Where ESPN mock NBA draft has Malaki Branham and E.J. Liddell after combine


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We’re only a couple of weeks away from the NBA draft, and we keep listening and reading to the experts out there on where Ohio State’s Malaki Branham and E.J. Liddell are projected to go. Most everyone is in agreement that both will somewhere in the first round, but there are some that have Liddell leaking into the early second round.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has thoughts on the matter (subscription required) after seeing all of the prospects during the NBA combine and has both still going high, one of the two, in particular, going to a club that a lot of OSU fans might get excited about.

Here is where Givony has both Liddell and Branham going in his latest 58 pick mock draft.

Malaki Branham, Guard

Ohio State guard Malaki Branham named Big Ten Freshman of the Year

Ohio State guard Malaki Branham named Big Ten Freshman of the Year

Ohio State Buckeyes guard Malaki Branham (22) prepares to shoot a three-point basket during the first half of the NCAA basketball game against the Bowling Green Falcons at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio Nov. 15. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Landing Spot according to ESPN

No. 14 overall pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers

What Givony Says

“The Cavs will be looking to add firepower on the wing this offseason, both in free agency and in the draft. Branham’s frame, length, scoring instincts and shot-making prowess off the dribble (44%) and with his feet set (43%) make his game look seamlessly translatable for what the NBA is looking for at his position. He started the season slowly but looked like one of the most talented perimeter players in the country down the stretch, carrying Ohio State offensively, and in a highly efficient manner.”

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E. J. Liddell, Forward

Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell officially declares for 2022 NBA draft

Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell officially declares for 2022 NBA draft

Mar 6, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward E.J. Liddell (32) celebrates a dunk during the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Value City Arena. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Landing Spot according to ESPN

No. 23 overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers

What Givony Says

“Most NBA teams operated under the assumption that the Nets would punt this selection to 2023 and gamble on the Sixers sending an even better pick next year if wheels come off in Philadelphia. On June 1st ESPN reported the Nets would exercise the option. Philadelphia could very well look at adding a versatile big man like Liddell who can protect the rin, switch on the perimeter and has a high floor as a prospect after improving his shooting significantly as a junior. His productivity and toughness make him a solid option for a Sixers team looking to win now, one that needs to find value on rookie-scale contracts.”

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