As the Denver Nuggets inch towards the 2022 NBA Draft, they remain focused on landing the best fit they can with the No. 21 overall pick. Here, we continue our series detailing various college prospects.
In this edition, the subject is guard/forward Blake Wesley from Notre Dame. Wesley is entering the NBA after his Freshman season, and is primed to be a success with his nifty ball handing and defense.
The Nuggets have plenty of depth at the guard position, but Wesley could be someone worth taking a chance on. He's likely to be very popular towards the back half of the first round.
The Notre Dame product is filled with strengths and has a relatively complete game for a 19-year old.
Wesley may very well have one of the best handles in the entire 2022 draft class. His ability to create space with his dribble is not only a pleasure to watch, but it's massively effective in the half court.
At the NBA level, he should be able to combine that with speed to be a top-tier combo guard.
Wesley can certainly be considered a two-way player, as he brings energy and length to the defensive end each night. He routinely faced star matchups in college, and did so willingly. He'll need to adjust to the strength of the NBA game, but that can be done without much issue over time.
High Basketball IQ:
Wesley showed flashes of being a primary playmaker at the college level. He is an extremely cerebral player, and oftentimes knows when to attack and score or pass and create for others.
Areas of Improvement:
Wesley's splits in his 2021-22 season were 40.4/30.3/65.7. On the surface, these numbers could be concerning. However, a closer look showed Wesley's potential to be an effective scorer.
He is capable of hitting shots from everywhere on the court, and that skill is beyond valuable in an NBA so focused on the jump shot.
Fit With Nuggets
Wesley would instantly become one of the best defensive guards on the Nuggets, as his reputation on that end of the floor is certainly positive. Playing time may be at a premium though, given all the talent at that position.
Between Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Monte Morris, and Bones Hyland, Wesley would need to work hard for his minutes. But he has shown that he's more than capable of putting up a fight.
Still, having players with Wesley's skillset often make a team better. There's no reason to believe it would be any different in Denver. It remains an interesting choice depending on the options available at No. 21.