The NBA Draft takes place tonight, and for the first time since Marcus Smart was drafted in 2014, an Oklahoma State player figures to hear his name called. Jawun Evans is projected to land in the late-first round to early-second round by draft experts. Here’s a helpful roundup with more projections from yesterday.
Evans could be a major steal in the draft, and could be a formidable backup immediately in the NBA. The Oklahoma City Thunder have the 21st pick in the draft tonight, and there’s little evidence as to what Sam Presti is hoping to accomplish. Team needs include a solid wing player, a stretch four, and possibly a backup point guard. Thunder Digest broke down the Evans-to-OKC possibility today. Cameron Jourdan writes:
Evans is NBA ready. He has the potential to be a sixth man of the year candidate every year in the league. If he develops, he has the potential to start somewhere in the league.
The Thunder would draft Evans for his ability as a backup to Westbrook. Evans could be the solution to the Thunder’s backup point guard problem.
Evans worked out for the Thunder a couple weeks ago, and Thursday night he may hear his name called to play about an hour from his college home.
It is obvious there is a potential fit between the two parties. One potential downside could be lack of playing minutes for Evans. If he were to back up Russell Westbrook, who averaged 34.6 minutes per game in 2016-17, there wouldn’t be much opportunity for Evans to shine. That being said, it could provide an extended rest for Westbrook if Evans turns out to be a good pro.
The NBA Draft takes place at 7 P.M. ET on ESPN. You can also stream it on WatchESPN.com.