The deadline is fast approaching for early NBA Draft entrants to withdraw from contention without affecting their collegiate eligibility, placing pressure on West Virginia’s Miles McBride to stick or switch.
‘Deuce’ has until July 7 to pull his candidacy while preserving his school status, but an impressive NBA Combine will have really made the the 20-year-old wonder what could be (assuming he hadn’t already).
The Dominion Post’s Justin Jackson hailed McBride’s Combine performance as so impressive, in fact, that he mused the point guard could even become a surprise first-round pick come July 29.
With his stock heading nowhere except up following that outing at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, questions are now turning to just who will be lucky enough to snap up this particular prospect.
No, this isn’t a suggestion WVU’s star candidate has all of a sudden become No. 1 pick material, but it is a call that the Detroit Pistons could do a lot worse with one of their selections at No. 37 or No. 42.
Having seen their previous rookie point guard, Killian Hayes, sidelined by injury for much of his maiden season in the NBA, it’s possible a fill-in replica makes sense almost a year later.
McBride may not be the finished article right now, and his 6’1” frame may be seen as a sticking point for some recruiters, but there’s every chance we could be looking at a star wing contributor in several seasons’ time.
Only the Oklahoma City Thunder (six) and New Orleans Pelicans (five) boast more 2021 Draft picks than Detroit’s four, giving the franchise plenty of elbow room to take a risk or two along the way, reported MyDailyPapers.com.
According to Illinois Gambler, The Boston Celtics don’t get their first pick of the 2021 NBA Draft until No. 45, and while many may consider McBride unlikely to take that slot, their need for production at point guard or power forward may force their hand.
The New York Post reported Boston were one of two NBA teams to have already held private workouts with the player, the latest suggestion yet that he’s viewed as a genuine pro prospect.
His height is on the shorter side, but a wingspan of 6’8.5” wowed recruiters at the combine earlier in June, not to mention his shot-making ability from range looked cool and consistent:
The second-team All-Big 12 nominee for this past season averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds during the 2020-21 campaign, hitting 41.4 percent of his three-pointers and 81.3 per cent of his free throws.
All in all, those statistics point to a reliable, all-round asset whose fundamentals are hard to ignore, and the Celtics may count themselves lucky if their recent trainee remains at No. 45.
New York Knicks
McBride may not yet have the clout to demand he move off the board as early on as No. 19 when the New York Knicks make their first pick this year.
That being said, there’s plenty of reason to believe the Knicks could move for his signature with their second selection at No. 32, providing end-to-end cover in a position where the franchise is severely lacking.
It helps our predictions to know McBride has already had private workouts with Thomas Thibodeau’s side as well, another heavy indicator the Knicks are indeed interested in his talents.
It may work against the soon-to-be 21-year-old that his well-rounded game in attack and defense actually means he struggles to stand out in any one area, but the Knicks are well-placed to get a sensible selection at No. 32 if McBride lasts that long.