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Lamar Stevens’ Versatility Makes Him Intriguing NBA Draft Prospect

Lamar Stevens wrapped up his Penn State career this past spring after establishing himself as one of the best players in program history.

If it wasn’t for the cancellation of the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, Stevens would’ve become Penn State’s all-time leading scorer. He finished his career just six points behind Talor Battle.

During his four years at Penn State, Stevens averaged 16.3 points, 6.5 rebounds per game, and was a leader for the Nittany Lions on and off the court.

Now, Stevens will turn his focus toward the NBA to try to become the second Nittany Lion to be on an NBA roster, the other being Josh Reaves. Stevens’ versatility and scoring ability give him the chance to be a late second-round draft choice this Wednesday night.

NBA Draft Net has the Sacramento Kings selecting Stevens with the No. 52 overall pick. Additionally, NBA Draft Room has a similar prediction with the Golden State Warriors drafting Stevens with the No. 48 overall pick.

“A burly combo forward who does a little bit of everything on the court,” the NBA Draft Room staff said. “Has a rock-solid frame and uses it well to establish position in the paint. Can score with his back to the basket or face up and break his man down off the dribble.”

Stevens’ versatility could help him find a home on an NBA team. Standing at 6’8″, 225 pounds, Stevens has the ability to play both the small and power forward positions, which is something teams value.

NBA Draft Room’s player comparison for Stevens is Anthony Mason. Mason played in the NBA for 13 years and served as a valuable piece for the competitive New York Knicks teams in the 90s.

CBS Sports, on the other hand, ranks Stevens as the No. 65 best player in this year’s draft, which would put him in undrafted territory. The CBS Sports Staff describes Stevens as versatile, a solid defender, and a good rebounder. However, they criticize his ball-handling, his three-point shooting, and have concerns that he’s already 23 years old.

ESPN is even lower on Stevens, as he’s ranked as the No. 82 best player in its player rankings, which puts him far into undrafted territory. Additionally, he’s ranked as ESPN’s 10th-best small forward.

If Stevens is drafted, he’d be the first Penn Stater to be taken in the NBA Draft since Tony Carr in 2018 (No. 51 overall). Regardless, it’s likely Stevens will sign on with an NBA organization whether he’s drafted or not. The G-League, which is the NBA’s developmental league, is a possible landing spot for Stevens as he begins his NBA career.

The 2020 NBA Draft will go live at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18 from ESPN’s facilities in Bristol, Connecticut.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to gabe@onwardstate.com.

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