Jarrod Uthoff might not carry the intrigue of younger NBA prospects, but ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said Tuesday that the former Iowa Hawkeye should still get selected in Thursday’s draft and could be a productive player on the right team.
“He’s versatile and he’s got a 6-11 wing span and he can shoot it; he’s got mid-range ability,” Bilas said of Uthoff on a pre-draft teleconference. “He’s actually proved to be a really good shot-blocker on the perimeter. You wonder, though, is that going to translate on the defensive end once he gets into the NBA?
"He can knock down shots, space the floor and I think he can hang on the defensive end. … As long as he gets with the right team, I think he can be a help to somebody.”
Uthoff, a 6-foot-9 forward from Cedar Rapids, averaged 18.9 points per game and shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range as a senior at Iowa. He also blocked 86 shots.
Many experts are projecting Uthoff to be selected in the second round of Thursday’s two-round draft. Bilas does as well. He said the fact that Uthoff is already 23, old for an NBA hopeful, might cause him to slide a little in the draft but that it shouldn’t.
“Everybody kind of thinks they know who Jarrod is right now, and I’m among them,” Bilas said. “That doesn’t mean that he’s not going to continue to get better. … That’s absurd. It’s just these other guys have larger development curves because they’re further behind on them.
“If you had seen (former Oklahoma star) Buddy Hield as a freshman, he wouldn’t have impressed you very much. But look at him now.”