Former Indiana small forward OG Anunoby continues to recover from a knee injury, with some draft experts speculating that he could miss most or all of his NBA rookie season in 2017/18. However, a source tells Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports that Anunoby expects to be back at full health by late November or early December.
Anunoby’s sophomore season with the Hoosiers was cut short when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in January. However, Anunoby declared for the draft in the spring and the injury doesn’t appear to have significantly affected his draft stock. He still ranks 14th overall on DraftExpress’ big board, and 13th on ESPN’s top 100 list.
In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s Chad Ford notes that Anunoby will be impacted by doctors’ opinions on his surgically repaired knee, since some teams believe he won’t be back to full health until well into 2018. However, Ford still had Anunoby coming off the board at No. 13, suggesting that the Nuggets are among the teams that probably won’t be scared off by that diagnosis.
Even if Anunoby feels as if he’ll be ready to make his NBA debut before the end of the calendar year, his NBA team may play it safe. As we saw with the Sixers and Ben Simmons this past season, clubs will typically take a long-term outlook with their first-round picks, rather than rushing them onto the court.