not forget, the world got to see Dellavedova against NBA players in the Olympics. Sure, it was the Olympics and it was Chris Paul but that is just an example of what could happen.
This is not to say he could not find his way onto a roster. If he gets invited to a summer camp, there is a good chance he earns his way on the team.
The best spot? San Antonio.
It is a system that he could play well in. It is controlled and at a slower pace. There is a cerebral part to that squad that Dellavedova would fit nicely with.
Elias Harris, F, Gonzaga
Projected selection: Undrafted
This is a guy who should have left for the NBA a long time ago.
Once upon a time, Elias Harris was one of, if not, the most intimidating players in the WCC. He would touch the ball and it seemed someone in the league got embarrassed or posterized. He looked the part in his freshman year at Gonzaga. He was projected to be a lottery pick.
He stayed and did nothing but slip. Fast forward to now.
Harris is still a very good player. He has range, good size, and good athleticism.
The biggest problem is the fact that he is a bit of a tweener. At 6-foot-7, he is stuck in that area between a small forward and a power forward.
He does not have the ball handling ability to be a three and does not have the size to be a four. Although the way the NBA is going, the traditional ideas about the positions is going out the window and teams are looking for basketball players.
That is what Harris more than anything.
He likely won’t be drafted, like Dellavedova, but he could find his way onto a roster through the summer league. That is, of course, he doesn’t get a contract to play overseas.
Best of the rest
Kevin Foster, G, Santa Clara
Kevin Foster is also stuck in this tweener category. He is 6-foot-3 and has really been a shooting guard all throughout college.
While he showed a bit more on the passing front this season, he still has a ways to go to get to be a point guard at the next level. The best comparison for him might be another guy who just shot threes, Eddie House.
That, of course, is the best case scenario. Foster will likely be overseas.
Marc Trasolini, F, Santa Clara
Marc Trasolini (pictured) was a good college player but he struggled against some of the better competition and that is highlighted with professional teams. Trasolini will also be overseas or may return home to Canada to play.