This year’s draft class is one of the best in recent memory not only due to the superior talent at the top, but the amount of quality depth. There is no doubt that there will be multiple players drafted in the second round in this year’s NBA Draft who will have an impact in the league next season.
One of the players who is currently projected by many to be a mid-to-late second-round pick is Devyn Marble from the University of Iowa. If he had entered the draft last season, he would likely be closer to a late first-round pick. That’s how deep this draft is.
Although I may be somewhat biased towards this individual player as I attended many of his games during my time at the University of Iowa, Marble was one of the most versatile players in college basketball last season. Marble was talked about at the NBA Combine as a combo guard who can play a number of positions and fill multiple roles.
However, as ESPN’s Chad Ford told The Daily Iowan, “Marble is one of the most versatile wings in the country but has suffered from ‘doesn’t do any one thing special’ syndrome.” He is an above average shooter coming off screens and curls, and improved his shooting motion over his college career.
If it wasn’t for a poor showing in both the Big Ten tournament and the NCAA tournament, Marble would have moved up the draft boards to near the first round. At mid-season, many sports media outlets had Marble as a late first-round pick.
He would be a perfect fit with the Chicago Bulls, as scoring and quality depth in the backcourt has been a major weakness for the team, especially with the injuries to Derrick Rose. Because he is so versatile, the Bulls could use him off the bench at a number of positions. He moves well without the ball and has the ability to catch and shoot off of screens, two essential skills in this Chicago offense built around Rose and Joakim Noah.
His defense needs to improve as he relied heavily on his length and instincts in college to defend. He certainly needs coaching and system to grow within, but he has all the physical tools to be a successful player in this league.
It’s hard to find a player in the NBA who is a good comparison to Marble, because he can be effective both with the ball at the point, as well as an off-the-ball winger. However, no one is expecting him to be a star player in the NBA. I would compare him to players like Shelvin Mack or Gordon Hayward, quality depth players that can give a team productive minutes.
Although he has the NBA build and the athleticism that teams are looking for, there were a number of times when Marble would disappear during stretches of games last season, something that he won’t be able to do if he wants to make an NBA roster.
During his final season at Iowa, Marble averaged 17 points per game, and led the Hawkeyes to their first NCAA tournament berth since 2006. He and his father Roy Marble became the Big Ten‘s first father-son duo to both score over 1,000 points over their careers at the same university.
Devyn is represented by family friend and former University of Iowa basketball standout B.J. Armstrong. Armstrong was drafted by the Bulls in 1989 and spent a total of seven seasons with the organization.