While it is unlikely that the Buckeyes will add to their rich draft history in this year’s 2017 NBA Draft, there still has been plenty of NBA players that have come out of Columbus.
The Ohio State program has had 11 players selected in the NBA Draft since 2000. Out of that group are former All-Star and now retired Michael Redd, as well as current Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley Jr., who is currently the highest paid player in the NBA.
The last Ohio State player to be selected in the NBA Draft was D’Angelo Russell in 2015. Russell was selected second overall by the Los Angles Lakers. In his two years with the Lakers, Russell has been an excellent offensive player, averaging 14 points and four assists per game. Russell thrives in the pick-and-roll, because of his ability to read the defense as well as being able to knock down outside shots.
To become a more well-rounded player Russell must improve immensely on the defensive end. The Lakers were one of the worst defensive teams in the league last season. Russell’s lack of foot speed will always trouble him, but he must get more intelligent on the defensive end to make up for his lack of quickness. Russell will get a fresh start this upcoming season after being dealt to the Nets yesterday.
2007 Draft Class
The 2007 Ohio State draft class was led by Conley, who was the fourth pick in 2007 by the Memphis Grizzlies. The former Buckeye point guard just finished his ninth season, in his nine years in Memphis he’s posted 14 points and five assists per game. Conley made NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2013.
Joining Conley in the 2007 draft class were two of his teammates, former number one overall pick Greg Oden, and 21st pick Daequan Cook.
Big Ten fans know the misfortunes of Oden’s NBA career.
When healthy Oden was everything scouts thought he would be. Unfortunately he was rarely healthy, the seven-footer only appeared in 105 games in his short NBA career, posting career numbers of eight points and six rebounds per game.
Cook’s career was also disappointing. The former Buckeye shooting guard played for four different teams in six seasons and never found much success. Cook averaged six points per game on 35% shooting from three for his career. For being a one-dimensional player, with his one skill being three-point shooting, Cook wasn’t efficient enough to build a stable career in the league.
Ohio State has had a rich history of success when it comes to the NBA Draft. The program has had 43 players selected in the NBA Draft. Out of that group the Buckeyes have had a mixture of recent success as well as notable Hall of Famers in the 1960’s with John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas both drafted in 1962.
The Buckeyes will have an opportunity to add to their list with Marc Loving declaring for this year’s NBA Draft. Loving’s chances of hearing his name called on draft night are slim, but it only takes one team to take a chance on him.