Draft Rumors: Payton, Baker, Walker

Oscar Robertson doesn’t agree with the league’s desire to increase the age limit for draft entry, telling Genaro C. Armas of The Associated Press that “one-and-done” players aren’t hurting the college game. “These colleges are greedy, man. They want to keep a kid … in school if they start to win,” Robertson said. “They want to keep them in school because it helps them — it helps the coach, it helps the winning percentage.” Here’s a roundup of more draft rumors:

  • Wichita State’s Ron Baker will return to school for his junior year, sources tell Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. Baker explored his draft potential before making the decision, and multiple NBA executives tell Goodman he would have been a second round pick had he chosen to declare for this year’s draft.
  • An NBA executive told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that Louisiana-Lafayette’s Elfrid Payton could go as high as the late teens in the draft should he declare. The junior hasn’t yet decided whether to forgo his last year of college to enter the draft.
  • Florida freshman Chris Walker says he will make a decision regarding this year’s draft after the Final Four, telling reporters including Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv he’s focused on the tournament for now. “I haven’t really been thinking about it,” Walker said. “I’m just thinking about winning this UConn game and staying in the moment and hopefully winning that and advance to the championship game. And then after the season, me and coach [Billy Donovan] will sit down and talk about everything and all the options.” Walker has been considered by many to be a premier 2015 draft prospect, so it would be interesting to see where he would stack up if he declared for this summer’s draft.
  • In a subscription-only piece, ESPN Insiders Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton look at the draft stocks for Shabazz Napier, Frank Kaminsky, and Patric Young, who are all playing for Final Four teams this weekend.
  • Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports discussed the draft prospects of Kentucky’s freshmen in a video from yesterday.
  • We profiled Doug McDermott earlier today.

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