Tracking This Year’s NBA Draft Class: 5 Prospects Whose Stock Improved In March Madness

By: 04.10.13
Anthony Bennett

Anthony Bennett (photo. UNLV Communications)

Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…

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It isn’t until after the National Championship Game that the NBA Draft takes off into full swing. Top prospects begin to declare, tournaments and combines are filled up, and the class starts to take form. Here is a post-Tournament report for fans of the NBA’s cellar dwellers.

Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.

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ONE: Who Has Declared?
Typically the 48 hours following the National Championship Game is a time frame where the top prospects in the NBA Draft begin to announce their decisions. So far of the Top 14 prospects on my Big Board, Ben McLemore (No. 2), Anthony Bennett (No. 5), Victor Oladipo (No. 10) and Cody Zeller (No. 11) have all announced they have declared for the 2013 NBA Draft. No surprises there.

The expectation is that Nerlens Noel (No. 1), Marcus Smart (No. 3), Michael Carter-Williams (No. 6), Trey Burke (No. 7) and Shabazz Muhammad (No. 12) will all declare as well. With this draft lacking stars at the top, as many as six different prospects could go No. 1 overall after talking to NBA scouts.

TWO: Who Is Expected To Stay?
There is a chance that Alex Len (No. 8) of Maryland, Isaiah Austin (No. 9) of Baylor, Glenn Robinson III (No. 13) of Michigan, and Adreian Payne (No. 15) of Michigan State could all return to school. They all have lottery potential in this year’s class.

THREE: Portsmouth Invitational
This is typically the showcase for seniors that are not expected to be invited to the Chicago Combine (more on that below) and want to boost their stock. It is a quality tournament that features teams coached by former NBA players as well as NBA caliber coaches. The best players at this year’s PIT are D.J. Cooper of Ohio, Kenny Boynton of Florida, Robert Covington of Tennessee State, Brandon Davies of BYU, Khalif Wyatt of Temple, and Elston Turner Jr. of Texas A&M.

FOUR: Chicago Combine
The 60 prospect participant list will not be released for a while with the combine not happening until mid-May (16-17), but the list is typically an indication of who NBA decision-makers feel will be drafted. Last year, 10 invitees were not drafted, but the wildcard of the international prospect was the reason, with seven of the final 13 picks being from outside of the country — none of which have played an NBA minute.

Keep reading to see which five prospects raised their stock the most throughout March Madness…

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