Report: Baylor’s Johnathan Motley staying in 2017 NBA draft

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A light appeared to come on for Baylor big Johnathan Motley this season.

He displayed a better feel for the game, working his way into borderline first-round status. But even with a solid chance of going in the second round, the redshirt junior is staying in the 2017 NBA draft.

John Werner of WacoTrib.com:

Baylor forward Johnathan Motley has signed with agent Happy Walters and won’t return for his senior year.

Motley is 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan and uses that physical profile well. He’s quick, showing none of the awkwardness taller players with similar reaches often possess. He also finishes well near the rim, using his length to shoot from nearly unblockable angles.

He has shown an ability to challenge shots and crash the defensive glass – just rarely simultaneously. Is he quick enough off his feet to eventually provide a full defensive presence, or will he be limited to an either/or style?

His shooting stroke shows enough promise to intrigue, but he’s not ready to shoot NBA 3-pointers. Will he eventually get there?

Those are the questions teams must ask as they evaluate the 22-year-old.

If he eventually shoots 3s adequately, he could become a nice power forward. His frame could allow him to play center, but he’s not strong enough yet. So, finding a way to get him on the court to develop could be a challenge – but at least there are real tools to work with.