The NBA Draft is less than one week away, and former Iowa State star Georges Niang’s place in it could be coming into focus.
ESPN Draft analyst Chad Ford said on an ESPN conference call on Friday that he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cyclones’ second all-time leading scorer go in the second round of next Thursday’s draft.
“I think he’s a possible second-round pick and he’s a possible second-round pick because of his versatility and just an incredibly high basketball IQ,” Ford said. “He’s the sort of player that when you look at him athletically and size wise, there just isn’t a lot there to get excited about, and that’s why I think he’s a second-round pick. But because of his ability to see the floor, because of his versatility, because he can shoot it, and just has that great, great feel for the game, there’s an attraction there.”
Multiple account tweeted on Thursday that Niang was working out for the Indiana Pacers. He’s also been connected to workouts with the Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Los Angles Clippers in just the last two weeks.
Niang scored 20.2 points per game during his senior season and was widely-considered as one of the most efficient, and versatile, players in college basketball.
That earned him a pretty impressive comparison from Ford.
“A few years ago, Draymond Green slipped into the second round for many of the same reasons that Niang will. Teams question he’s not an elite athlete, what position does he play? Who is he going to defend in the NBA,” Ford said. “He landed on the right team, a coach who really understood how to utilize him, and now Draymond Green is maybe one of the top-10 players in the NBA. I’m not saying Niang will be that way, but I think a lot more teams are becoming open to the idea that guys that don’t check the boxes with size and athleticism can play a role in the NBA if the coach utilizes them the right way, and I think Niang brings that to the table.”
The NBA Draft is next Thursday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN.