The 2022 NBA Draft will take place Thursday night at the Barclays Center, where NBA prospects will hope to hear their name called for an NBA team.
Some might not hear their name called, but will get a call after the draft to join an organization as an undrafted free agent or get a chance to showcase their skills at Summer League in a few weeks.
For the Mountain West Conference, after having its best season in nearly a decade, there are several players that could be signed on draft day or find their way onto an NBA roster this season.
Entering this year’s draft, there are several prominent players from this past season that have the potential to be in the NBA for several years.
Here is a list of Mountain West players that could hear their names called Thursday or sign with NBA teams after the draft:
This past season’s Mountain West Player of the Year is projected to be a second-round pick. Depending on what projections you read, Roddy could be an early second-round pick (with a slight chance of being the last pick of the first round) to somewhere in the late 40’s.
Roddy showed his dominance in the Mountain West, averaging 19.2 points per game and 7.6 rebounds. His ability to score is a plus and as a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, but that was working against Mountain West competition. One of the downsides to Roddy is that he is an undersized guard and lacks the athleticism of a big man in the NBA.
Roddy will likely hear his name called on draft night, but he will have a lot of work to do to improve his guard skills and work against the bigger forwards in the NBA.
Hamilton has tested the draft waters in the past but decided to come back to UNLV. After his fourth year with the Rebels, he has decided to put his name into the NBA Draft this time around. Over the past two seasons, Hamilton has established himself as one of, if not the best scorers in the Mountain West.
The 6-foot-4 guard showed his ability to create his own shot as he was UNLV’s most consistent producer on offense the last two seasons. Hamilton’s ability to get to the basket and get whatever shot he wants is a benefit, and his scoring ability will get him attention.
But Hamilton lacks a consistent 3-point shot and needs to develop as more of an asset on the defensive end. If a team believes they can help Hamilton improve defensively, they will likely take a chance on him. I don’t expect him to be drafted, but he will be signed as an undrafted free agent and work his way onto an NBA roster if his defense improves.
Many Mountain West players will be glad to see Robinson leaving the conference to go to the NBA, after the 7-footer gave everyone fits in the paint. He averaged 19.4 points per game and 8.4 rebounds during his junior campaign. Defensively, he compiled 43 blocks to lead the conference.
Robinson is very likely to get signed to an NBA roster and get a chance during Summer League to showcase how much of a wrecking force he can be on defense. As the game of basketball evolves, Robinson will have to build off his 35% 3-point shooting in college. If that can translate to the NBA, it can be an added bonus to keep him on the floor longer.
Similar to Roddy, Robinson will face much tougher competition in the NBA than he did in the Mountain West. It will be important that Robinson keep that same toughness and grows it as he faces tougher competition. If Robinson develops and responds to the next level, he has the ceiling of being an everyday center in the NBA.
In only one season with the Rebels, Williams established himself as the UNLV’s second best player behind Hamilton. This was after spending time at Texas where Williams did not get much playing time. And with the Rebels, Williams showed his potential as a scorer and his athleticism has been on display. However, it was surprising to see Williams declare for the draft after just one season of consistent play, where he averaged 12.7 points per game.
As a 6-foot-6 wing, Williams is the ideal height for an NBA player, but he was listed at only 190 pounds for UNLV last season. Williams will have to put on size this summer, along with having to learn to play at trying to get bigger, to get acclimated to the NBA, a far different beast than the Mountain West Conference.
When he was on the floor at UNLV he was very productive. He showed an ability to knock down the outside shot and drive to the basket. And there were many times when “Stretch” showcased his athleticism. It’s been a bit surprising to see Williams get so many workouts, but teams believe he can grow into a serviceable NBA talent who is the perfect height and size.
Bean was one of the few that stayed on with the coaching change to Ryan Odom and he grew into the Aggies’ top weapon on offense. And after his best season at Utah State, Bean has put his name into the NBA Draft. Bean averaged 17.4 points per game, with 9.9 rebounds, and shot over 46% from 3-point range.
Offensively, Bean’s game should translate well. Bean is that ideal size for an NBA player, and he can be both a ball-handling guard and make his presence felt inside the paint. He has received many compliments from the workouts he has with various NBA teams, with some saying Bean is often one of the best players at every workout.
Bean will get the shot to play professionally. As a 25-year-old, his status as a more veteran rookie could bode well for him. If a team is looking for a scorer, they could sign Bean as an undrafted free agent and he could become a valuable piece of any rotation.
Jeffries enters the draft after completing his senior year at Wyoming. The duo of Hunter Maldonado and Graham Ike combined to average nearly 40 points per game, but Jeffries established himself as a third option, averaging 10.3 points per game and shooting over 40% from 3-point range on 230 attempts last season.
He was not on many people’s radar before the season, but as Wyoming put together one of its best seasons in recent history, Jeffries established himself as one of the best 3-point shooters in the conference. Jeffries has received workouts and has appeared to catch the eyes of some scouts.
Jeffries will likely not get drafted, but his 3-point shooting ability as a 6-foot-5 guard gives him value for to any NBA team. Expect him to be signed after draft day, make an appearance at Summer League and find his was onto a G-League roster for in the fall.
Where do you think these players go in the draft? Which teams could they sign for? And how many Mountain West players find their way to NBA/NBAG-League rosters for the upcoming season? Let us know in the comments and on our social media pages.