Tony Wroten is one of the top players in the Pac-12 and NBA scouts are constantly talking about him going pro. Granted the talent is there, but is Wroten ready to make the big leap to the NBA?
Let’s take some time to dig in deeper to see if the freshman is ready to take that next step.
In my opinion, Wroten has been playing really well this season and has garnered enough attention from NBA teams to go pro. But, like any star player, he does have his critics and those that don’t like him are continually saying, “He can’t shoot, but he has talent.” Most likely, this statement won’t steer NBA teams away as he can spend a few years developing his game by watching the NBA’s best from the bench.
ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb, who was on the Brock and Salk show on 710 ESPN Seattle, a couple weeks ago, said that it all depends on what Wroten deems important to him. Gottlieb said, “If you want to be a well-rounded player, so that your second contract is a big one, then you wait a year or two. If you just want to go and get paid and hear your name and become a professional, then go because I think somebody will take him.”
He is slated to be picked in the first round in the upcoming draft. There is no doubt that he is going to get that huge paycheck, but we can’t be sure whether or not he would get ample playing time. The playing time is important to him and this is why I believe Wroten isn’t quite ready for the NBA just yet. Fans know that Wroten struggles at times and that isn’t a bad thing, even the best struggle, but it is up to Wroten to fix his flaws.
Two of his visible flaws could be costly to the team. First, Wroten turns the ball over quite a bit averaging around 4 a game. Secondly, his free throw shooting, at 51 percent, isn’t what it should be. That said, he is still a raw talent and with a couple years in Romar’s system, he can blossom into that well rounded guard most NBA teams are looking for.
Even other Pac 12 coaches, who have witnessed Wroten’s play, are saying that he should ultimately make the decision to come back for at least another year. Kevin O’Neil, Head Coach of the USC Trojans, said that he would advise Wroten to stay at UW one more year. “He’ll make great strides. As an athlete and as a guy aggression-wise on offense and how he plays, I think he’s going to be a really good player.” Note that O’Neil is saying that he is going to be a really good player, so we can throw out the fact that he isn’t quite there yet.
The fact that Terrance Ross might go pro after this year, leaving the team next season in the hands of Tony Wroten, will help him become a stronger, vocal leader on this young Huskies team. However, whether or not Ross goes or stays is another question altogether.
Finally, with the futures of the top talent of the Pac-12 in limbo, most notably Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham and Cal’s Allen Crabbe, staying another year could well mean that Wroten has a clear cut shot at winning Pac-12 player of the year.
Showing consistent play, working on his flaws and being that leader this team needs will rocket Wroten up to a top 5 pick status when he is ready to go pro after his sophomore year. Do you think Wroten ready for the NBA? Should he stay or go?