FIL-AM Jalen Green’s impressive stint with Ignite in the recent NBA G League bubble really proved he has what it takes.
The 6-foot-6 wingman and No. 1 high school player in the US stood at third overall yesterday in the latest Yahoo Sports 2021 NBA mock draft posted on its website.
“NBA scouts were impressed with his playmaking ability and how he found different ways to score against stronger, bigger guards,” Krysten Peek was quoted as saying in her article, which predicted that Green would be drafted by the Detroit Pistons.
“Green could be a great addition in the backcourt to a healthy Killian Hayes next season,” Peek said.
Green, whose mother is Bree Purganan, a Filipina nurse from Ilocos Sur, served strong notice of his bid to gain NBA foothold in his stellar play for Ignite.
The high-flying Green, 19, averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 15 games for the pioneering select squad under coach Brian Shaw.
A member of the US teams that won the FIBA Under-17 and FIBA Under-19 World Cups in 2018 and 2019, respectively, Green was the top pick of Ignite that also had the likes of other draft hopefuls Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix, and Isaiah Todd.
Green, who was named FIBA Under-17 World Cup MVP, is also projected to be in the four-man race for the top pick overall in the NBA rookie draft set on July 29 (July 30 in Manila).
Peek had Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham at No. 1, followed at No. 2 by Gonzaga star Jalen Suggs, who sank a buzzer-beating three-pointer against UCLA that lifted the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament final.
University of Southern California big man Evan Mobley was ranked fourth after Green.
“There are a few players who elevated their draft stock in the NCAA tournament this year with Baylor’s Davion Mitchell making the biggest jump to inside the top 10,” Peek said.
“It’s turning out to be a four-man race at the top between Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley with no true consensus No. 1 overall pick this year.”
“Green was the leading scorer on the Ignite team and started all 15 games in the G League bubble season. He finished with a season-high 30 points, seven assists and three steals against the No. 1 team in the G League,” Peek said.