After months of speculation, mock drafts and working out for NBA teams, West Virginia guard Miles “Deuce” McBride will more than likely hear his name called during the 2021 NBA Draft tonight. The only question now is whether McBride will hear his name called in the first round or not.
In the wake of WVU’s NCAA Tournament loss to Syracuse in late March, there was some question as to whether he’d return for his junior season and compete for a Final Four appearance or capitalize upon his stellar sophomore season and declare for the draft.
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) June 23, 2021
McBride declared for the draft, tested the waters, wowed the combine observers and decided to keep his name in the draft. If he hears his name called in the first 30 picks, it’ll be a huge win for McBride and WVU basketball.
In McBride’s breakout sophomore season, he elevated his stats across the board. He averaged 15.8 points, 4.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 43/41/83. He flashed his versatile offensive game and with 1.9 steals per game, his defensive upside is apparent.
At the combine, McBride measured at 6-foot-2.5 in shoes with a 6-foot-9.75 wingspan and 9-inch hands. His height is what’s expected for an NBA point guard, but his long wingspan and large hands point to his defensive versatility in guarding across the backcourt.
West Virginia's Deuce McBride was absolutely on fire to start the shooting drills at the NBA Combine. Really popped physically and defensively, recently moving into the late first round of the ESPN mock draft. pic.twitter.com/ahIi9YThaG
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 23, 2021
With an excellent 3-point stroke and the ability to drive to the basket, strong playmaking skills (4.9 assists to just 1.8 turnovers) and versatile defensive capabilities, McBride’s upside might not be sky-high, but he’s going to be a player who should contribute to an NBA team early in his career.
With pre-draft workouts with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics over the past month, he’s mainly worked out for teams toward the tail end of the first round.
CBS Sports‘ Kyle Boone projected McBride to the Memphis Grizzles with the 17th pick, and USA Today‘s Scott Gleeson projected him to the Philadelphia 76ers with the 28th pick. The Athletic‘s Sam Vecinie mocked McBride to the Houston Rockets with the 24th pick. ESPN’s Big Board has McBride ranked 27th while The Athletic‘s Big Board ranks him 26th. Sporting News‘ Mike DeCourcy ranks McBride 25th on his big board.
So, while McBride isn’t guaranteed a first round selection and anything can happen in professional drafts, it appears that McBride is slotted to fall somewhere toward the back half of the first round. He likely won’t be a lottery selection, but a first round selection should be in the cards.
McBride is hoping to be the first Mountaineer drafted in the first round since Joe Alexander in 2008. Former Mountaineer Jevon Carter was selected with the 32nd pick in the 2018 NBA Draft b the Memphis Grizzlies, just missing the first round.
The 2021 NBA Draft is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. tonight, with ABC covering the first round while ESPN will cover the second. Those watching for McBride may need not switch to ESPN’s coverage.