Louisville basketball: The three best NBA fits for Jordan Nwora

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Jordan Nwora has officially declared for the 2020 NBA Draft and will not return to the Louisville basketball program. Here are the three best fits for him at the next level.

Much to no one’s surprise, Louisville basketball star forward Jordan Nwora has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NBA Draft with intentions of staying in for good.

The Louisville star was named to the AP All-American Third Team and the All-ACC First Team, after averaging 18.0 PPG and 7.7 RPG. Despite the college production, Nwora’s stock is still uncertain, as his name has landed in the second round of a handful of mock drafts. To make things more interesting, COVID-19 has eliminated most of the draft process: in-person workouts, combine, etc. Teams will be selecting off of prior film and limited character assessments. Many organizations are pushing for the draft to get postponed to try to buy some time for additional scouting.

The junior forward landed as the 56th-best prospect in a recent CBS Sports NBA draft big board. His placement in the lists usually landed in the 30-60 range, with many disagreeing on his prospective role in the league.

Much of the concerns arise from his defensive woes, average athleticism, and decision-making. Questions over his finishing abilities have also hindered his stock. At the next level, he projects a rotational wing whose main contributions will be centered around shooting. That alone can find him a role in the NBA, but he also possesses other beneficial qualities such as being a pick-and-pop threat and having decent handles for his size. His scoring repertoire is advanced for a 6-foot-7 forward, while his shooting abilities are intriguing.

The Stepien’s, Spencer Pearlman, when discussing Nwora’s shot versatility/creation and how he’ll translate to the next level wrote:

“Quick C&S (catch and shoot) player and can shoot off movement with his quick set and release. Has the ability to hit quickly off PnPs (pick and pop’s) as the screener (nice footwork opening to the screen), but also off mini-Iverson cuts or cross-screens at the top of the key.

Not someone who moves that much in terms of relocation / trying to make an easier passing lane – he should look to add this to his game and stay less stagnant because with his shooting ability, this could be a huge piece to his game (losing his man when he turns his back). Not an isolation guy.

Lack of burst/acceleration hurts his ability to self-create, including against bigs – cannot separate as much as he would like / is necessary to get a good/clean look. Lower release point made it easier for defenders to contest his shots off the bounce. Did not run much as the pick and roll ball handler, but flashed some ability to shoot off the screen. Can create some space with his handle, but the defense usually does a good job contesting these with the lower release point and Nwora’s lack of burst.”

His stock will always be debated as we measure production vs potential; regardless, at the next level Nwora has the potential to be an impact player for the next decade. When looking at the draft boards and rankings of NBA Draft writers, it’s hard to get a real diagnosis of where Nwora could be picked in the draft. In fact here are a few of the sites and where they rank Nwora.

Nwora doesn’t project to be anything more than a serviceable defender at the next level, but he’ll get drafted off of offense alone. His advanced shooting could see him develop into a tertiary-scoring option, but at the very least he will be a rotational piece brought in to spread the floor and knock down the deep ball.

The coronavirus could also end up helping Nwora. NBA GM’s will have to make picks off of instinct and as much security as they can and he’s one of the more NBA-ready prospects with a decorated college career and lower ceiling. Should there be no in-person workouts, Nwora has a decent shot of being taken in the first round.

There are three teams in which I believe he would excel with the most.

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