I've been getting a lot of feedback from NBA scouts and executives on our latest Mock Draft 3.0.
This is a pretty good time of year to make any course corrections before the hype of pre-draft camp and individual workouts intervene. Right now GMs and scouts are spending a lot of time on Synergy watching players and aggregating their scouting databases.
A few interesting trends have emerged from those calls.
A handful of teams have both players ranked in the lottery and a few others in the mid-first round. Waiters' ability to get to the basket at will and Moultrie's size, athleticism and rebounding abilities seem to be tipping the scales.
Teams are also relooking at Oregon State's Jared Cunningham and are intrigued by his athletic abilities and wonder how he might fare as a point guard at the next level.
If those players rise ... someone has to fall. I sense that scouts, and even more so GMs, are trying to find excuses not to draft Washington's Tony Wroten and Iowa State's Royce White. Both players come with significant baggage, and it seems to be weighing them down at the moment.
Of course, all of this can change with terrific interviews and workouts in the coming weeks, but we've made some Top 100 adjustments to reflect our latest intel.
• NBA scouts and executives were in Virginia this week attending the Portsmouth Invitational.
As we wrote last week, while scouts still come out in force, fewer GMs are attending the event. That means that the impact a player can have there over the week is somewhat muted.
Once again, there weren't many standouts, according to several scouts who attended the event.
However, a few players got multiple mentions from scouts.
Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn won MVP honors at the PIT and averaged 11.7 ppg, 11.7 rpg and 3.7 bpg during the three games he played. While those numbers certainly don't scream NBA superstar, his size (he measured with an impressive 7-foot-4 wingspan) and toughness stood out. We've had O'Quinn in our top 60 since the tournament, but he's definitely moved up a few more spots and looks like he has a great shot of getting drafted.
Alabama's JaMychal Green (19.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg), Tennessee State's Kevin Murphy (14 ppg), Georgetown's Henry Sims (13.7 ppg, 9 rpg, 2.3 bpg), Fairfield's Rakim Sanders (19.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg), Missouri's Kim English (18.3 ppg), Dayton's Chris Johnson (13.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg), South Dakota's Charlie Westbrook (12.3 ppg), Campbell's Eric Griffin (11.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.3 bpg), Buffalo's Mitchell Watt (12.7 ppg, 9 rpg, 4 bpg), South Florida's Gus Gilchrist (13 ppg, 16.7 rpg) and BYU-Hawaii's Jet Chang (13 ppg) all had their moments ... though none of them consistently dominated.
Scouts believe that the size of O'Quinn, Sims, Watt and Gilchrist could get them drafted. Sanders, Westbrook, Griffin and Watt are all freak athletes, which should help their cause. The ability of Murphy and Chang to get their shot stood out.
Other players, such as Pitt's Ashton Gibbs and New Mexico State's Wendell McKines, also put up big numbers at the tournament but didn't get much in the way of shoutouts from NBA scouts. In the case of all three, it could be their age that's doing them in.
• With the Portsmouth Invitational over, what's next? Plenty.
The NBA regular season ends on April 26. The NBA will work quickly to resolve tiebreakers, then we'll have the real order of the draft from 15 to 30.
College players have until April 29 to declare for the 2012 NBA draft. Here's a look at who's currently in and out of the draft (with Kentucky's starting five expected to move into the "in" column Tuesday night).
Draft prospects will be working out in various gyms in L.A., Las Vegas, Chicago, Florida and New York over the next six weeks, prepping for the pre-draft camp and individual team workouts.
The NBA draft lottery is set to take place Wednesday, May 30. That drawing will clarify the top 1-14 picks. One week later, the NBA pre-draft camp will be held in Chicago on June 6 and 7. Typically, the top 50 to 60 players in the draft are invited for a series of drills, athletic testing, measurements and team interviews.