Michigan State isn’t likely to have a first-round pick for the fourth straight year in the NBA Draft.
But a former Spartans player is likely to hear his name called before the second round is halfway done.
That’s the consensus of the major NBA mock drafts published in recent days and weeks ahead of Thursday’s draft.
Spartans guard Max Christie is projected to be picked anywhere between No. 35 and No. 46 overall in four mock drafts that include the second round in their projections:
ESPN: No. 46, Pistons
Sports Illustrated: No. 37, Kings
The Athletic: No. 35, Magic
Bleacher Report: No. 41, Pelicans
Christie left Michigan State after one season in which he averaged 9.3 points per game in 30.8 minutes, shooting 38.2 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from 3-point range.
The Spartans didn’t have a player picked in last year’s draft; its last players picked were Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman in 2020.
Gabe Brown, Marcus Bingham Jr.
Michigan State’s two other draft prospects don’t appear on mock drafts, but both have garnered interest from NBA teams in the last several months and are clearly on front office radars.
Brown has had official or reported workouts with at least five NBA teams, and Zagsblog.com reported that he worked out twice with the Thunder. He’s listed in the late 70’s and early 80’s of the top 100 prospects lists from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and CBS. Even if he’s not picked on Thursday, Brown stands a good shot to be in the NBA summer league and potentially a NBA training camp.
Same goes for Bingham, whose athleticism and measurables will earn him notice even if he never put up big numbers with the Spartans. He worked out for the Hornets, Hawks and Wizards in recent weeks.