OKC Thunder: NBA Draft big board 2.0 – Top 30 prospects

LaMelo Ball of the Hawks and RJ Hampton (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball of the Hawks and RJ Hampton (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Vernon Carey Jr. #1 of the Duke Blue Devils OKC Thunder (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke, 6’10, 270 pounds, 19 years old

The Duke Blue Devil freshman earned consensus All American honors, as well as being named the ACC rookie of the year and joining the All-Conference team to cap off a very impressive 2019-20 campaign.

Although Carey. Jr. is a traditional center, he picked his spots nicely on his way to stroking the trey ball at a 38 percent clip on slightly less than one attempt per game. The 19-year-old averaged 17 points per game, eight rebounds, and an assist while rejecting over a shot per contest.

Varnon Carey Jr. showed an impressive motor and effort level, however, despite that, it still does not seem likely that Vernon Carey Jr. can become a modern-day NBA big man without adding a jump shot.

Defensively, despite being able to protect the rim, he can easily be broken down by nearly any matchup in space.

No matter the red flags around Vernon Carey Jr’s ability to transform himself into a modern NBA big, he should still keep his name in the draft pool due to how appealing the upside of a 19 year old big that can rim run is.

I expect the Blue Devil to go late in the first round, but slipping to the second round would not surprise anyone given the fact there is not a path to him stretching the floor.

However, he can control a game from the post both as an interior scorer, and a playmaker. Offering up great vision and backdoor passes, it is a nice wrinkle to throw into an offense.