Grading Every Mountain West NBA Draft Selection Of The 2010s

Grading Every Mountain West NBA Draft Selection Of The 2010s

Mountain West Basketball

Grading Every Mountain West NBA Draft Selection Of The 2010s


Larry Nance, Jr.

Wyoming | ’15 Draft – R1P27 | 22.9 MPG/7.7 PPG/6.5 RPG

When on the floor, former Wyoming star Larry Nance, Jr. has been a productive role player in the NBA. Injuries have caused the forward to miss a handful of games, but he still has made an encouraging 86 starts in four combined years with the Lakers and Cavaliers. There’s a lot left in the tank for the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest runner-up.

Grade: B+

Cameron Bairstow

New Mexico | ’14 Draft – R2P49 | 4.6 MPG/1.2 PPG/1.0 RPG

Ex-Lobo Cameron Bairstow recorded a pair of 18-game seasons with the Chicago Bulls in 2015 and 2016, averaging shy of five minutes an outing over those appearances. Bairstow has played for his hometown Brisbane Bullets of Australia’s NBL since 2016 but the club opted not to pick up his option in March.

Grade: C

Xavier Thames

San Diego State | ’14 Draft – R2P59 | N/A

It’s tough to set high professional expectations for a guy who was taken with the second-to-last pick of the draft. Former Aztec Xavier Thames had two summer league trips with the Brooklyn Nets and has spent the entirety of his pro career abroad. Thames currently plays for Hungarian club Egis Kormend.

Grade: C-

Anthony Bennett

UNLV | ’13 Draft – R1P1 | 12.6 MPG/4.4 PPG/3.4 RPG

Infamously known as one of the hugest busts of all time, Bennett was taken first overall in the 2013 draft and has already made six stints with non-NBA teams since. It’s been bad. Bennett has played in 151 career NBA games and made just four starts, logging a discouraging 12.6 minutes per game and converting a disastrous 39.2 percent of his field goal attempts.

Last year, Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller named Bennett the biggest draft bust of this century and said, “it would take some kind of miracle on his part or a complete disaster from a future player for Bennett to relinquish the title of the NBA’s worst pick of the 21st century.”

Bennett is currently in the G League with the Agua Caliente Clippers, hoping to muster something positive out of his otherwise dreadful professional basketball career.

He did have that one game though.

Grade: F

Tony Snell

New Mexico | ’13 Draft – R1P20 | 21.8 MPG/6.2 PPG/2.4 RPG

Tony Snell has enjoyed a productive NBA career since entering the league in 2013, being one of the steals in the ’13 draft that also featured current superstars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, and C.J. McCollum. In fact, Snell has more career win shares than five of the lottery picks out of the 2013 draft. He has started 218 of his 442 appearances with the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks and knocked down 38.2 percent of his three-pointers and 81.9 percent of his attempts from the line. Snell figures to be a highly-desirable sixth man or occasional starter for the remainder of his career.

Grade: A-

Jamaal Franklin

San Diego State | ’13 Draft – R2P41 | 7.3 MPG/1.8 PPG/1.0 RPG

San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin appeared in 21 games with the Memphis Grizzles his rookie year and three more games in his sophomore season with the Denver Nuggets. Since then, Franklin has put together a nice career in China. The guard re-signed with the Sichuan Blue Whales last August.

Grade: C+

Colton Iverson

Colorado State | ’13 Draft – R2P53 | N/A

Big man Colton Iverson had a productive season in the Mountain West with Colorado State after coming over as a Minnesota transfer. Though Iverson was taken late in the 2013 draft, he never appeared in an NBA game. Iverson had two summer league stints but his entire pro career has taken place in Israel, Turkey and Spain. The ex-CSU Ram averaged 8.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in ’16-17 to help guide Maccabi Tel Aviv to the 2017 Israeli State Cup.

Grade: C

Jimmer Fredette

BYU | ’11 Draft – R1P10 | 13.3 MPG/6.0 PPG/1.3 APG

Jimmer will forever be remembered as one of the greatest college basketball players of all time. Pairing his jaw-dropping deep perimeter shooting ability with an unmatched competitive edge, the BYU legend epitomized everything we love about this sport. The NBA ranks haven’t been all that kind to Fredette, though. He’s made four stops with other NBA teams since being drafted 10th overall in 2011 and was with the Shanghai Sharks for three seasons before returning briefly to the Phoenix Suns this past season. Now 30, this is Fredette’s last opportunity to produce at the NBA level.

Grade: C+

Kawhi Leonard

San Diego State | ’11 Draft – R1P15 | 30.8 MPG/17.7 PPG/6.3 RPG

What a career it has already been for ex-Aztec Kawhi Leonard. At just 27 years old, The Klaw has put together a Hall of Fame resume with two Finals MVPs, three All-NBA appearances, two DPOY awards, and three All-Star nods. Again, he’s only 27. The defensive mastermind and smooth scorer has yet to truly enter the prime years of most NBA players as well. Not only will Leonard go down as the best Mountain West product of all time, but also one of the all-time NBA greats.

Grade: A+ 

Eli Boettger is the lead basketball writer at Mountain West Wire. He’s covered Mountain West basketball since 2015 and his work has been featured on Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, SB Nation, Yahoo Sports, MSN, and other platforms. Boettger is a current USBWA member.



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