NBA Draft watch: Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson give Villanova serious pro potential

Defense, though, is Bridges’ calling card, and it forms the foundation of his profile. His long arms are disruptive to opponents as evidenced by the 2.3 steals and 1.7 blocks he averages per 40 minutes. Those are only slight upticks from his career averages of 2.2 and 1.3. His length pops on film:

As a junior, Brunson is averaging 24.4 points per 40 minutes on a 68.7 true shooting percentage. He is a capable scorer from all three levels. He has the strength to create separation for his midrange jumper using his shoulder, enough craft to get to the rim despite not much top end speed and impressive 3-point numbers. From an NBA perspective, his career 40.6 3-point percentage on 318 attempts is noteworthy.

A long-term NBA backup can still lead an NCAA Tournament champion. Alongside Bridges, one of the sport’s best two-way players, Brunson and Villanova have positioned themselves to make another March run. No one-and-dones necessary.

All statistics in this article are current as of Jan. 16, 2018. Unless otherwise noted, they are pulled from Sports-Reference.

Snubs: Chris Paul has missed too many games; Lillard is on the cusp, but can’t beat out Green’s overall value; Jokic has not really made strides this year; Jordan (and teammate Lou Williams) would make a nice story representing the scrappy Clippers in LA, but the numbers have not been there consistently.

But Friday morning, Walker found himself in a situation he had never encountered during his seven years with the Hornets. The All-Star point guard has become available on the trade market with Charlotte looking at a potential teardown ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“I’ve seen [the rumors],” Walker said to a tight circle of media members after Friday’s practice. “This is the first time I’ve really been in this kind of situation. What can I do? I’m still here, and I’ve been here for the last seven years. I’m gonna do what I gotta do to help my team win games. All I can do. I have no control over those kinds of things.”indians_014