Skip to main content

Is Wisconsin's Sam Dekker A Top NBA Prospect? Why?

The NCAA Tournament can be a great boon for players' draft stock, and right now, no one is soaring higher than Wisconsin's Sam Dekker. In CBS Sports' mock drafts, which were last updated during the regular season, Dekker was projected to go between 20th and 27th. More recent mock drafts are far more favorable towards Dekker. NBADraft.net has the athletic slasher going No. 12 to Utah, and Draft Express has him at No. 16 to the Atlanta Hawks, who own a pick swap with the Brooklyn Nets.

Why has Dekker's stock jumped so much during this tournament? Aside from his impressive stat lines during Wisconsin's Final Four run, Dekker has the top level athleticism that NBA teams look for, and solid range on his jump shot. 

At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, Dekker has the size to play small forward at the next level, and can probably be an effective stretch four as well. He is very explosive off the dribble, and is an elite finisher at the rim. Grantland's Kirk Goldsberry has Dekker at 70-percent shooting near the basket, just two points below Duke's Jahlil Okafor. Dekker is also a decent shooter. As a freshman, he shot 39-percent from three point range, but has dropped down to a more pedestrian 33.8 percent as a junior. As he showed in the second half against Arizona, he is very capable of getting hot from beyond the arc. 

Dekker has averaged 21.7 points per game in the NCAA Tournament and is shooting over 60-percent from the field. If he continues his hot play, he may wind up being a lock for the draft lottery.