Marquette wing Olivier-Maxence Prosper, who withdrew from Thursday’s scrimmage after a strong performance Wednesday, may have been the biggest winner of the NBA draft combine, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic.
Not only did Prosper score a game-high 21 points (plus seven rebounds) in 22 minutes in Wednesday’s scrimmage, he was also measured at nearly 6’7″ without shoes along with a 7’1″ wingspan. The 20-year-old recorded the second-best standing vertical leap (35 inches) at the event.
As Hollinger writes, there are still question marks about his Prosper’s game (limited feel, low rate of steals plus blocks), but his effort at the combine may have turned him into a first-round pick. He’s currently No. 32 on ESPN’s big board.
Belmont guard Ben Sheppard (No. 36 on ESPN) and Serbian big man Tristan Vukcevic (No. 37) are among the other players who helped themselves at the combine, Hollinger adds. Keep an eye on the Hornets (Nos. 34, 39 and 41) and the Thunder (Nos. 37 and 50) as teams with multiple picks who might be interested in drafting-and-stashing Vukcevic, per Hollinger.
Here are a few more draft-related notes:
- Dereck Lively II was the nation’s top high school recruit entering his freshman year at Duke, but saw his draft stock fall after an underwhelming season. Currently No. 25 on ESPN’s board and considered a late first-round pick, Lively plans to surprise people at the NBA level, Adam Zagoria writes for The News & Observer. “I believe my game translates because I can guard one through five, I can run the floor, I can space the floor out,” Lively said at the combine. “I wasn’t shooting at Duke but … just because you don’t think I can shoot, I can shoot the ball. I think everybody is going to be surprised by that this coming season and I just gotta make a name for myself.”
- Joseph Girard, Nijel Pack, and Quinten Post all plan to withdraw from the draft and return to college for the 2023/24 season, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (All Twitter links). Girard is transferring from Syracuse to Clemson for his fifth and final year of eligibility, while Pack will be returning to Miami (FL) for his senior year and Post will return to Boston College for his fifth season. None of the three are listed on ESPN’s board, so they were considered unlikely to be drafted.
- In case you missed it, we passed along some more draft decisions Friday.