The NBA draft took place last night and Brice Sensabaugh joins the long list of Buckeye hoopers to be drafted into the NBA.
In honor of the draft and Sensabaugh heading to the league, we are doing an NBA draft version of “You’re Nuts” this week. It's a bit of a weird prompt, but fun. We are debating who we think would have been drafted if the NBA draft was three rounds.
Last week, we predicted our Big Ten Player of the Year. Connor said Zach Edey would repeat while Justin picked Terrance Shannon Jr. Connor won the vote because Justin got 0 votes in his favor, which might be a first.
Here are the updated standings:
After 105 weeks:
(There have been four ties)
And now let’s get into this week’s prompt.
Today’s Question: Which former Buckeye would’ve been drafted if the NBA Draft was three rounds?
Connor: William Buford
William Buford was as consistent as could be from 2008-2012. After winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2009, he scored 14.4 points per game in his freshman and sophomore seasons, and 14.5 points per game in his senior year. He shot 39% from three-point land during his college career, and never shot below 36% from downtown any of his years at Ohio State. He was a career 80% free throw shooter and averaged more assists than turnovers for his career.
Winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year as a 6-foot-6, 220-pound guard (with the accompanying stats) probably gets you drafted today — not sure what was going on back in 2009. He stepped up those numbers as a sophomore though, jumping his scoring from 11.3 PPG to 14.4 PPG, while also shooting 38% from three and dishing out 3.1 assists per game. In my opinion, the 2010 NBA Draft is where his stock would’ve been highest, with the combo of good stats, playing for a good team, and still being just 20 years old.
Age is a big factor in the draft — one that players don’t have any control over. Buford essentially mimicked his own stats for his final three years of college, but his value in the eyes of NBA teams would’ve dropped each year as he got older. That’s why the 2010 draft — after his sophomore year — is where I think Buford would’ve been taken if the draft extended to three rounds.
NBA rosters are the smallest of the four major sports, so it makes sense why the NBA Draft is only two rounds. But immediately after the draft, there’s always a flurry of two-way contracts and summer league deals being signed. It would be fun if they simply expanded the draft to three rounds, and let some of those post-draft signees become third-round draft picks (I don’t know how the logistics work — we’re just saying “what if”).
To me, Buford’s height, size, and consistent offensive output definitely could’ve gotten him drafted somewhere from pick 61-90 if the 2010 NBA Draft was expanded to three rounds.
Justin: Kaleb Wesson
This is tricky because deep down, I believe the answer to this is probably William Buford too. I am an honest person. However, I do believe you can make a genuine case for Kaleb Wesson.
For those who may have forgotten, Wesson was the Buckeye’s big man from 2017-2020 and was one of the key pieces early on in Chris Holtmann’s tenure in Columbus.
Wesson averaged 12.9 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per game for his career as a Buckeyes, with career-high averages being 14.6 points per game his sophomore season and 9.3 rebounds per game his junior season. Wesson skipped his senior season and declared for the 2020 NBA draft after his junior campaign.
Wesson went undrafted but was signed right after by the Golden State Warriors, but he was released in December 2020. For the 2020-21 season, Wesson participated in the G-League with the Santa Cruz Warriors. After that, he went overseas to start his professional career in that regard. He currently plays for the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters of the Philippine Basketball Association.
The reason Wesson would have been drafted if there was a third round was that he was a top guy available in the 2020 draft when it ended. There was a chance he was going to be drafted and the picks just run out on him. In the hypothetical third round, he would have been drafted in the earlier side of the round.
Which of these players surely would’ve been drafted if the NBA Draft was actually three rounds?
This poll is closed
William Buford (Connor)
Kaleb Wesson (Justin)
Neither of those guys would’ve been drafted, even if the draft went to three rounds