The NBA’s new rule that allows prospects to gauge their draft stock until May 25th, which is the new the deadline for players to pull out of the draft if they want to remain eligible for college ball, could end up hurting college seniors, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report writes. The tremendous influx of players who will be attending the scouting combine could put a pinch on the number of seniors invited who are considered borderline prospects, Wasserman notes. The scribe points to T.J. McConnell, whose performance during last year’s combine earned him a spot on the Sixers, as a prime example of the type of player who could be adversely affected by the new rules.
“I think [the rule change is] great for the undergrads, probably unfortunate for seniors who won’t make the combine but don’t accept Portsmouth invites thinking they would get to the combine,” an NBA scout told Wasserman. “I wish Portsmouth was later now.” An NBA executive echoed the sentiment, telling Wasserman, “Seniors don’t get the same opportunity [this year]. Plus, we like upside of young players, as seniors are pretty much who they are. Seniors are always pushed to the back because of the ‘potential’ aspect.”
Here’s more regarding the 2016 NBA Draft:
- The Sixers may give strong consideration to selecting Notre Dame junior point guard Demetrius Jackson with one of their first round picks this year if Jackson declares for the draft, Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Jackson, who is currently ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, fits Philly’s clear need for a playmaker who can provide scoring with his outside shooting, Sielski adds. The junior is averaging 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season for the Fighting Irish.
- Indiana freshman Thomas Bryant is undecided on entering the 2016 NBA Draft, as he told Jeff Rabjohns of Rivals.com (Twitter link). It may be wise for the big man to return to school for his sophomore campaign as a number of scouts believe he still needs to mature physically prior to turning pro, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv writes. “Late first-round at best right now,” one NBA executive told Zagoria regarding Bryant. “Young, not physically ready.” Bryant averaged 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds for the campaign.
- Despite some speculation that Duke’s Brandon Ingram could overtake him, LSU freshman Ben Simmons is still the current consensus No. 1 overall pick among NBA scouts, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times relays. “Whoever thinks he [Simmons] isn’t the best player in this draft is crazy,’’ one scout told Woelfel. “The only thing you can question about him is his shooting. But there have been some great players who weren’t good shooters coming into the draft and became good shooters. He’s a great player, period.’’