Wayne Simien Draft Capsule
VITALS: 6-9, 255, Kansas
OVERVIEW: Simien finished his collegiate career 11th on the Kansas all-time scoring list with 1,593 points despite missing a full year - 32 games - with numerous injuries. This past season, the power forward led the Big 12 in both scoring and rebounding with 19.4 points and 11.1 boards despite missing four games due to surgery on his left thumb. Named the Big 12 Player of the Year, he was the only player in the league to average a double-double in those categories. Simien also was one of four finalists for the Naismith Award. Posting 59 career double-doubles, he finished seventh on the Jayhawks’ all-time rebounding list with 884 boards.
LIKELY DRAFT POSITION: Simien is a safe pick for any team anywhere in the draft. If he gets picked in the teens, you will know it is because that team decided to stop rolling the dice on young players with potential and instead decided to pick someone it knows can play. Simien could go in the high teens, but our feeling is that he will last until about 19, where Memphis is picking, or in the early 20s. Sacramento (23), Houston (24) and Seattle (25) would all be great fits for Simien.
COMPARATIVE UPSIDE: Charles Oakley
COMPARATIVE DOWNSIDE: Brian Grant
ROLE PROJECTION: Eventual starting power forward.
POSITIVES: Simien is a very conscientious player who rarely breaks a play, misses a defensive assignment or loses his composure. He works very hard on the defensive boards and is an excellent finisher around the basket. His offensive game has grown and now includes a facing jumper to go with a strong post-up game. From the time he was a high school star, NBA teams have been charting his progress, due to his NBA-ready physique and no-nonsense approach to the game. Simien is a coach’s dream.