NBA Draft Stock Up/Down After 1st Two Rounds of the NCAA Tournament
NBA STOCK UP
Domantas Sabonis, F, Gonzaga. Owned Seton Hall, then destroyed lottery pick Jakob Poeltl (19-10 to five points, four rebounds). I might be the only guy (clown?) who had Sabnois Top 10 in a mock draft recently. He’s long, talented, and at first glance, appears nimble enough to defend the pick-and-roll on the perimeter. Two names that come to mind, both on the Thunder: Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka (who attempted a total of six 3-pointers in his first three seasons in the NBA).
Thomas Walkup, G, Stephen F. Austin. Listen – he’s a pro. Either he’ll have a lengthy, lucrative International career, or someone will give him a shot in the NBA. Does everything well – especially get to the foul line – but the only thing he does exceptionally well is compete. Plays much bigger than 6-foot-4. I like the Greivis Vasquez comparison, except Walkup only made 10 three-pointers this year, and 40 in his career.
Dillon Brooks, G/F, Oregon. Eye-opening 25-point explosion against future NBA player DeAndre Bembry of St. Joe’s. Brooks was stout against him defensively, too. Brooks is a terrific athlete, but hasn’t improved as a 3-point shooter (33 percent this season). In college he’ll take people inside or out; I’m not sure what he is in the NBA. Hybrid player who comes off the bench to get buckets? A less unstable Lance Stephenson? Looking forward to his matchup against Brandon Ingram in the Sweet 16.
NBA STOCK DOWN
Skal Labissiere, F/C, Kentucky: Couldn’t stay on the floor against Indiana. When matched up against Thomas Bryant, he got abused. I was one of the many who believed the hype about Labissiere coming out of high school, but the learning curve was steep and he didn’t have a good game this season against a ranked team. Sure, he had 18-9-6 blocks against LSU in early March, but Kentucky could have used that Skal against Indiana. He should come back to school, but because someone will draft him in the 1st round, he won’t.
Melo Trimble, PG, Maryland: You know I’m a fan. Been bullish since last season. Going into the season I thought he could have been a Top 10 pick with this reasoning: If he was that good as a freshman, he’ll get better! Whether it’s the new additions to the team, the bigs clogging the lane, Trimble thinking about the NBA or whatever, he’s regressed in almost every category. He’s a late 1st round pick now (at best). I think he should return to school. Losing Jake Layman will hurt, and Diamond Stone probably goes to the NBA. But they’ve got two Top 75 guards coming in, Dodd is capable inside, and rising sophomore Ivan Bender is supposed to be a promising talent.