Two Surprise Wolverines Make ESPN’s List Of Top NBA Draft Prospects

By Dan Jenkins
@DanTJenkins

John Beilein isn’t really known for bringing superstar-level talent to the University of Michigan, but he’s had some players move on to be serviceable pros in the NBA.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III as rounding into key players on their respective teams, while Beilein’s best player — Trey Burke — is nowhere to be found.

Fresh off a Big Ten Tournament Championship, it looks like Beilein has some pretty good talent on his 2017 Wolverines team, headlined by senior guard Derrick Walton Jr. However, ESPN senior writer Chad Ford thinks two other Michigan players will be among top NBA prospects in the near future.

Ford wrote, via ESPN Insider, about the top 30 NBA prospects playing in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Two surprise Wolverines made the cut — D.J. Wilson and Mo Wagner.

Ranked No. 25, Wilson “has a rare combination of explosiveness and skill” but “his inconsistency and soft play (despite his size he doesn’t really like contact in the paint) concern NBA scouts,” Ford writes.

Coming in one spot lower on Ford’s list is sophomore Mo Wagner, who “isn’t a great rebounder or shot blocker, but you don’t find many players with his size and skill set in the draft.”

Ford projects that both players — as currently ranked — would be second-round draft picks. However, it’s unlikely that both players leave for the NBA after this season, even if they have a strong showing in the tournament.

Another year in Beilein’s system could move both players into the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.

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