With the NBA draft just days away, Eric Mika appears to be on the fence of whether he will be drafted or not. Mika has worked out for multiple NBA teams over the past month, and is hoping his name will be called come Thursday night.
The consensus among most scouts is that Mika made the right decision coming out, due in large part to his age. As a 22-year old sophomore, Mika’s draft stock wasn’t likely to increase with another year at BYU. Having extra time to develop under NBA tutelage, either on an NBA roster or in the NBA’s developmental league, was enticing enough for Mika to best improve his skills and maximize his likelihood at succeeding at the professional level.
Here’s a sample of what reputable sites and scouts are saying about Mika’s NBA draft prospects:
- ESPN, Chad Ford
Ford put out a 60 pick mock draft (every pick from both rounds) and did not have Eric Mika listed among the 60 picks. His profile of Mika has him listed in the number 45 pick to undrafted range. Ford says that Mika is a “very good rebounder and solid shot-blocker who is skilled enough to score both in the paint and in the midrange.” He cites Mika’s age as the biggest thing working against him.
As a sidenote, Chad Ford is LDS and a professor at BYU-Hawaii.
- Draft Express, Josh Riddell
Draft Express has long been one of the most reputable and accurate NBA scouting sites. They recently gave a in-depth analysis of Mika’s draft prospects and transition to the NBA.
Draft Express cited Mika’s motor and relentlessness on the glass as two of his biggest strengths. Riddell calls Mika a “tireless offensive rebounder,” and says that his motor will allow him to be a “contributor at the next level despite his lack of elite measurables and athleticism.”
Among areas of improvement, Riddell says that his footwork and ability to put the ball on the floor need to be refined.
The synopsis concludes by by saying “NBA teams will certainly be interested in Mika after seeing his impressive production after taking two years away from competition.”
Many BYU fans seem to think Mika made the wrong decision in declaring for the draft. Even if Mika goes undrafted, he probably made the best decision for himself. Players 23 years or older getting drafted in the first round is incredibly rare. Mika doesn’t have elite measureables, and he probably had a better chance of sustaining serious injury at BYU over working his way into the first round.
He likely will be heading to the NBA’s G-league (formerly known as the D-league), where he can concentrate full-time on basketball and working with personnel that are equipped to develop him better than BYU coaches.
Here’s to hoping we hear Eric’s name called Thursday night!