Washington Huskies guard Jaylen Nowell has impressed over his first two seasons with the team and in turn, it’s led to his 2019 NBA Draft stock continuing to trend upward. The 6-foot-4 guard led Washington to a 26-7 record heading into the Pac-12 championship and has done so while playing at an incredibly high level.
Over the 33 games of the 2018-19 season, Nowell has posted marks of 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Arguably the most impressive aspect is the big jump he’s made from year one to year two in terms of his shooting percentages. Nowell has averaged more points this season while shooting less, thanks to the fact that he’s made 50.4 percent of his field goal attempts.
Beyond that, he increased his 3-point mark from 35.1 percent last year up to 44.1 percent. Overall, he’s become a well-rounded guard capable of scoring in a number of ways, which has led to his draft stock becoming a major talking point.
Jaylen Nowell NBA Draft Projections & Mock Drafts
Nowell has landed fairly high on a number of mock drafts and his play has pushed him into the first round for many draft analysts. Our own Jon Adams pegged the Washington star as a first-round selection, sending him to the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 29 overall pick. He’d make for a solid fit on the Spurs and could provide an immediate scoring threat to play alongside DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dejounte Murray when back from injury.
The most up-to-date mock draft comes from NBADraft.net and also gives Nowell some love, but has him slightly lower overall than Adams does. It’s only by a few spots, though, as the site currently projects the Huskies guard as the No. 34 pick overall, meaning he’d be the fourth player selected in round two.
Jaylen Nowell NBA Draft Big Board Outlook
There seems to be somewhat of a split on Nowell’s positioning on big boards at this point. While some are more updated than others, NBADraft.net is up to date as of the conference tournaments, and it gives some love to the guard. He comes in as the No. 36 prospect at this point, just ahead of Duke’s Tre Jones and Marquette’s Markus Howard.
While that seems to be a pretty spot-on assessment, others haven’t been so quick to toss high praise in Nowell’s direction, at least not as of early March. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie updated the site’s big board on March 1 and it features Nowell down at No. 100, making him the last player listed.
Based on the strides Nowell took forward this season and continued improvement he’s shown, it’s hard to envision him not being at least a second-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.