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NBA Draft: Is Rodney Pryor Peak-ing At The Right Time?

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Is L.J. Peak the better of Georgetown’s two wing prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft? Based on the rankings provided by Draft Express, perhaps the most prominent NBA Draft website, the answer is yes.

Based on how they’ve performed during pre-draft workouts and how ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla views Rodney Pryor versus his fellow Hoya, not so much.

Peak and Pryor are among the prospects hoping to hear their name called during the two-round draft Thursday night (7:00 p.m., ESPN). If among the 60 players selected, Peak or Pryor would be the first Georgetown men’s basketball player drafted since Otto Porter went third overall in 2013.

There’s a case for Georgetown’s top two scorers being among that 60-player group based on their performances last season. One source with ties to the Georgetown program says Pryor has been strong during the workout process while Peak has struggled.

Fraschilla makes a stronger argument for Pryor, who led the Hoyas in scoring (18.0) and 3-point shooting (41.2%) during his one season on the Hilltop after stops at Robert Morris and the junior college ranks.

“L.J. is a good, solid player. I’m not as enamored with him as I am Rodney,” Fraschilla said during a recent conference call with reporters ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft.

“Well, I think Rodney Pryor is a sleeper,” said Fraschilla, a former college head coach who watched Pryor work out in Los Angeles last week. “I know at his pro day a couple weeks ago, he impressed a lot of teams because he’s very athletic and he can shoot the ball. You know, he plays like an NBA guard. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Rodney gets drafted in the second round.”

Draft Express offers a different view. They don’t rank Pryor among their top 100 players – but have Peak slotted 46th overall. The 6-foot-5 wing averaged 16.3 points last season while leading the Hoyas in assists (3.5) and steals (1.1) per game. Peak provided Georgetown with a two-way threat and a player capable of driving to the rim.

A groin injury suffered early in the workout process likely hampered his performances.

“I can’t keep canceling workouts, so I’ve just got to keep going through it,” Peak told following a workout for the 76ers earlier this month. He did a cancel a workout Wednesday with the Wizards.

Whatever the reason, Fraschilla prefers Pryor.

“Not a super athlete but wouldn’t shock me if he goes in the second round,” Fraschilla said of Peak. “But of the two, I would say that Rodney Pryor, because he’s somewhat of a kid that is still improving, given his background: Evanston, Illinois, Robert Morris, JuCo, hurt in JuCo. He’s kind of a sleeper to teams, and he helped himself.”

There’s also a case where both would be better off not drafted. At that point, their respective agents could negotiate with all 30 NBA teams. Some situations are better than others or at least offer more opportunity for an undrafted player. Both will likely play in at least one of the NBA’s summer leagues; most franchises send a team to Las Vegas while others participate in Orlando or Utah.

There’s also the robust international market, but Thursday is all about NBA hopes and dreams. Peak and Pryor have them. Those dreams surely include getting draft. We’ll see if either lives out that fantasy Thursday night.