Duke center Jahlil Okafor has long been considered the favorite to become the top pick in the 2015 draft, but for the first time since Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has been compiling his prospect rankings for this year, he’s slipped to No. 2, as Givony notes via Twitter. That means Kentucky forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns has overtaken Okafor in his rankings as well as the ones Chad Ford of ESPN.com puts together. Of course, there’s still nearly three months to go until draft night, and much can change between now and then. It nonetheless sets up what would surely be a dream matchup in the NCAA tournament final for NBA scouts and executives if Kentucky and Duke are to win their respective semifinals on Saturday. There’s more draft news amid the latest from around the league:
- UNLV freshman shooting guard Rashad Vaughn has signed with agent Omar Wilkes of Octagon Sports, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). Vaughn last week denied a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that he was planning to declare for the draft, but signing with an agent wouldn’t allow him to return to school, which suggests that Vaughn is indeed draft-bound.
- Three dozen of 59 NBA executives who spoke to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com support playoff realignment, with the vast majority of the opposition coming from Eastern Conference teams (Twitter link).
- Elijah Millsap landed his three-year deal with Jazz thanks to an agent who is four years younger than he is, and Cameron Chung of the Sports Agent Blog chronicles the sudden emergence of 23-year-old Daniel Hazan and his Hazan Sports Management agency.
- The glut of high-level point guards in the NBA is a severe impediment to teams that don’t have one, as Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com examines in an Insider-only piece, suggesting that clubs like the Knicks and Sixers should prioritize finding point guards in the offseason.