ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Arizona product Dalen Terry rising up ESPN’s NBA mock draft

May 31, 2022, 9:13 AM
Arizona guard Dalen Terry, right, looks to pass around Wright State guard Keaton Norris, center, du...

Arizona guard Dalen Terry, right, looks to pass around Wright State guard Keaton Norris, center, during the second half of a first-round NCAA college basketball tournament game, Friday, March 18, 2022, in San Diego. Arizona won 87-70. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

It’s become apparent that the NBA Draft process has slingshotted the stock of Arizona Wildcats wing Dalen Terry in the past few weeks.

Starting with the combine that saw the Hillcrest Prep (Gilbert) product measure in at 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot wingspan, Terry’s personality and team-first playing style have potentially pushed him past fellow Wildcat prospect Christian Koloko on big boards.

Terry was listed as a top-20 prospect on John Hollinger’s big board updated last week for The Athletic. On Tuesday, Jonathan Givony’s latest mock draft at ESPN saw Terry get drafted 27th overall by the Miami Heat, where he would fit in an already-established championship culture.

Few teams have been as successful drafting in the first round as the Heat have over the past few years. The team seems to prioritize finding young players who fit their mentality culturally and have room to grow in their strong player development infrastructure. Terry has been one of the big winners of the pre-draft process so far, impressing teams with his character on and off the court while dropping glimpses of significant versatility and upside he can grow into at just 19-years old.

Terry would join a wing group that in 2022-23 projects to include star Jimmy Butler, Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro, plus shooters Max Strus and Duncan Robinson.

He could bring an added defensive presence but also act as an offensive initiator and ball-handler. Those last two skills will help Terry perhaps see the floor sooner, as he still could add some bulk to his wiry frame to be more capable of defending jumbo NBA wings.

Terry averaged 8.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a sophomore for Arizona this past year.

Givony’s mock draft still has Terry’s Arizona teammate, Benedict Mathurin, as a top-10 pick.

The analyst has the New Orleans Pelicans — with a pick owed to them from the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2019 trade for Anthony Davis — selecting Mathurin eighth overall.

With a healthy core of talent already in place for the Pelicans, including significant star power and excellent role players, adding a dynamic shooter with versatility such as Mathurin could make plenty of sense here. The Pelicans really struggled to space the floor effectively at times last season, ranking among the NBA’s worst 3-point shooting teams in both makes and accuracy. An All-American who excels coming off screens and operating in the open court, Mathurin can play either wing spot and has plenty of upside to grow into at just 19 years old.

Mathurin, who averaged 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last year, would have to fight for playing time despite being a ready-to-go NBA athlete and shooter, at minimum.

New Orleans would add him to a core that includes scorer Brandon Ingram and defensive ace Herb Jones on the wings, with C.J. McCollum at point guard and 2019 first overall pick Zion Williamson expected to be healthy next season.

As for Koloko, Givony has the big man falling to the 42nd pick and coming off the board thanks to the New York Knicks, who could lose their current shot-blocker Mitchell Robinson in free agency.

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