Miles “Deuce” McBride’s dream of the first round came and went Thursday night, and as the draft moved from ABC to ESPN and the shine of the selections started to wear off as every pick wasn’t announced, his NBA career felt further and further away — the NBA left a chip on his shoulder.
The Oklahoma City Thunder ended his slide down the draft boards, selecting McBride with the 36th pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. However, the New York Knicks had a trade agreement in place to send forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to OKC for McBride and 34th pick Rokus Jokubaitis. The Knicks ended up landing perhaps one of the steals of the draft in the NBA-ready McBride.
From Morgantown to Midtown!
Miles McBride is heading to the @NYKnicks with the 36th pick in the NBA Draft! 👏
— WVU Mountaineers (@WestVirginiaU) July 30, 2021
McBride averaged 15.9 points, shooting 43% from the field, 40% from 3-point range and 81% from the free throw line while dishing out 4.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game in 29 games last season for the Mountaineers. He flashed his defensive versatility with 1.9 steals per game and his playmaking ability with a 3.1 assist to turnover ratio.
A strong combine showing from McBride, measuring well at 6-foot-2.5 in shoes with a 6-foot-8.75 wingspan (and 9-inch hands), showcased his excellent measurements for an NBA point guard. His large hands and long wingspan for his relatively normal height flash his defensive prowess and ability to cover multiple positions across opposing lineups.
With raises in literally every category of his statistical profile in 2021, every category except blocks, McBride helped lead the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament last season, exceeding expectations with a 19-10 (10-6 Big 12) record and a first-round win over Morehead State.
McBride held a draft party at the Montgomery Inn with family and friends in his hometown Cincinnati, Ohio with WVU head coach Bob Huggins in attendance. And while he slipped from the first round, he was able to celebrate being drafted by an NBA team.
McBride will sign his rookie deal and likely compete in the NBA Summer League in the attempt to earn minutes in the NBA next season. With a young, up-and-coming team in New York, McBride should be ready for an immediate contribution.