2018 NBA Mock Draft: Promises, promises

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10: Deandre Ayton
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10: Deandre Ayton /
2 of 30
Jacob Evans

G/F. Cincinnati. Jacob Evans. 29. player. 147.

It would be a massive victory for the Nets if Evans were to fall all the way into their lap on draft night. The wing slipped all the way to No. 30 on ESPN’s latest big board, signaling a complete shuffle of the prospects that seems like it might leave lesser scorers in the dust.

In the past few months, Evans has been surpassed by the likes of Kevin Huerter, Grayson Allen and Donte DiVincenzo in the apparent league-wide consensus. He shouldn’t be forgotten — with the size to scoot up or down positionally and make plays and open shots, he is a supreme role player prospect in a wing-heavy NBA. His impact should translate immediately on the defensive end, where Evans’ incredible shot-blocking and steal rates place him a step above the rest of the crowd in his range.

One wonders if his mid-major reputation is the reason he has fallen, after out-performing most of his peers on the wing in college. Brooklyn needs more talent like Evans, who can fill in the gaps between their talent at guard and in the frontcourt.

This is the Nets’ final year in the Draft Bad Place, no longer punished for Billy King’s misdeed starting in 2019. To grab a player like Evans, who was once projected in the teens, with a throw-in pick would be a godsend.