Draft decisions among underclassmen have been coming at a fast pace this week, and we’re tracking all of them with this post. The draft is still nearly three months away, but there’s plenty of focus on it already around the league. Here’s the latest:
- North Carolina freshman small forward Justin Jackson will remain in school rather than enter the draft this year, as he revealed via Instagram (hat tip to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress). Chad Ford of ESPN.com had him listed as the 37th best prospect, though he indicated in a chat with readers Wednesday that he was in line to go in the late first round. Givony already has him slotted at No. 19 on his 2016 mock, so it looks like he stands to gain from another year with the Tar Heels.
- Karl-Anthony Towns has surpassed Jahlil Okafor as the top prospect in Ford’s and Givony’s rankings, but It’s not as if Towns has become the consensus top pick amongst NBA teams, Ford also writes in the chat. A slight majority of teams have Towns on top, according to Ford, and scouts are “praying” that Kentucky and Duke meet in the NCAA final so the two can match up. It’ll probably come down to which player is better in the context of the team picking first, Ford believes.
- An NBA executive who spoke with Zach Braziller of the New York Post agrees with the assessment that the choice between Okafor and Towns is a matter of which player is a better fit for the team with the No. 1 pick. Still, you couldn’t go wrong with either, the exec added.