March Madness is officially underway, and Chris Dortch of NBA.com has complied a list of players who have the most to gain from a good performance in the NCAA Tournament. Gator seniors Scottie Wilbekin and Patric Young are among the players mentioned, and Dortch thinks a tourney title from Florida would greatly help their stocks. Let’s round up some more draft rumors:
- Having lost 22 straight contests and sitting at 15-53, the Sixers are sure to receive a high lottery pick in June’s draft. Rather than addressing needs at a particular position, Philly coach Brett Brown‘s draft strategy is to “take the best player and figure it out,” reveals Tom Moore of the Intelligencer.
- Chad Ford of ESPN.com breaks down each tournament team’s prospects (Insider link). The South region has the most NBA-talent, according to Ford, but the Midwest region isn’t far behind.
- Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports gives an NBA scout’s take on 10 potential lottery picks. According to the scout, Joel Embiid will likely be the first player taken if his back problems prove to be a non-issue. “Teams don’t want to draft another Greg Oden,” said the scout. “Embiid will be No. 1 if there is no back issue. There is only one player in the draft that’s a potential franchise player, and that’s Embiid. It’s a deep draft. When I say franchise player, there are only eight or 10 of those in the league. Embiid has the potential to be one.”
- The latest mock draft from Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders sees Embiid going third overall, behind Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.
- Adreian Payne‘s 41 point performance today will do nothing but help the MSU Spartan’s draft stock, and Chad Ford tweets that a few more big games out of Payne could help boost him into a lock for the lottery. Ford notes Payne is particularly appealing because there aren’t many stretch fours in this year’s class. Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com thinks Payne will be a mid-first-round pick, but that he won’t end up being a star in the NBA (Twitter link).
- Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III needs to have a strong performance in the tournament to prove he’s not just coasting off his family name, opines Howard-Cooper. Robinson is the son of the former All-Star who shares the same name.