On Thursday, five players were selected out of the Big Ten and into the NBA. Only one of the five ended up in the first round, which included a massive slide for Michigan point guard Darius Morris to go from mid-first round to mid-second round. All in all, the Big Ten must have mixed feelings about this draft and how it ended up for the conference. Players like David Lighty, Jereme Richmond, and Demetri McCamey weren’t picked.
Many solid players in the NCAA weren’t selected. Ben Hansbrough from Notre Dame, Matt Howard from Butler, and Jacob Pullen out of Kansas State are only a few of the players that didn’t end up hearing their name called Thursday.
JaJuan Johnson was the first guy from the Big Ten to hear his name called. He went to New Jersey with pick 27 and was traded over to Boston in a trade. Johnson fits great in coach Doc River’s system. The Celtics need a lot of help in the frontcourt, so Johnson should see ample playing time in Boston. He will be playing under Kevin Garnett.
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The next player out of the Big Ten didn’t occur until mid-second round with Jon Leuer. He will stay in the state of Wisconsin after getting drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 40th pick. The Bucks are going to need extra scoring, but playing time might not be there in Milwaukee as they have a lot of pieces in the frontcourt. Overall, it’s a good fit for the Bucks if Leuer can get off the pine.
The following pick was another Big Ten prospect. Darius Morris, a first round hopeful and prospect that entered the draft early, slid farther than most imagined. He went to the Los Angeles Lakers at pick 41. Great fit for both sides as the Lakers need extra help at the point guard position. Morris should be able to get playing time in LA and his understanding of the game will grow by playing with Derek Fisher and a veteran lineup.
The one player from the B1G that wasn’t on the draft board for BT Powerhouse was Jon Diebler. The Portland Trail Blazers selected him at pick 51. They seem to need more scoring off the bench after trading away Rudy Fernandez earlier in the draft in order to get Raymond Felton. The Blazers are loaded with a lot of guys that play the same position as Diebler, but he has the ability to shoot from three that the others don’t have.
Finally, the Boston Celtics took E’Twaun Moore in the second round. Yes, you heard right…Moore will be NBA teammates with Johnson. The duo out of Purdue will be on a older team that is seeking to get younger. Moore will be learning the game from Ray Allen, who is entering the final year of his contract and maybe his career. Moore fits Boston well because Boston has been looking for a young guard for the past few seasons.