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NBA Mock Draft roundup: Where the experts project the eligible Wolverines to go

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Let’s take a deeper look as the season has come to a close.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines will have a few names to look out for as NBA mock drafts as March has come and gone. A couple of Wolverines have popped up in a handful of them, including a projected Top-10 pick by some media outlets. Let’s take a look at how some of the national guys evaluate the talent that Michigan had this season at an NBA level.

Sophomore Franz Wagner, wing

What they’re saying

The Ringer: “Impactful as a versatile defender and an offensive weapon who can be utilized in a wide range of roles. Shades of Lamar Odom, Danilo Gallinari, Xavier Tillman”

Bleacher Report: “A rough game against UCLA won’t negate Wagner’s strong season or versatility suited for an NBA lineup. At 6’9”, he works as a ball-screen playmaker with three-point range. And his defensive mobility and anticipation this year became a major plus, both for Michigan (No. 3 in DBPM) and his scouting profile.”

NBC Sports: “Wagner can score, rebound and he’s developing as a secondary distributor. He has a quick release and a clean stroke from long range, although his numbers don’t jump off the page. A high basketball IQ player, Wagner moves well without the ball and isn’t afraid to take the big shot. He has good size for an NBA wing, although he is an average athlete at best.”

SBNation: “Wagner’s defense has been electric at times this year on a Wolverines’ unit that ranks top-five in the nation in efficiency. Wagner is their best stopper, currently posting a 4.1 block rate and 2.8 steal rate. Wagner has also looked good offensively. He’ll need to be able to hit outside shots in the league to be taken this high, but his size and ability to on both ends of the court should be appealing.”

What I’m saying

The consensus here is that Wagner will go somewhere in the top 20 and that feels about right. He can do everything well offensively but he doesn’t necessarily excel in any way on that side of the ball. He will need to be much better from deep in the NBA to become a consistent player. But for now, he will be a valuable and versatile guy off the bench to bring in and play some lockdown defense.

Senior Isaiah Livers, forward

  • Forbes: Undrafted
  • Bleacher Report: No. 49 to the Detroit Pistons (via the Hornets)
  • NBC Sports: Not in first-round mock
  • SBNation: Not in first-round mock
  • ESPN: No. 47 overall prospect
  • CBS Sports: No. 48 overall prospect
  • The Ringer: Not in Top- 15 mock

What they’re saying

Bleacher Report: “Livers missed the NCAA tournament with a foot injury, but career shooting percentages of 41.2 percent from three and 85.6 percent from the line, plus plenty of consistency and clutch plays, will lead to second-round suitors.”

What I’m saying

The injury to Isaiah Livers severely hurt his chances of making a bigger name for himself with his absence in the NCAA Tournament. He can shoot the lights out from deep and was the Wolverines' go-to guy when they needed a bucket to get out of a slump. I find it hard to believe a team will not give him a chance late in the second round, but if he goes undrafted because of his injury, he will almost assuredly be one of the first names to find a home in post-draft free agency.

Freshman Hunter Dickinson, center

  • Forbes: No. 40 overall prospect
  • Bleacher Report: Undrafted
  • NBC Sports: Not in first-round mock
  • SBNation: Not in first-round mock
  • ESPN: Not ranked in Top-100
  • CBS Sports: Not ranked in Top-50

What I’m saying

Dickinson dominated the way a man of his size and stature should at the collegiate level. But there will be too many question marks for him to be confident in getting drafted. He is an old-school big man trying to make it in a league that heavily favors spreading the floor, even at the center position. Dickinson still has a ways to go in achieving that. He showed some outside shooting abilities in high school and that could be an area of his game that expands this offseason.

Senior Chaundee Brown, guard

  • ESPN: No. 77 overall prospect

What I’m saying

It’s great for ESPN to give Chaundee Brown a little recognition and it is well-deserved. The corner three-point shot from Brown in 2020-2021 was almost automatic. He also stepped up in a big way after Livers’ injury and took on a much bigger role within the offense. There is always room at the next level for more 3-and-D kinds of players and Brown fits that mold perfectly. If he continues to work relentlessly at making the NBA, I could see him having a career like P.J. Tucker.