The 2017 NBA Draft was on Thursday night, and while it wasn’t a surprise, there were no Marquette players selected in the 60 draft picks.
Now that we’re a year away from Henry Ellenson being selected by the Detroit Pistons, we turn our attention to wondering who will be the next player that gets Marquette’s name called from the podium at Barclays Center.
What follows is a rough assessment of the current Marquette roster in regards to the most likely chances of becoming an NBA Draft pick in the future. Not necessarily in 2018, but even somewhere else down the road.
If Howard is capable of shooting over 50% on three-pointers again as a sophomore, his chances of being drafted are going to skyrocket. A second season of that moves Howard’s freshman year performance from a (possible) one year fluke to an obvious performable and repeatable skill. He is going to need to show that he can finish at the rim regularly and do a better job taking care of the ball to really get the attention of NBA scouts, especially at the listed height of 5’11”. Don’t discount the fact that because of his age, Howard isn’t even draft eligible until next June.
Now, maybe this seems a little silly, as Froling barely played at SMU before leaving to transfer to Marquette. However, it was a line from former Mustangs head coach Larry Brown that convinced Froling to head to Dallas for college. In Andrew Goldstein’s excellent profile, Froling relayed that Brown convinced him by saying he could put the Aussie in the NBA in two years. Well, the 2017-18 season would be the second year of college for Froling, and while maybe he might not be ready by then, you have to figure that Brown, a long time NBA coach, was able to identify traits that could land Froling a place in the league.
The good news for the Virginia native is that he proved he could hack it at a higher collegiate level during his junior year at Marquette, posting a shooting split of .461/.447/.926. All three of those numbers were career highs for Rowsey, and if he can translate that to a bunch more scoring as a senior, his draft profile will just keep growing.
The Nebraska transfer is probably going to have to wait until the 2019 draft to have a shot at NBA fame, as sitting out this coming season isn’t going to do him any favors in that regard. Staying in Lincoln and playing as an undersized center wasn’t going to help him either, so getting to play as more of a four for Steve Wojciechowski can only improve his professional prospects. Morrow has yet to attempt a three-pointer in college, and knocking down outside jumpers as a stretch four/undersized five in the NBA will be pretty important.
Let’s be fair: we’ve yet to see anything from Heldt on the court that would imply that he’s trending towards an NBA draft pick. He is 6’10”, though, and as Enzo Amore will tell you, you can’t teach that. Heldt is also very clearly a big effort guy, and that will benefit him as well. Heldt was comfortable stepping out to shoot threes in high school, and if he can show that skill over the next two seasons, that will help him earn attention from NBA front offices.
It’s very weird: Hauser was as nearly indispensible as you can get as a freshman last season for Marquette, but I wouldn’t exactly say he’s on track to be an NBA Draft pick. We’ll have to wait and see how his game evolves over the next season or two or three to see if he can get there. I’d wager that he can, I’m just saying he’s not close right now.
If this was written a year ago, I would have said Cheatham was clearly on track for a vibrant pro career. This year..... not so much. He clearly has the physical gifts to return to his freshman year form, but Cheatham is going to have to make a big showing as a junior to regain the attention of the NBA.
Jamal Cain/Ike Eke/Greg Elliott/Theo John
I’m lumping all four freshman together here, because obviously they have a chance to make it to the league. However, none of them appear to be immediate candidates for the NBA Draft. Steve Wojciechowski loves saying that Cain, Eke, and John would all have been the best athlete on the 2016-17 MU team, and Elliott appears to be no slouch in the athleticism department, either. John might have the inside track right now as a rim protector type, and Cain might have the highest ceiling of the four.
Who is the next Marquette draft pick?
This poll is closed
Someone else on the roster
A future recruit