IU’s Anunoby and Bryant drafted; Blackmon signs as free agent with 76ers
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Of the three Indiana Hoosiers who elected to enter the NBA Draft, two were drafted Thursday night in Brooklyn.
OG Anunoby was the highest pick among the Bloomington standouts, going No. 23 overall to the Toronto Raptors.
He’s the first IU player to go in the first round since Noah Vonleh in 2014. Anunoby’s size and athleticism were too much for the Raptors to pass up, despite a knee injury that cut his sophomore season short.
The injury likely ended Anunoby’s hopes of being a lottery pick.
Big man Thomas Bryant went No. 42 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant was at one time considered a first-round talent, and may have gone higher in last year’s draft if he’d left after his freshman year.
Expectations were high for Bryant’s sophomore campaign, but his stock slid as the Hoosiers underachieved and Bryant struggled with consistency. Still, his size and wingspan proved tantalizing for the Lakers.
Bryant is the first IU player taken in the second round since Bracey Wright in 2005.
A third Hoosier who entered the draft will take a longer road to make an NBA roster. James Blackmon Jr. didn’t hear his name called Thursday. He signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Blackmon, the Hoosiers’ leading scorer, will try to follow in the footsteps of Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams, who went undrafted last year. Both found roles as free agents, Ferrell with the Dallas Mavericks and Williams with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Other notable draft selections with Indiana ties include Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, who went No. 26 overall to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Valparaiso product Alec Peters, the leading scorer in the Horizon League, went No. 52 overall to the Phoenix Suns in the second round.