The Utah Jazz selected Cal guard Tyrone Wallace with the 60th pick in the NBA Draft. With only 60 picks in the draft, it began to look like Wallace may not be selected Thursday, instead left to find a roster spot as a free agent.
Wallace became the second Bear drafted Thursday after Jaylen Brown was selected third by the Boston Celtics. Wallace will hope to join Celtics’ star Isaiah Thomas, who was drafted in 2011, as recent 60th picks to enjoy great success in the NBA.
As a late second rounder, Wallace will likely need to impress his team in Summer League to ensure that he makes the roster. Wallace surprised many by returning for his senior year after many thought he would enter the draft last season as a junior when he was projected to be picked late in the first round. After coming back but struggling with injuries and to improve his jump shot, however, Wallace’s stock dropped.
Wallace still managed to lead all Bears last season by putting up an average of 15.3 points per game. He added 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. As a junior, Wallace notched even more impressive numbers, tallying an average of 17.1 points, 7.1 boards and 4.0 assists per game.
At six-foot-six and with a nearly six-foot-ten wingspan, Wallace figures to fit well at the defensive end in the NBA, where his versatility defending guards and wings makes him well-suited for switch-heavy schemes. His defense goes along well with his slashing and solid finishing in the lane to make him an intriguing prospect, especially if he is able to develop a more consistent jumper.