Tony Carr #10 of the Penn State Nittany Lions works against Sedrick Barefield #0 and Justin Bibbins #1 of the Utah Utes in the fourth quarter during the 2018 NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2018 in New York City. | Abbie Parr/Getty Images
If you think of Penn State and only think of terrible fraternity hazing and the shameful football scandal, basketball player Tony Carr might change your mind.
Penn State’s basketball history doesn’t include a ton of March Madness heroes. It’s not among the best college basketball schools in the country. Still, it’s a good bet Tony Carr will have his name called during the 2018 NBA Draft.
Carr isn’t a first-round prospect, but he’ll probably go somewhere in the second round. These teams are the likely landing spots, according to Lions 247:
New Orleans Pelicans
Pick: No. 51
Why: The Pelicans don’t have a lot of point guard depth aside from Rajon Rondo, and Rondo is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Tony Carr is a solid playmaker, and with Anthony Davis and (maybe ) DeMarcus Cousins on the floor he won’t need to be more than a facilitator.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Pick: No. 53
Why: Tony Carr going to the Thunder might be the perfect fit. He won’t be able to knock triple-double machine Russell Westbrook from the starting lineup, and he won’t have to. Carr would only need to play spot minutes as a sub while helping the Thunder prepare for life after Westbrook.
Pick: No. 58
Why: Size and improved 3-point shooting put Tony Carr on the Nuggets’ radar. Jamal Murray has a firm grip on the starting point guard spot, but reserve Devin Harris is heading into his 14th NBA season and won’t be around much longer. Carr is a safe late pick for the Nuggets.
Though the Pelicans, Thunder, and Nuggets are the safest bets to select Carr, the NBA Draft is almost always a crapshoot with lots of wheeling and dealing on draft day. No matter which team picks Carr, it’s getting a solid player ready to contribute from Day 1.
The Cavaliers, Magic, and Suns are other teams that could be hunting for a point guard like Carr during the 2018 NBA Draft.
During his final season at Penn State in 2017-18, Tony Carr finished with a Big Ten-leading 725 points in conference play. His 147 free throws were also the most, and he was second in the league with 19.6 points per game.
If and when Carr has his name called in the NBA Draft, he’ll join a short list of Penn State players picked.
The last time Penn State had a player taken, it was 1999 when Calvin Booth went to the Washington Wizards in the second round (No. 35 overall). These are the other Nittany Lions picked in the NBA Draft, according to RealGM:
- Dick Mumma, 1984, Los Angeles Clippers
- Mike Lang, 1983, New York Knicks
- Frank Brickowski, 1981, New York Knicks
- Ron Brown, 1974, Boston Celtics
- Paul Mickey, 1967, Washington Wizards (the Bullets at the time)
- Carver Clinton, 1966, Chicago Bulls
- Bob Weiss, 1965, Philadelphia 76ers
- Peter Baltic, 1961, Detroit Pistons
- Jesse Arnelle, 1955, Fort Wayne Pistons
No matter what happens with Tony Carr during the 2018 NBA Draft, we’re almost certain he’ll avoid the embarrassment of being the worst draft pick his new team has ever made. It’s more likely Carr will be one of the greatest steals instead.
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