Published On: Mon, Jun 18th, 2018

Top 5: The best 3-and-D wings in the 2018 NBA Draft

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In the switch-happy, pace-and-space contemporary NBA, no prospect gets scouts drooling, or hoop-heads talking in staccato bursts outside of generational talents – except for the 3-and-D wing.

Yet, despite the direction the league is trending, there’s a dearth of these types of players. To break it down solely in terms of ideal dimensions, there were only nine players in the NBA in 2017-18 with wingspans longer than 7-feet who shot better than 40 percent from deep on more than two attempts per game, according to The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks.

The June 21 draft isn’t chock-full of prototypical 3-and-D wings, either. It’s a big man-heavy draft (Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III) up top, with some explosive guard play (Trae Young, Collin Sexton) interspersed.

Still, professional 3-and-D talent exists across both projected rounds. Here are the top five:

5. Melvin Frazier, Tulane


Frazier‘s potential here is linked to his size (6-foot-6, near-7-foot-2 wingspan) and athleticism. That sort of wiry length is a boon defensively, although he’s still raw on the other end. Frazier didn’t start to find a perimeter shooting groove until this past season with the Green Wave, hitting 38.5 percent of his shots from deep.

4. Khyri Thomas, Creighton

Thomas by no means fits the above physical criteria; he’s 6-foot-4 with a wingspan under 7-feet. But he’s a dog when it comes to keeping players in front of him, winning Big East Defensive Player of the Year two seasons in a row. Thomas also shot 40.7 percent from beyond the arc in 102 career games with the Bluejays.

3. Chandler Hutchison, Boise State

Hutchison isn’t young in terms of modern-day draft parlance, sitting at the ripe age of 22. However, his four-year experience at Boise State included a Mountain West All-Defensive nod as a senior. In addition to a 7-foot-1 wingspan, he’s developed a nice perimeter game, particularly on catch-and-shoot.

Hutchison reportedly has a draft-night guarantee, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

2. Jacob Evans, Cincinnati


Evans doesn’t have an eye-popping wingspan, but he’s been a versatile jack-of-all-trades in three seasons with the Bearcats. He should have the skill to guard four positions in the NBA, and brings a 37.4 percent 3-point accuracy rate with him from the NCAA.

1. Mikal Bridges, Villanova

Bridges probably won’t be a superstar, but he’s anticipated to be able to do everything asked of a 3-and-D wing. He had a 65.6 true shooting percentage (including 40 percent from deep) in three seasons in Jay Wright’s motion-based offense. On defense, he effectively guarded every position.

Clearly, the skill level of Bridges’ competition will drastically improve in the NBA, but as a prospect, he checks off all the physical boxes – 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan.



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