With All-American forward, Jared Sullinger, leaving Buckeye Nation for the NBA Draft, and William Buford following suit, the spotlight is now being shone on DeShaun Thomas to be Ohio State’s primary weapon on offense.
And with an expected hike in all-around production, next season will inevitably beg the question:
How high can DeShaun Thomas go in the 2013 NBA Draft?
In the Buckeyes’ Final Four run last season, Thomas put up some pretty impressive numbers (considering he played alongside Sully), posting 15.9 points and 5.4 rebounds peer game. I projected his number, without Sullinger or Buford, to skyrocket across the board, so is it really that far-fetched to see him drafted in the mid-late first- round?
Last season, Thomas showed us his ability to score in a variety of ways. He’s a versatile, athletic wing, and though he gets a bit trigger-happy from deep at times, can consistently knock down triples with his lethally deep range. Thomas can also score off the dribble, and coupling that with his ability to use his size to score in the post makes him a damn-near one-man wrecking crew running the show for OSU.
The knock on him? Defense.
Thomas tends to be a lackadaisical on the defensive end, and he’s had his work ethic and dedication to the game repeatedly questioned. The effort just hasn’t been seen on the other side of the ball, which is going to be what he has to work on most if he wants to improve his stock.
According to NBADraft.net’s most recent 2013 Mock Draft, Thomas is projected to go in the middle of the second round at pick No. 43 to the Houston Rockets. Similarly, DraftExpress.com also has the Buckeye going in the second round at pick No. 34.
Without Sullinger or Buford taking shots, DeShaun Thomas is going to explode for a juhis junior season to set himself apart from the pack. He may not be a lottery pick, but with the offensive freedom that comes with a game plan built aroundhim, Ohio State’s next star will shoot up draft boards weeks into the 2013-2014 season.
So where do you think the OSU forward will be drafted next year? Or do you think he’ll stay for his senior season?