NBA Draft Happens Tonight
The 2019 NBA Draft takes place Thursday night and will be aired live on ESPN at 7pm.
As usual, there are a number of prospects with New England roots hoping to hear their name called.
Of course, the most notable name this year is that of Brewster Academy guard Jalen Lecque, who is looking to make the jump directly from the NEPSAC to the NBA. Lecque is currently projected as a second round pick by ESPN and slated to fall 49th overall to the San Antonio Spurs in their most recent mock. However, the Celtics have had Lecque in for multiple workouts and the Thunder scouted Lecque more vigorously than any other team during the past season. Lecque finished the year as the top ranked prospect in New England's class of 2019 and was named MVP of the National Prep Championship.
Former St. Thomas More forward Eric Paschall is the only former New England product currently projected to be a first round pick in tonight's draft. ESPN has him slated 24th overall, which would keep the Villanova alum in Philadelphia for the 76'ers. Paschall finished as the 11th ranked prospect in New England's class of 2014 and initially attended Fordham. He later transferred to Villanova where he would win a national championship and push his stock higher than anyone ever anticipated. Now, Paschall is viewed as one of the more versatile and NBA ready prospects in the draft.
Connecticut native Tremont Waters, who graduated from Notre Dame West Haven after spending three years at South Kent, is projected as a mid-second round pick in tonight's draft. Waters was the second ranked prospect in 2017, behind OKC's Hamidou Diallo, and is coming off a huge sophomore season at LSU. While he may be undersized for NBA standards his skill-set, instincts, and feel for the game will hopefully lead to his name being called tonight.
Former Suffield Academy post-graduate Miye Oni is projected as a late-second round pick by ESPN, and currently slated to be picked 51st by the Celtics. Oni was ranked as the 39th overall prospect in the class of 2016 but his story is truly incredible as he was initially expected to attend division III Williams College before Yale encouraged him to pursue a post-grad year and come to them in 2016. He went on to have a storied three-year career in the Ivy League.
While those four prospects are the only ones with New England roots currently projected to be drafted tonight there are others in contention. Tops among them is Florida State graduate and Tilton alum Terance Mann who is 68th overall in ESPN's Top 100. Other players ranked within the top 100 include former St. Thomas More product and St. Joseph's wing Charlie Brown Jr. at 92, former Vermont Academy forward Simisola Shittu at 98, and former New Hampton wing and UCF product Aubrey Dawkins.