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Now that the NBA draft lottery is over, it’s time for some early projections of where Taurean Prince might land. The general consensus is that Prince will be a late first-round pick. At 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, with a 6-foot 8-inch wingspan, Prince is versatile on both sides of the ball and would fit well at the 3 position with several teams.
Aaron Torres of Fox Sports released an NBA mock draft on Wednesday that has Prince going to the Denver Nuggets with the 15th pick. Here are his comments about the pick:
"The Nuggets got their shooting guard of the future earlier in the draft and now get their small forward as well. Denver needs shooting and defense and Prince is the epitome of the modern "three and D" guy."
I’d be a bit surprised if Prince went that early. My guess is that several power forwards will come off the board before a team picks Prince.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports has Prince going to the Atlanta Hawks with the 21st pick, which I think is more likely. Here is what he had to say about the selection:
"Prince is a 6-8 wing who can make 3-pointers, and his wingspan and athleticism are such that guarding multiple positions at the NBA level should not be an issue. It's also worth noting that he's an 82 percent free-throw shooter. And Prince is an above-average rebounder for his position, too. So he can do a lot of different things to contribute."
Sam Vecenie agrees with his colleague Gary Parrish. He ranks Taurean Prince as the 21st overall player entering the draft.
Derek Bodner put together a mock draft for USA Today Sports where he has Prince going to the Detroit Pistons with the 18th pick. I think Domantas Sabonis will likely go before Prince, but here are Bodner’s thoughts on the pick:
"Prince never quite took the jump offensively some hoped he would, but he still has value as a combo forward who can stretch the floor, and would be a good value selection this late in the draft."
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, who states that his selections are based on conversations with talents and scouts, has Prince headed to the Toronto Raptors with the 27th pick. Here’s what Howard-Cooper had to say about Prince:
"The same player who began high school at a 5-9 guard and left as a 6-7 center has made similar strides in college, even if not on the growth chart. Prince will leave Baylor as one of the top seniors in the nation as a 3D prospect on the wing -- three-pointers and defense, although he did drop from 39.5 percent behind the arc in 2014-15 to 36.1 last season."
Chad Ford doesn’t even have Prince in the first round in his ESPN.com mock draft, which would be a surprise. I think Prince has too much upside to fall out of the first round, but as we saw with Andrew Billings in the NFL Draft, strange things happen.