Now that March is far in the rearview mirror and the NBA Finals have come to a close, it's about time that we all start throwing around terms like "upside potential" and wildly conjecturing about 18 year-olds from the corners of Europe. That's right, the NBA Draft is coming up! Luckily, we won't be hearing D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's name called, but we still have a few Hoyas who have declared for the Draft. Though all have, at best, an outside shot at being drafted, Jabril Trawick, Joshua Smith, and Greg Whittington have all garnered some interest from various franchises, and could find their way onto an NBA roster. Let's take a look at where the three could end up.
Jabril came off a senior season in which he was the Hoyas' third-leading scorer and the team's leader in three-point shooting percentage. But, Trawick is far from being a knock down shooter at the next level. Jabril lacks the polish or athleticism to be effective in the NBA on the offensive end, but could embrace the defensive role that he was best known for at Georgetown.
Trawick has worked out privately for Indiana, Houston, and Minnesota. While it's unlikely that Jabril ends up with the Rockets or another playoff-bound team, don't be surprised if a franchise like the Timberwolves gives him a shot in Summer League like they did for Markel Starks last year.
Our favorite big man led the Hoyas in rebounding and was the team's second-leading scorer during his only full season on the Hilltop. Smith is a skilled offensive player with an impressive passing touch. Josh's size and post moves served him well against smaller, clumsier defenders in college, but his talent alone won't carry him in the pros. The big issue for Smith is the same as always: he's not in shape. Smith, as is, won't be able to keep up with the pace of the NBA. His defense and jump shooting are also gaping holes that will be easily exploited by most professional forwards and centers.
That being said, if Smith can continue his potency in the post against better athletes, he might be of some use to teams without much depth. Josh has worked out for Portland and Dallas, as well as the Lakers and Clippers, all teams in desperate need of rotation players. Again, it would be surprising to see Smith on a roster come October, but if he impresses in Summer League, anything could happen.
Good old Greg. Despite not having played organized basketball in over two years, Whittington is probably the prospect with the most "upside potential" of the trio. The swingman averaged 12.1 points and seven rebounds per game during the first 13 games of the 2012-2013 season before being suspended for academic reasons. Afterward, Whittington tore his ACL and was then dismissed from the program before playing another game. Regardless, Whittington showed promise as a rebounder and defender during his tenure as a Hoya and could score when necessary. Greg's length and defensive skills could go a long way in the NBA, but are relatively untested, even in the NCAA.
The concerns here are obvious: Whittington has off-court issues and hasn't been game-tested in a long time. Even if all of the instincts are still there, Whittington will have to prove himself physically and mentally. The forward has worked out for Miami, Phoenix, Indiana, and Brooklyn. All of the teams could use a multi-talented player of Whittington's size. It would be quite the story if Whittington ended up in the League, but it wouldn't be the first time that a promising head case made his way onto an NBA roster.