Draft Rumors: Porzingis, Winslow, Upshaw

Kristaps Porzingis‘ strong play in Europe is impressing NBA scouts, and the 7-footer is working his way into the top-5 of teams’ draft boards, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports passes along (on Twitter). At just 19 years old, it isn’t surprising to see clubs enamored with his potential. We’ll hear the latest on a few other potential first-rounders in tonight’s look at the upcoming draft:

  • A scout told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that Duke forward Justise Winslow‘s toughness profiles him as a Metta World Peace-type and Shane Battier-like player. “Great size and toughness,” the scout told Spears. “High ceiling, but is a third or fourth option on a team. Poor shooter. He can be Shane Battier or Metta World Peace, which is not a bad thing.” Winslow was ranked eighth in Hoops Rumors’ latest 2015 NBA Draft Prospect Power Rankings.
  • Robert Upshaw was dismissed from the University of Washington basketball team late in January for a violation of team rules, but there’s still a chance he gets taken in the first round of the draft, as an executive tells Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. Character issues aside, the unnamed executive called Upshaw “one of the most talented bigs” he saw this year. Upshaw was also dismissed from Fresno State two years ago before he transferred to Washington.
  • Syracuse big man Rakeem Christmas might have worked his way into the bottom part of the first round, Howard-Cooper observes in the same piece. At 23 years old, Christmas has less upside than younger bigs, but his intensity and athleticism have helped boost his stock, Howard writes.

Will Joseph contributed to this post.

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