NBA Combine 2022: Prospects Who Boosted Their Stock After Thursday's Drills

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 20, 2022

NBA Combine 2022: Prospects Who Boosted Their Stock After Thursday's Drills

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    Many top prospects who attend the NBA draft combine don't participate in the 5-on-5 scrimmages. There's no reason to. They're already projected to get taken with a lottery pick, so risking injury or a poor performance that could potentially lower their stock is not wise.

    Some players need the scrimmages, though. These are the prospects who need to improve their stock as they may be projected to not get drafted until the second round or even not at all. They need to impress in the drills and play well in the scrimmages to put themselves on teams' radars.

    On Thursday, two of the four 5-on-5 scrimmages took place. And there were several prospects who continued to boost their stock with strong showings in the games, which will conclude with two more on Friday.

    Here's a look at those who are on the rise following their performances at this week's draft combine in Chicago.

Terquavion Smith, G, NC State

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    Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Terquavion Smith to get drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 30 overall pick, which is the final selection of the first round. But there's a chance the NC State guard will get taken earlier than that because of his combine performance.

    On Thursday, Smith had 17 points and six rebounds in his first scrimmage action. The 19-year-old scored 12 of those points in the first half as he got off to a hot start. He may have ended up 6-for-17 from the field, but he still had the most points of any player in his game.

    According to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated, there have been some concerns regarding Smith, who doesn't have a ton of experience after playing only one season at the college level.

    "Teams still seem to view him as a project, which probably limits the ceiling of where he'll be drafted, but Smith certainly enhanced his case on Thursday," Woo wrote.

    Smith was an impressive scorer for the Wolfpack, averaging 16.3 points per game. So it's clear to see why he has plenty of potential heading into the NBA.

Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara

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    Jalen Williams had an efficient, impressive showing in his scrimmage performance on Thursday. He scored 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting while also pulling down four rebounds. And it appears the Santa Clara guard's stock is on the rise.

    Rafael Barlowe of NBA Big Board tweeted on Thursday that there's been "rumblings" at the combine that Williams could end up getting selected with a lottery pick. That's much higher than many mocks have him getting drafted. Wasserman has Williams going to the Indiana Pacers at No. 35 overall.

    Woo reported there's "mixed opinion" on Williams from teams around the league, but he's "gathered steam as a player in the first-round discussion." If he impresses again Friday, perhaps he'll solidify his position as a first-round player.

    Williams showed tremendous improvement over his three seasons at Santa Clara, which included averaging 18 points in 33 games and shooting 51.3 percent from the field during the 2021-22 campaign. The 21-year-old may keep getting better as he enters the NBA.

Trevion Williams, F, Purdue

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    Trevion Williams spent four seasons at Purdue playing against tough competition in the Big Ten. He had strong numbers, particularly late in his career, and all his experience appears to have been valuable considering how well he fared in his Thursday combine scrimmage.

    Williams had 14 points and 13 rebounds while also dishing out five assists and tallying one steal and one block. It was a well-rounded performance that showed everything the 21-year-old can do on the court.

    "Williams has worked himself into great shape, has great length and real passing chops, and looked pretty mobile in the run of play," Woo wrote.

    Some mocks don't even have Williams getting drafted. But that could change by the time the combine is over, considering how good he's looked since arriving in Chicago. Don't be surprised if he continues to boost his stock through the rest of the event.