At the start of the college basketball season, many mock NBA Draft lists had freshman Jarrett Allen somewhere in the first round. A few months later, Allen was nowhere to be found in mock drafts, despite a strong freshman season at Texas.
And now there’s a little bit of both.
USA Today released its 2017 NBA Mock Draft on Wednesday and it veers drastically from many other lists, with Arizona big man Lauri Markkanen dropping in at No. 1 to the Boston Celtics (who own Brooklyn’s No. 1 draft pick). But the most important prediction to Longhorn fans is the inclusion of Allen not just in the first round, and not just in the lottery, but in the top-10.
The publication’s Big Lead NBA blog, written by Jason McIntyre, has Allen going No. 10 to the Portland Trailblazers, the highest such prediction since the start the college basketball season for Allen. The blog suggests that after what has been a disappointing season for the Trailblazers thanks to poor play in the front court, Allen would be a good fit:
I believe the Blazers will be in the market to trade down a bit, or draft and stash. Allen is a promising freshman (13.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg) who went for 22-19 against Kansas.
While USA Today likes Allen, Bleacher Report is way different. Their writer Jonathan Wasserman also released his “Pre-All-Star Game” mock draft. The mock draft is more conventional with standout point guard Markelle Fultz, of Washington, going No. 1 to the Celtics. The mock draft doesn’t list Allen at all.
NBADraftNet.com projects Allen as the 15th pick in the draft, heading to Denver. Meanwhile NBADraftExpress.com completely leaves Allen off their two-round projections, i.e. not drafted at all.
While the Longhorns have struggled mightily on the court this season, Allen can’t be blamed for the dip. The 6-foot-11-inch center averages 31 minutes a game, 13.2 points, shoots 57 percent from the field, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. In his last five games, Allen is averaging 18.6 points and 9.2 rebounds.
With Texas currently holding the No. 7 2017 recruiting class in the country, with two 5-star recruits still considering Texas, as well the bulk of the current young roster likely to stay, Allen’s decision to return for a sophomore season could be a giant positive heading into next season.
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