After averaging 12.3 points per game during his junior season for the Trojans, Elijah Stewart declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft —shortly after, he withdrew his name in favor of returning for his senior season at USC (much to the delight of his teammates and fanbase alike).
He joined an impressive list of USC players who withdrew from the draft, a list which included the likes of Bennie Boatwright and Shaqquan Aaron.
But which NBA team would he have been a good fit for had he continued with his plan to enter the draft?
Many experts recognize that Stewart is a skilled scorer and a more-than-decent defender as he turned out to be a key piece to what was an ever-improving Trojan team last season.
From Draft Express:
USCs Elijah Stewart had one of the best games of his college career in the first round against SMU, which included the go-ahead shot on SC's final possession. His ability to cover ground defensively in the zone with his excellent closeout speed helped turn the tide of the game in the second half. It will be interesting to see how Stewart follows up that performance, as he's been wildly inconsistent throughout his career, particularly as a decision maker, as his basketball IQ and overall skill-level is still at an early stage of development.
While he had some impressive showcases of his talents throughout the season, he also was a no-show a few too-many times.
-It's this type of inconsistency paired with some poor decision-making that would have contributed to his falling into the later parts of the second round.
You know what kind of teams are selecting in the back half of each round in the draft, though? Teams that don't necessarily need him right away. Teams that can take their time developing his talent and allowing him to mature and grow as a player.
I look at teams like the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs as perfect fits – these are teams that are ridiculously good at cultivating talent, which would have been a perfect situation for Elijah Stewart.