THE FLATS – Moses Wright continues to work out with NBA teams as draft approaches … Josh Okogie and Nigeria go 2-1 in Olympic exhibition series, including a stunning win over the United States … Thaddeus Young is the most underappreciated Memphis product in the NBA … Will Bynum starts strong in Big3 … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.
NBA DRAFT SCOUTING REPORT: MOSES WRIGHT
Moses Wright has had an atypical route to being an NBA draft prospect. Coming out of Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2017, he was rated a two-star or even unranked across various services and his only major conference offer came from Georgia Tech very late in the recruitment game. Wright was part of new coach Josh Pastner’s first full recruiting cycle upon becoming the head coach in 2016 on the flats.
Fast forward to his senior year and you’ll see he averaged 17.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per 36 minutes while shooting en route to the second ever ACC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year award for a Yellow Jacket, with the only other one going to Dennis Scott in 1989-90. Needless to say it has been a meteoric rise for someone who was overlooked by all other major schools.
According to PoundingtheRock.com, Wright conducted a pre-draft workout with Wright on July 10, which followed workouts with the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, and Indiana Pacers.
The 6-9 senior was one of 353 early entry candidates for the 2021 NBA Draft and among the 74 players who participated in the 2021 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago last month.
Although the former Yellow Jacket is one of the older prospects in this class, the 22-year-old recorded 22 points, ten rebounds, three steals, and three blocks in two combine scrimmages and impressed scouts.
OKOGIE AND NIGERIA TOPPLE TEAM USA IN EXHIBITION
Nigeria announced a 16-man training camp roster in advance of a trio of exhibition games in Las Vegas, where D’Tigers defeated the United States on Saturday (80-87) and Argentina on Monday (94-71), before being routed by undefeated Australia, 108-69, Tuesday.
The 16-man roster features eight active NBA players, namely Precious Achiuwa (Miami Heat), Chimezie Metu (Sacramento Kings), Jordan Nwora (Milwaukee Bucks), Jahlil Okafor (Detroit Pistons), Josh Okogie (Minnesota Timberwolves), KZ Okpala (Heat), Miye Oni (Utah Jazz) and Gabe Vincent (Heat). Additionally, Michael Gbinije and Ekpe Udoh also have experience in the NBA.
Okogie scored four points for the D’Tigers in their victory over the American team, 10 points each against Argentina and Australia.
Nigeria will reduce the roster to 12 players prior to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
— #NBBF (@nbbfonline) July 12, 2021
— D’Tigers | Nigeria Basketball (@NigeriaBasket) July 8, 2021
THADDEUS YOUNG MOST UNDERAPPRECIATED BASKETBALL STAR FROM MEMPHIS
The initial explanation Thaddeus Young gave for his longevity in the NBA was likely as accurate as it was boring, and so it’s also probably the reason why his longevity in the NBA sometimes gets overlooked, even here in Memphis where he grew up.
Young, the 32-year-old former McDonald’s All-American from Mitchell High School, will face the Memphis Grizzlies for the second time in five nights Friday in Chicago, and it’s another chance for the city that groomed Young to savor what he became, and what he’s still doing.
Because what we’re watching, unbeknownst to many, is perhaps the greatest NBA career of any Memphis-area basketball product. At the very least, if you haven’t considered the possibility of that, then Young is among the more under-appreciated stars to come through Memphis.
BYNUM SCORES BIG, BUT TEAM LOSES BIG3 OPENER
Former Yellow Jacket Will Bynum scored a team-high 23 points but couldn’t lift his Bivouac team to victory as the Big3 summer 3-on-3 league opened its 2021 season last weekend. Bivouac lost 51-39 to the Triplets. Bynum picked up where he left off last summer, when he averaged 18.2 points per game to rank third in the league.
— BIG3 (@thebig3) August 3, 2020