For a conference that has been highly criticized as falling off the past few seasons, the Pac-12 keeps churning out NBA picks.
Predictably, none were from Washington this season. As we mentioned in an earlier post, Abdul Gaddy is expected to play for Charlotte in the NBA’s Summer League.
But, there were seven players from the conference drafted, which ties it with the ACC for the most taken in Thursday’s NBA draft from one conference.
Here’s the rundown:
No. 14 Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA) by Utah, traded to Minnesota: Maybe it was the hype that preceded his entrance into college, but Muhammad didn’t impress me much in his one year at UCLA. Muhammad shot a lot and turned it over a lot. He was also a poor defender much of the season. For me, Jordan Adams was clearly the best player on UCLA prior to getting hurt in the Pac-12 Tournament.
No. 23 Solomon Hill (Arizona) by Indiana: I was curious to see if the NBA scouts would appreciate Hill as much as Pac-12 coaches did. Most loved the guy. He played hard, was focused, could drive it, shoot it and defended. Should fit right in with the grown-man ball the Pacers like to play.
No. 26 Andre Roberson (Colorado) by Golden State, traded to Oklahoma City: Lots of folks questioned Roberson’s decision to forego his senior season. He ended up with guaranteed money to play for one of the best teams in the Western Conference. Sounds like it worked out. Needs to find some offensive game to stick in the NBA for those coveted second and third contracts.
No. 31 Allen Crabbe (Cal) by Cleveland, traded to Portland: Crabbe came out early and just barely slipped into the second round, where he was the first pick. He ends up with the Blazers as part of their rebuild. Easy to envision a scoring role off the bench for Crabbe. Would like to see him manage his emotions better.
No. 32 Carrick Felix (Arizona State) by Cleveland: In brief interactions with Felix, he came across as a very good kid. Pulled down excellent grades at ASU and was an effective all-around player on the court. Felix was the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year thanks to a 3.50 GPA and nabbing a Master’s degree before leaving school. Sometimes, the system works.
No. 40 Grant Jarrett (Arizona) by Portland: Jarrett joins Crabbe on the Blazers after spending just a year with the Wildcats. He’s big with good hands and range. He’s an intriguing prospect who left under some odd circumstances.
No. 54 Arsalan Kazemi (Oregon) by Washington, traded to Philadelphia: Kazemi was probably my favorite player in the league last year because of the way he played. Relentless, unselfish, skilled basketball is a pleasure to watch. Who knows if he can stick in the NBA, but it won’t be for lack of effort.