Wesley Iwundu shined as a senior at Kansas State, and he parlayed that standout campaign into a spot in the Association Thursday when he was selected by the Orlando Magic at No. 33 overall in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft.
After the Magic added Jonathan Isaac in the first round with the sixth overall pick, here’s what Twitter had to say about the team’s selection of Iwundu:
A rarity these days, Iwundu maxed out his collegiate eligibility by playing four seasons with the Wildcats before making the leap to the NBA.
And while it took Iwundu a couple years to find his groove in Kansas State’s backcourt, he started to flash some potential as a junior when he averaged 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals on 47.8 percent shooting from the field.
The improvement continued during Iwundu’s senior season. In 35 appearances for the Wildcats, the 22-year-old posted 13.0 points, 6.3 boards and 3.5 dimes a night. He also shot a career-high 48.1 percent from the floor and 37.6 percent from three on 2.4 attempts a night.
That last number was particularly noteworthy considering Iwundu shot 20 percent from three on 0.9 long-range attempts per game as a junior.
As a result of that development, Iwundu started to evolve into a rotation-caliber swingman at the next level, as The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor noted:
Moving forward, Iwundu will have to prove he can replicate that production if he wants to carve out a defined niche at the next level.
The good news is that his senior season offered real reason for hope. Beyond the fact that he drilled more than 37 percent of his triples, Iwundu did so while operating off the ball quite a bit. According to Hoop-Math.com, 68.8 percent of his made threes last season were assisted.
Iwundu also flashed promise as a slasher thanks to a 62.5 percent conversion rate at the rim, per Hoop-Math.
Should Iwundu remain efficient in those two key areas and prove he can put his prototypical frame (6’7″, 205 pounds) to good use on defense, he could emerge as one of the steals of this year’s draft class in due time.
The Magic are a franchise still trying to rebuild their roster into one that can compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have finished under .500 in each of the last five seasons.
Adding a high-ceiling defensive wizard like Isaac and an efficient scorer like Iwundu will give the Magic more depth to build around. It’s still going to be a process getting to playoff contention, but the ceiling is higher for the franchise now.
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