clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Temperature Check: What the experts are predicting for Kaleb Wesson in tonight’s NBA Draft

The former Ohio State star and Columbus native will be anxiously waiting to see if his name is called with one of the 60 picks in this year’s NBA Draft.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Media Day Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

One month ago, we checked in on several of the biggest media outlets to find out where they predict former Ohio State star Kaleb Wesson to be drafted in the 2020 NBA Draft. Wesson, who declared for the NBA Draft at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season, is hoping that his unique skillset and rapid transformation from a foul-prone, lumbering center to a sharp-shooting stretch four will get him drafted at some point Wednesday night.

Draft day is here, and there still is no consensus on when, or if, Wesson’s name will be called. There are gaps in his game, certainly. Wesson still lacks the mobility to guard at the NBA level. He struggled at times to defend the Big Ten’s best big men, which begs the question of how he would hold up defensively in the NBA against athletes far superior to those he faced in college. He can be turnover prone at times as well, committing the second-most turnovers per game (2.5) last season for the Buckeyes. That’s not a great number for a non-primary ballhandler.

However, Wesson does have two tools that play in the NBA right now: his size and shooting ability. As a junior, he shot 42.5% from beyond the arc, the best on the team. At 6-foot-9 and slimmed down to about 250 pounds, he’ll pull larger defenders to the perimeter who prefer not to wander out there, which opens the paint for teammates. Conversely, if teams let Wesson shoot from deep, he’s shown he is more than capable of capitalizing. He also possesses above averaging passing ability for a big man, especially passing out of the post when double-teamed and under pressure.

On Oct. 23, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann praised Wesson, calling him, “The best shooting big in the NBA Draft.” He noted that during Wesson’s freshman season in 2017-2018, he only shot 14 total threes. During his junior year that total was multiplied by almost eight, as he took 106 threes, hitting them at nearly a 43% clip.

He backed his coach’s praise up at the NBA Draft combine, nailing 80% (!!) of his shots in the 3-point star drill. He looks even more slimmed down than he was during the season, too.

So, will Wesson’s complete body makeover help him climb the boards of NBA scouts and land him on a team tonight? Or will he take a draft-day slide like his former teammate Keita Bates-Diop did in 2018, who slid completely out of the first round and down to the No. 48 pick?

Let’s take one final look at what “the experts” are saying in the hours leading up to the draft, including their predictions today as well as what they said one month ago.

N/A indicates that the outlet did not have a full mock draft last month, and “Undrafted” means the outlet does not have Wesson going in either round of the draft.


Draft Day Projections

Tankathon.com

Today: Undrafted

Last month: Pick No. 57 to the Philadelphia 76ers

Sports Illustrated

Today: Pick No. 53 to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Last month: Pick No. 53 to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Hoops Prospects

Today: Undrafted

Last month: Pick No. 60 to the New Orleans Pelicans

USA Today Sports

Today: Pick No. 39 to the New Orleans Pelicans

Last month: Pick No. 57 to the Philadelphia 76ers

DraftSite.com

Today: Pick No. 52 to the Sacramento Kings

Last month: N/A

Fansided

Today: Pick No. 60 to the New Orleans Pelicans

Last month: N/A

NBC Sports

Today: Undrafted

Last month: N/A

ESPN

Today: Undrafted

Last month: Undrafted

The Athletic

Today: Undrafted

Last month: Undrafted


Outlook

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure what information USA Today has that everyone else lacks, but it seems that if Kaleb Wesson gets drafted tonight, it’ll be somewhere between picks 50-60.

If he goes any higher than that, it would indicate that team really likes him and committed to him earlier to guarantee the pick. As stated earlier, Wesson probably isn’t a finished product. Don’t be shocked if he ends up in the G-League to start the season, or perhaps bounces around a bit before finally settling somewhere.

Good luck to Kaleb and all those hoping to have their names called tonight!