CBS Sports writer: UM’s Wilson overrated in NBA draft

The Detroit News

Former Michigan star, D.J. Wilson is pegged by most draft analysts to land somewhere in the first round, after the first 20 picks or so Thursday.

And that’s too high, writes Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.

Wilson, who opted to enter the NBA draft after two seasons at Michigan, is one of four players Norlander singled out Monday whose stock he says is too high.

Sports Illustrated on Tuesday had Wilson going to the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 21; a day earlier, Chad Ford of ESPN had Wilson going to the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 28. So does Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

Norlander writes that Wilson should instead go somewhere in the mid to late 30s, which is the top third of the second round.

“Four months ago, he wasn’t viewed as a top-80 prospect,” Norlander writes. “Now he’s in the mid-20s? Wilson helped Michigan to a Big Ten tournament title, a 7 seed in the NCAAs and a Sweet 16 appearance. He is taking advantage of red-hot stock he might have a hard time capitalizing on a year from now. He walks into the draft after averaging 11 points and 5.3 rebounds this past season.”

Norlander called Wilson’s game “too soft.”

“Wilson lacks the physicality needed to play up front in the NBA — even in today’s perimeter-focused game. The players have never been bigger or stronger, and having intuitiveness in the paint is crucial. Wilson’s too soft, doesn’t have a good post game, and isn’t an aggressive rebounder. For a guy listed at 6-10, that’s an issue. I think Wilson would be good for a second-round flier, but when I watched him play with Michigan last season, I did not see first-round material.”

Norlander had was more complimentary of former Iowa State point guard Monte Morris, a Flint Beecher product and former Mr. Basketball in Michigan. Morris was one four players whose projections are too low, he said.

Norlander says Morris should be a player picked in the 30-to-35 range, as opposed to the 50s, where most projections have him.

“Morris’ absurd 5.17 assist-to-turnover ratio last season was one of the best of any college point guard the past two decades,” Norlander writes. “Morris is projected to be a mid-to-late second-round pick. In the second round teams essentially are taking fliers on guys and hoping they make the roster. Morris is not flashy, but productive in sticking to his strengths. He distributes and does not lose on possessions. Morris has traditional PG attributes but an understanding of the high pick-and-roll and command of the half court.