One of the most intriguing names in the 2019 NBA Draft has to be Brewster Academy and former NC State Wolfpack commit Jalen Lecque. The combo guard was set to head to NC State before opting to change his mind and enter the draft instead. Typically, this can’t be done by players, as it would be a jump from high school to the NBA, but Lecque’s situation was unique.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony pointed out that Lecque was eligible to enter the draft due to the fact that he wrapped up his fifth year of high school at Brewster Academy. Per Givony, Lecque chose to reclassify his original class after his junior year and fulfilled academic requirements, meaning he could have gone to college on schedule, but instead went to Brewster.
“I could be a freshman on a college campus right now,” Lecque told ESPN. “I am eligible for the  draft. I’m a fifth-year senior, but I’m also eligible for the draft because of my grades.”
Lecque was the No. 33 player in the 2019 recruiting class according to 247Sports, and his decision to head to the draft was certainly a tough blow for the Wolfpack. He opted to keep his name in the draft and is now pegged by many as a late second-round pick, so we’re going to breakdown the latest on his projections and mock drafts.
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Jalen Lecque NBA Draft Projections & Mocks
The 6-foot-4 guard is expected to come off the board at some point, but when that will be remains a question mark. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie pegged him as the No. 37 pick by the Dallas Mavericks, which would be a strong outlook for the 19-year-old.
It appears that Lecque’s name being called in the early second round is a popular belief, although Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo thinks it’ll be a bit later. Woo mocked Lecque as the No. 39 overall pick and heading to the New Orleans Pelicans, one spot ahead of Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker.
One other noteworthy mock which offered a different outlook for the former NC State commit comes from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who believes he’ll be off the board even later. Givony listed Lecque as the No. 52 selection to the Charlotte Hornets, who I believe would be somewhat of an ideal fit for him.
UPDATE: Jalen Lecque signed with the Phoenix Suns, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Jalen Lecque’s Best NBA Draft Fits: Lakers, Hornets
The aforementioned No. 52 pick by the Hornets being used on Lecque makes a lot of sense. There’s no question he has a ton of upside and the potential to be a playmaker at the next level eventually. In turn, he’d be an interesting name to add for a team in need of playmakers. While there appears to be a strong chance that Kemba Walker re-signs in free agency, a player like Lecque is one the front office needs to target.
I’m going to look at the Los Angeles Lakers as another potential option for a few reasons. One is the fact that if Lecque slips down the second round, the Lakers could trade back in and land him at a low cost, which they obviously need at this moment. But if by some chance Lecque falls out of the second round entirely, then Los Angeles could jump at the chance to add him as an undrafted free agent.