4. Nico Mannion
Mannion is understandably one prospect that really divides opinion among scouts. He arrived at Arizona with massive expectations as a freshman. Unfortunately for Sean Miller and his coaching staff, Mannion struggled to really blossom into a star for the Wildcats.
He’ll get an opportunity to enter the NBA with drastically lower expectations. That team that selects him in the second round will want him to be a cog in their machine. Taking the ball out of Mannion’s hands so often should allow him to experience a significant uptick in his offensive efficiency.
If everything breaks right, Mannion can become a quality combo guard who can operate his team’s offense from both the point guard and off guard position. That kind of versatility holds real value at the next level. Mannion only needs to tighten his handle up slightly to become a quality point guard. The same applies to his shooting stroke from beyond the arc.
Mannion’s lack of length or elite athleticism does limit his ceiling as a defender. That doesn’t mean he can’t become average on that end of the floor. If he becomes an efficient offensive player at both guard spots and a league-average defender, it’s easy to see how he can become a high-quality NBA starter.