The draft is still three months and two days away, but with just 16 teams remaining in the NCAA tournament, underclassmen will soon start declaring for early entry as the buildup to draft night intensifies. Here’s the latest on some of the top prospects:
- Power forward Bobby Portis said this weekend that he’s leaning toward returning to Arkansas for his junior season, observes Bob Holt of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (hat tip to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress). Portis is the 17th best prospect in Givony’s rankings and No. 14 with Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Eddie Scarito has him 15th in the latest Hoops Rumors 2015 NBA Draft Prospect Power Rankings.
- Not surprisingly, Emmanuel Mudiay tops the point guard rankings that TNT’s David Aldridge compiles for NBA.com. He played sparingly in China this season, but even NBA teams that didn’t have anyone scout him in person this year believe that he’s the No. 1 point guard prospect, Aldridge writes. A lot of teams saw him at last year’s Nike Hoop Summit, a Western Conference executive pointed out to Aldridge. Still, there are those who prefer Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell, even for the No. 1 pick, as Aldridge details.
- Duke small forward Justise Winslow is the elite prospect who helped himself the most in the opening week of the NCAA tournament, Chad Ford of ESPN.com believes, writing in an Insider-only piece that he thinks Winslow would be the first wing player chosen if the draft were today.