We’re just a few weeks away from March Madness, when a handful of college players will have a chance to make their mark in front of a national audience, and could even increase their draft stock with an impressive tournament run. Sean Deveney of Sporting News has some interesting things to report surrounding this year’s draft class in his latest article. Here are some highlights:
- Some front office executives around the league are worried that Dante Exum will try to force his way onto the Lakers, per Deveney. “When you hear some of what he says, it does make you wonder how the process is going to go as far as workouts and that sort of thing,” one anonymous GM said. “We have seen this story before, of course. I am not sure a player can have that kind of control, though.” The Australian point guard, ranked fourth overall on Chad Ford’s big board, could refuse to work out for teams he wants to avoid, or even threaten to remain in Australia if drafted by a team other than Los Angeles. Of course, if the Lakers land a high enough pick in the draft, they might have an open path to Exum anyway.
- In the same piece, Deveney quotes Celtics GM Danny Ainge from a local radio appearance. Ainge thinks that the 2014 draft class has been overrated, considering the mediocre performances from some of the hyped lottery prospects during the college season. “Yes, from the very beginning,” Ainge said. “It’s just all hype. It’s a bunch of young kids out playing in AAU basketball and high school and making all sorts of assessments and then they watch them play on the real stages and they’re not quite as good. College is a big jump from high school and I think reality has hit.”
- A scout tells Deveney that Baylor’s Isaiah Austin made a mistake in not entering last year’s draft, and believes the potential first-rounder has likely fallen into the second round: “I could still see him going in the first round somewhere, based on his size and potential. But he does not get the ball enough, he does not hit the post enough, he is not assertive enough. More likely, he will be a second-rounder.”