Isaac Brekken/Associated Press
Many of the top players taken annually in the NBA draft are prospects who played one college season after high school and then declared pro. That leaves some of the more experienced college players and the top international prospects on the board for a bit, unless they are can’t-miss prospects themselves.
This year, one example of an experienced college player who may not get selected until later is San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn.
The 22-year-old has been a key reason for the Aztecs’ success the past three years (which included going 30-2 this past season), but he’s flying a bit under the radar in the buildup to this year’s draft.
Here’s where the expert mocks are predicting several under-the-radar guards, including Flynn, to be taken in this year’s NBA draft.
Malachi Flynn, PG, San Diego State
There are numerous talented point guards in this year’s draft class, and not just those who are likely to go within the first 15 picks, such as LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, Tyrese Haliburton and Cole Anthony.
One of those who should be available later in the first round is Flynn. He had a solid three-year career for the Aztecs and showed improvement each season, culminating with his junior campaign in which he averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals over 32 games and shot 44.1 percent from the field.
The Tacoma, Washington native is a fringe first-rounder, and Sports Illustrated‘s Jeremy Woo has him getting selected by the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 29. L.A. needs to get a bit younger in its backcourt, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see it go with Flynn there.
“If the Lakers make this pick, they’d be justified looking for immediate depth, and Flynn fits the mold here as far as guards are concerned,” Woo wrote.
Others aren’t quite as high on Flynn in their mocks. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has him going to the Indiana Pacers at No. 50, while Bryan Kalbrosky of Rookie Wire projects him to go to the Charlotte Hornets at No. 56.
The later Flynn gets selected, though, the bigger steal it could be, as he could easily develop into a solid point guard who plays valuable minutes in the NBA.
Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford
Young Kwak/Associated Press
Another point guard who might be deserving of more pre-draft buzz is Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, who showcased his elite shooting skills during his lone season with the Cardinal.
In 31 games, he shot 44.1 percent from the field, 40.8 percent on 3-pointers and 89.1 percent at the free-throw line.
“Already considered one of the best shooters in the class, he would be a welcome addition to any NBA franchise,” Kalbrosky wrote.
Kalbrosky projects Terry to go to the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 16, which would be a fitting landing spot for the Stanford guard.
The 19-year-old was born in Minneapolis, where he attended DeLaSalle High School. He would provide the Timberwolves with depth behind D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley while immediately giving them a strong shooter to bring in off the bench.
Woo has Terry going to the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 22, and Vecenie is projecting him to get taken by the Boston Celtics at No. 30. That seems to be a more likely range rather than as high as No. 16, but perhaps the Timberwolves would reach a bit to bring in a hometown kid.
Regardless, Terry’s shooting ability makes him an exciting prospect to watch moving forward, wherever he gets drafted.
Leandro Bolmaro, SG, FC Barcelona
Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images
Expert mock drafts have varying opinions on just how high shooting guard Leandro Bolmaro will be selected. But he’s an intriguing international prospect who seems to have a lot of potential as he prepares to enter the NBA.
It’s possible the Argentine will be a first-round selection. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz have him going to the Denver Nuggets with the No. 22 pick, while Woo projects him to get selected by the Toronto Raptors at No. 28.
Some mocks have the 19-year-old as a second-round pick, though. Vecenie has him going to the Hornets at No. 32, and Kalbrosky predicts he’ll be taken by the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 42.
“Feasibly, Bolmaro could be drafted as high as the teens, or he could slip to the end of the first round,” Woo wrote. “There are teams who love his innate creativity, and others who have expressed concern over his lack of high-level seasoning and shooting struggles.”
But Bolmaro has great size and playmaking abilities and, as Woo noted, if he decides to stay overseas for another season, he could continue to improve before playing in the NBA. So, he has a lot of upside and potential that could be realized in the long term, making him a developmental pick this year.