The 2017 NBA draft is highly regarded as the deepest draft since possibly the 2003 NBA draft. While every team is dying for Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, or Dennis Smith Jr., teams with a mid-round pick could possibly get a franchise player in Marcus Keene, a 5’9 guard from Central Michigan. Averaging nearly 30 points per game, Keene has possibly the best isolation package in the draft. The biggest disappointment? Most people probably have no idea who this guy is.
Keene is currently a red-shirt junior, and before he exploded onto YouTube highlights this year, Keene was a zero-star recruit who barely managed to get 1 Division I offer. Keene took this offer to Youngstown State but was unsatisfied with the system in which they played in. Keene transferred schools, worked hard on his game, and now he is finally getting the ultimate payoff. This year has been the year of Keene, embarrassing defenders and going on an offensive barrage. While many question whether he can continue this success at the next level, we should not forget the success of a very similar player, Isaiah Thomas who is playing at a MVP-caliber level this season. With similar games and builds, Keene has shown more upside than Thomas did when he came out of college.
This could potentially be good for many teams in the NBA. While a lot of teams are tanking in an attempt to acquire a lottery pick, teams who are in playoff contention may still be able to get a franchise player in Marcus Keene.