Draft Notes: Cauley-Stein, Towns, Okafor

Center Willie Cauley-Stein hasn’t made it official, but he is leaning toward turning pro, Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal writes. “It’s time to take another step,” Cauley-Stein said. “I mean, obviously, I’m not 100 percent on it, but I’m pretty sure I know what I want to do. Gotta talk to a couple more people, but probably was my last game here.” Several scouts believe there isn’t a safer bet in this year’s draft than the 21-year-old, who is the sixth best prospect, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and eighth best prospect according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Karl-Anthony Towns hasn’t made a decision about whether he will enter the draft yet, but he left the door open to returning to Kentucky next year, Tucker writes in the same piece. “I can’t even think about that. I just lost in the Final Four with my brothers,” Towns said about the possibility of staying another season. “We could be really good, but we just need to make it further than we did this time. We gotta get it all the way this time. We need to do better. We could be really good, though.” Towns has a good chance to be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, which makes it unlikely he stays.
  • Provided both players opt to enter the draft, it’s likely Towns and Jahlil Okafor will go No. 1 and No. 2 in some order. In a quick poll of seven NBA scouts and personnel people, Towns received four votes for the top spot, while Okafor got three, according to Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated.
  • Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders looks at how staying in school can damage a prospect’s stock. Dowsett acknowledges that many prospects seem undeveloped and are unproven after just one year of college, but he believes those prospects would benefit more from being around professionals in the NBA than from staying in college and playing against lesser competition.

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