Does Dez Wells Have a Future in the NBA?


Mar 22, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard/forward Dez Wells (44) during the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The journey of life is not always smooth sailing. Former Maryland guard/forward Dez Wells knows this all too well. After battling sexual assault allegations at Xavier University, Wells transferred to the University of Maryland to get a fresh start and he showed growth and maturity in his three seasons with the Terps. Now, his next hurdle: making it to the NBA.

In three years at Maryland, Wells averaged 14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. He also shot nearly 50 percent from the field for his career. Despite the great numbers, his legacy at Maryland cannot simply be measured by those statistics. He was a leader for the Terps and he’s also had a huge hand in putting Maryland back on the college basketball map.

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While Wells has spent some time at the small forward position in college, he is currently projected to be a shooting guard at the next level. After following Wells throughout his career, it is now hard to recognize his strengths. He is a pretty good athlete who excels at slashing and getting to the basket.

He’s grown by leaps and bounds as a player too. He has polished his ball-handling skills, which makes him more intriguing to the pro scouts, who are searching for a combo guard. He’s also improved his perimeter shooting, making 51 percent of the shots he took from behind the arc.

Despite all of his accomplishments at Maryland, there are still people in the basketball sphere who have some doubts about whether or not he can be a solid contributor in the NBA. A large number of mock drafts do not have Wells getting selected in either of the two rounds, but every season, there are players who go undrafted, but get their opportunity to show a team what they can do.

I personally don’t think Wells will be drafted on draft day, but he will likely be signed as an undrafted free agent and have to prove himself, which is a challenge I’m sure he’s up for. Former Terp and NBA player Tony Massenberg weighed in on Wells’ draft prospects, saying,

“If he doesn’t get drafted, I definitely see him getting picked up. When you talk about guys who are not solidified lottery picks or first rounders, sometimes you are better off not getting drafted, because you can pick and choose a situation that might be more beneficial than being drafted into a situation where you don’t have a real chance based on numbers.”

Even if Wells doesn’t get drafted, the way he plays will allow him to make somebody’s roster, whether it be in the NBA or overseas. He is too talented of a player to not be doing what he loves for a living. He works his butt off and plays the game with passion and a fierce competitiveness. That will take him far as he takes his game to the next level.

Dez Wells has needed to overcome adversity in the past, so this should be nothing for him to handle. He has matured as a basketball player and as a person, so it’s kind of hard to not root for him.

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