What O.G. Anunoby’s draft stock looks like before the NBA Combine

Jan 2, 2016; Lincoln, NE, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward O.G. Anunoby (3) shoots against Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Andrew White (3) during the first half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2016; Lincoln, NE, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward O.G. Anunoby (3) shoots against Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Andrew White (3) during the first half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /

Two Indiana players were invited to the NBA Combine in Chicago – Thomas Bryant and O.G. Anunoby – We take a look at Anunoby’s draft stock before the combine.

O.G. Anunoby made the decision to stay in the NBA Draft this summer after considering coming back to Indiana for another season. After Anunoby suffering a season-ending knee injury it would make sense if he wanted to come back to school for another year. It also makes sense to enter the NBA Draft with the skill set that O.G. Anunoby holds.

The latest NBA mock drafts have Anunoby scattered across the board. Some experts have him as high as a lottery pick and others as low as a late first round selection. There is no question that many will have questions about his health heading into the draft.

One major plus for Anunoby is being invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago next week.137 underclass players were considered early entries into the 2017 draft pool with only about 50-percent of those receiving an invite to the combine. 60 players from across the NCAA and International were invited.

We have compiled some of the best NBA mock drafts and where O.G. Anunoby is projected to land. Which of these mock drafts makes the most sense?

Draft Express

Round No. 1, Pick No. 13 – Denver Nuggets

Chad Ford – ESPN

Round No. 1, Pick No. 13 – Denver Nuggets

Both NBA Draft Expert Chad Ford and Draft Express have O.G. Anunoby going early in the first round. A lottery pick has become a common theme with Anunoby over the course of this season. His preseason ranking held him in the Top-10 in some early mock drafts. Clearly, the knee injury has not altered his draft stock in the minds of some of the best. No one should be surprised if they see Anunoby being taken in the early teens of this year’s draft.

The Denver Nuggets are an extremely enticing choice for Anunoby. Granted that the NBA Lottery has not yet been revealed, the Nuggets are projected to claim that spot. The Nuggets as their roster sits right now have a glaring forward problem in the near future. Danilo Gallinari is entering the summer with 16.1 million dollar player option and will become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. The only other small forward the Nuggets have locked down is 29-year-old Wilson Chandler.

If the Nuggets feel that they won’t be able to retain Gallinari beyond his player option, they will definitely have a major hole to fill in 2018. Anunoby seems like a great fit for both sides. O.G. Anunoby can learn through a developing, young team and have the opportunity to slide into a major role quite quickly.

Gary Parrish – CBS Sports

Round No. 1, Pick No. 14 – Miami Heat

Similar to Chad Ford and Draft Express, CBS Sports Gary Parrish has Anunoby going No. 14 to the Miami Heat. Staying within the boundaries of a lottery pick, Miami would be another sensible choice for Anunoby.

The Miami Heat just missed making the playoffs with the Bulls edging them out in the final game of the regular season. The Heat have questions surrounding Justice Winslow it would make sense for Miami to have a backup plan. The fact that Winslow has dealt with multiple injuries may have an impact on whether they take a chance on Anunoby’s health.

Rob Goldberg – Bleacher Report

Round No. 1, Pick No. 19 – Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta is an interesting destination for O.G. Anunoby. The first is that Anunoby would slide to the late teens in the draft. For me, it would be hard to believe that he falls anywhere past 17 considering the teams picking and their needs.

The Hawks are entering the summer with decisions to make on players like Paul Millsap. Millsap has a player option for 21 million dollars but might opt out to pursue a change of scenery. The Hawks will be losing Ersan Ilyasova, Thabo Sefolosha, and Kris Humphries to free agency. While they could resign these guys, they might target the draft to supplement. O.G. Anunoby could step right in and make an immediate with his excellent defense and rebounding ability.

Howard Megdal – CBS Sports

Round No. 1, Pick No. 26 – Portland Trailblazers

It’s really hard for me to believe that O.G. Anunoby falls this far but Howard Megdal covers the NBA. The injury possibility or offensive question marks make him slide for Megdal? Possibly. If the Trailblazers somehow end up with O.G. Anunoby still available at No. 26 it would be a no-brainer.

Anunoby would be joining former Indiana center and 2014 lottery pick Noah Vonleh. The Blazers in my mind have the most comparable comparison player in Al Farouq Aminu. While I think Anunoby has a higher ceiling overall, it’s hard to deny some similarities between the two players. The Blazers have another pick earlier in the first round and if they add Anunoby at 26 they might just win the draft.