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Killian Tillie could become latest Gonzaga standout to hear name called in NBA draft

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 18, 2020

Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie gives his Senior Night speech last February at the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie gives his Senior Night speech last February at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Killian Tillie has a long list of attributes valued in the NBA, but he endured numerous injuries at Gonzaga that could raise concerns for some teams.

He’s been called a potential sleeper pick and a likely first-rounder if not for his medical record. He’s considered a second-round pick in most mock drafts. His name isn’t listed in a few others.

Tillie will find out exactly what the NBA is thinking when the draft unfolds virtually Wednesday, 146 days after it was originally scheduled. The draft was pushed back by the COVID-19 pandemic and the pre-draft process, which traditionally includes multiple workouts with NBA teams and a combine, was replaced by a virtual combine.

Tillie is the only Zag left in the draft after Filip Petrusev withdrew his name last week. Corey Kispert and Joel Ayayi declared for the draft but both decided to return to Gonzaga.

“Ready for the next step,” Tillie posted Tuesday on social media, along with a workout video.

The 6-foot-10, 220-pound Tillie’s size, shooting range and feel for the game make him a promising power forward prospect. He can stretch the floor, pass and has a soft touch around the basket. He made 44.4% of his career 3-point attempts and he surpassed 1,000 career points.

He missed 31 of 70 games in his junior and senior seasons because of injuries. He dealt with foot, ankle, knee, hip and hand injuries during his career but he’s probably healthier currently – thanks to a long break between his last game in March at the WCC Tournament to now – than he’s been since arriving in Spokane from his native France.

Most mock drafts peg Tillie as a second-round selection and a couple project a reunion with former Zag teammates Rui Hachimura or Brandon Clarke, both first-round picks last year.

Draftsite.com projects Tillie going to Washington at No. 37. The Wizards took Hachimura ninth overall in last year’s draft. NBAdraftroom.com has Tillie going to Memphis at No. 40, joining Clarke in the front court.

Tillie is listed as the final pick of the first round, No. 30 overall, by therookiewire.usatoday.com.

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish has Philadelphia selecting Tillie at No. 49. Tillie is ranked 48th on Sporting News’ big board and 53rd on ESPN.com’s best available players.

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