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April, 2016 Newsletter

Draft Season is officially here! March Madness has been in full effect for the past few weeks and many of the top prospects have risen to the occasion. Now, with most teams done for the year we turn our attention to the draft and to the early entry candidates.

The new draft rules allowing players to "test the waters" multiple times and pushing back the withdraw date to ten days after the combine (May 25th this year) means that every player and their mother are declaring for the draft. This changes the game for the prospects, for college recruiting and for those of us who geek out about the draft.

The mock drafts on NBA Draft Room will be an educated guess as to which players will remain in the draft and which players will return to school. We'll also not be doing an early entry list until later in the draft process.

Most people consider this to be a weak draft, and I tend to agree, but there's an intriguing mix of international talent which should be available mid to late first round and some of these players may become household names and enjoy years of NBA success. This could be a case of judging a book by it's cover (in this case the lottery) and forgetting about all the chapters inside. As always, time will tell!
Rising Prospects
Marquese Chriss - Washington
Demetrius Jackson - Notre Dame

Falling Prospects
Jaylen Brown - California
Nigel Hayes - Wisconsin
Malik Newman - Miss. State
Rising Prospects
Marquese Chriss and Malachi Richardson are high-upside youngsters who came on strong over the course of their Freshmen seasons. Richardson's run in the tournament might lead to him declaring for the 2016 draft. And if he stays another year he'll add to the already loaded 2017 class. Chriss is a former football player who is still learning the finer points of the game but his upside is through the roof. His epic rise up draft boards makes him our prospect of the month.

Demetrius Jackson stepped up big in big moments, showing the type of leadership and tenacity that wins ball games. His athleticism at the point guard position reminds of Darren Collison and Eric Bledsoe and he should have a long, successful career at the next level.

Falling Prospects
Jaylen Brown has long been considered a likely top 5 pick in the draft but after a sub par finish to the season, that is no longer the case. Brown is an insanely gifted athlete but his limitations as a shooter and his out-of-control play raises major questions about how effective he'll be at the next level. There's still a chance that he goes top 5 but it's looking more likely that he'll be picked in the 6-12 range.

I've been high on Nigel Hayes for the past year but he didn't take the leap forward I thought he would this season. He shot a woeful 37% percent from the field this year and even worse from 3 point land. Only a Junior, Hayes would be wise to return for his Senior year to work on his outside game.

Malik Newman is a shoot first guard who is undersized, and doesn't have a great shooting stroke to begin with. He gets into the lane well but his lack of elevation and length are concerning. Remember when some Mocks had him as a lottery pick? He's now looking like a late first or second round pick in 2017.
Prospect of the Month
Marquese Chriss
Marquese Chriss has catapulted up the draft boards with a strong finish to his season and to his college career (he has declared for the draft and will hire an agent). His athleticism sets him apart from just about every other prospect in this draft. At 6-9 he's got awesome jumping ability and the type of burst and quickness normally reserved for guards. He is raw and unpolished but the draft is about upside and Chriss has a whole lot of that. His stats are inflated by the Huskies up tempo style but his game should translate well to today's NBA, which is just as fast paced.

He shot a respectable 35% from three point land and has shown an impressive repertoire of offensive moves, especially considering that he's only played the game for about 4 years, after playing football earlier in his 'career'.

He reminds of a combination of Markieff Morris and Blake Griffin, with his insane athleticism and a sweet shooting stroke.

Chriss is currently projected as a lottery pick and could be selected as high as top 5 in the 2016 NBA Draft.

2017 Stock Watch

Another (future) Washington Husky is making waves with his athleticism. Combo guard Markelle Fultz will join the program next year and could be a one and done lottery pick in 2017.

He's got top level quickness and leaping ability and a really nice feel for the game. His best NBA position is point guard and he seems to have all the tools to run an offense, while also scoring in bunches. He is dynamite on the fast break and a truly explosive athlete in the open court.

Fultz reminds of a combination of Jordan Clarkson and Russell Westbrook and should be one of the most exciting players in college ball next season. More
 
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