Draft Rumors: Embiid, Walker, Randle, Parker

The status of this year’s top prospects is still somewhat in the air. Joel Embiid made his entry into the draft official earlier today, while Julius Randle denied reports that he was ready to do the same. Jabari Parker has made housing arrangements at Duke for his sophomore year, a source from the school tells Tom Moore of Calkins Media (Twitter link). Moore notes that the arrangements don’t rule out a decision by Parker to enter the draft, but they do give credence to Parker’s insistence that staying in school another year is a real possibility. Let’s round up the rest of the night’s draft notes:

  • Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com writes that Randle’s shot at becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the draft is gone, but that the big man has set himself up to stay near the top of the lottery if he does well in pre-draft workouts.
  • In a separate piece, Howard-Cooper ranks his top 30 draft prospects, placing Embiid in the No. 1 spot.
  • Chris Broussard of ESPN.com discusses Embiid’s draft stock in an Insider subscription-only video. Broussard says that most GMs that he’s talked to think Embiid will indeed go first overall. If Embiid’s back injury checks out as a non-issue, Broussard thinks the big man will become the odds-on favorite to become the top selection.
  • As expected, LaQuinton Ross has signed with agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, per a tweet from Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • Freshman Chris Walker announced in a tweet that he will return to Florida next year rather than declare for the draft (hat tip to Chad Ford of ESPN.com). The decision doesn’t come as a surprise, as Walker is projected as a lottery pick in the 2015 class by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com.
  • Xavier Thames has signed with agents Colin Bryant and Valerian Owens, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The guard from San Diego State isn’t projected to be drafted, ranked as just the 50th best senior by Givony.
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