Liddell and Branham try to increase draft stock
Ohio State basketball: Extension doesn’t mean Holtmann is safe
Two former members of the Ohio State basketball team are in Chicago this week at the NBA Combine. EJ Liddell and Malaki Branham are both trying to increase their draft stock about a month before the NBA draft to be held at the end of June.
Neither player participated in the scrums, but performed individual tests for Pro Day. Both have a chance of being drawn. Branham has the higher ceiling between the two players, but Liddell is the most ready for the NBA now. Both players should be solid at the next level.
I think Branham will end up being drafted higher than Liddell just because of that higher cap factor. The NBA is a league that is always trying to hit home runs on draft picks. Teams would rather take a big hit on a player and miss than take someone who doesn’t have the chance to become a superstar.
Liddell has no chance of being a superstar at the top level, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have a long career in the NBA. I could see him starting for a good team for 10 years at the top level. He’s smart, knows his game and can switch to multiple players on defense.
Branham has that superstar potential. If Branham can improve his passing and show his three-point shooting is real, he could be a great player in the NBA. Most fictional drafts I’ve seen have him taken at the end of the lottery by Cleveland.
After doing some testing in Chicago, I’m not sure either player can improve their draft stock a ton. But it’s about who you get drafted in the NBA, not how high. The right fit matters a lot more than being a high draft pick. These two guys get it.