Two former Michigan basketball stars are set for the NBA Draft on June 22, as Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard have been projected as first-round picks. With the draft nearing, more and more speculation starts swirling about what this next generation of prospects brings to the NBA and how their abilities will translate at the next level.
Recently, The Athletic released the opinions of anonymous NBA scouts of 50 of the top prospects in the upcoming draft. They spoke with six different scouts, putting their views together to create the blurbs. Here’s what they had to say.
“Love him. He’s rising big-time. He’s good in the pick and roll, makes good decisions, but needs to become a better shooter. He needs to put on some weight, but you can say that about just about every kid in this draft. I like that he didn’t play a lot as a freshman, but he didn’t pout and transfer. He doubled up his effort and pushed his way into the rotation. He has a scoring mentality but he can also make plays for his teammates, which is intriguing.”
The opinion seems to really hammer home Bufkin’s status as a late riser in the process, with multiple outlets projecting him in the 11-15 range of the first round. Bufkin’s size and reach allow him to be an elite finisher and strong defender, but many believe his strength and handles are some things he needs to work on to reach his potential.
“I think he’s sliding in the draft right now. His lack of rebounding is extremely concerning. He doesn’t go in to fight for rebounds. He’s kind of lazy off the ball defensively. He just doesn’t know how to use all his tools right now. Skilled, high IQ, good size for a two guard, but he has average athleticism. Is he a two or a three? I wonder if the kid works hard enough. I think he plays in the NBA for a while because of his size and shooting ability.”
Howard’s scoring ability is the main attraction to his game, with such a pure shot and knock-down ability. His upside is very high but scouts and teams have noted his lack of effort defensively and rebounding are key concerns to his game. Many doubt his physical mentality, noting he doesn’t currently have a full skillset.
With the draft set to happen this week, we will see where these former Wolverine’s end up in the pros. All eyes are on these two young stars to see if their potential and talent can translate to the next level.