Bennie Boatwright finished his USC basketball career with an impressive senior season, but injuries and age may limit his NBA Draft stock.
In his time with USC basketball, senior Bennie Boatwright put together an illustrious career, becoming arguably one of the program’s best players ever.
Boatwright came in as a highly touted freshman, and throughout the years, has proven himself as an elite player and also a leader.
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This past season, Boatwright had his best campaign yet, averaging 18.3 points per game while shooting at a 43 percent clip from beyond the arc. He also set career highs in assists and rebounds and even set USC’s record for most three’s in a game.
Although Boatwright has had an impressive college career, the questions still arises, what are his chances of getting drafted by an NBA team?
To start off, the fact that Boatwright played four years in college works against him. NBA teams now prefer one-and-done freshman over older, more experienced seniors. Because of this, many teams will prefer players who look like they have more potential than Boatwright, although he may have more accolades and better statistics.
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On top of that, Boatwright has had an injury-riddled history. Last season, Boatwright missed the latter half of the year due to a left patella injury, which required surgery over the summer. He also missed considerable time during his sophomore season with various labrum and knee injuries. Although he played most of this past season, Boatwright also missed the first few games as well.
His various injuries have hurt his draft stock in the past, causing him to prolong his college career when he possibly could have declared earlier, and are a major red flag for NBA teams now. To them, he can be seen as an unnecessary risk when there are other healthier options available.
These disadvantages are huge, but at the end of the day, Boatwright has the potential to be a successful NBA player for several reasons.
First of all, Boatwright has great size for the NBA. Standing at 6-foot-10 and 235 pounds, Boatwright brings some serious length to any team. Additionally, he is a very versatile player, especially on the offensive end.
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With such a high three-point percentage, Boatwright has demonstrated his ability to spread the floor and even shoot from deep off the dribble. He also consistently scores in the post and paint as well, making him an able finisher off the pass or bounce.
His combination of size and shooting ability making him an ideal stretch four that the league so highly prizes these days.
However, his injuries and age ultimately will prevent him from becoming a first round or even early second round pick. My prediction is that Boatwright has a decent chance of sneaking into the late second round, and would be a solid steal for whatever team picks him.
If not, Boatwright will at the very least be signed as an undrafted free agent and have the opportunity to play in the summer league either way. The summer league will be his main shot to shine against top picks, and if he proves himself there, he will also greatly improve his chances of landing on an NBA roster in the fall.