Alot of people have weighed in on this topic. Saturday on the CardinalSportsZone show on ESPN 93.9 FM was no different. Should Chinanu Onuaku go to the NBA Draft? Selfishly I want him to stay. Unselfishly, if he can cash in on his opportunity, no pun intended, then by all means he should. He announced Saturday that he received a NBA Draft Combine invitation and he was happy about it.
Even if things are a big deal, I usually downplay them and talk about why they aren’t. If everyone else gets riled up about a story, that is usually when I back away from it and just move on, to be different I guess. So I am not one to see something little and blow it out of proportion. But there has been something lately that just strikes me as “weird” I guess. The difference in Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell since the NBA Draft and the way that Rick Pitino has talked about each one has been very noticeable.
On the latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone on 93.9 The Ville, Pete Nochta joined Steve and myself in studio and sat in with us the whole time. We talk about the NBA Draft, new football uniforms, and the fundraiser at Brownie’s for Pete from the night before. Enjoy!
If there is anyone that used the workouts with NBA teams to improve his draft stock, it was Terry Rozier. Thought to be a second rounder, Rozier worked his way up in the months leading up to the draft to maybe the mid-late 20s in the first round. He impressed the Boston Celtics even more than that, as they took him with the 16th pick overall.
Sounds like ESPN Draft Insider is finding out what we all already knew……Russ Smith is good. Last year Russ was a possible late first rounder but chose to come back and work on the things the NBA told him he needed to improve on. Not only did Russ work on those things but he got noticeably better at EVERY thing, yet somehow began slipping down the draft boards as the season went on. Now at the pre draft workouts coaches and GM’s are getting an up close look at just how quick Russ really is and apparently they like what they see. Chad Ford wrote the following in his recent “Draft Rumors”:
Louisville’s Russ Smith is riding on a high since being one of the lone standouts in a two-day league-wide workout the NBA scheduled in L.A. right after the draft lottery.
He’s since gone on to work out with the Celtics, Suns, Thunder and Heat and seems to be moving into the discussion as a possible late first-round pick.
“Everyone knows Russ is one of the quickest players in this draft and he can obviously put the ball in the basket,” one GM said. “But I think he’s been showing off that when he wants to be, he can be a guy who can really play point guard. He seems like a perfect change-of-pace guard who can score and speed
Where Russ will end up is unknown but I, like many, have no doubt Russ Smith will be a name we will hear much more about in the coming years.
The Draft is Thursday June 26th on ESPN.
We all hope to hear Russ Smith’s name called in this years NBA Draft. Here is where the experts see him going:
53. Minnesota Timberwolves (via G.S.): Russ Smith, Louisville, 6’1″, PG/SG, Sr.
I’m not sure there was anything else Russ Smith could have done this year to maximize his draft stock. He maintained his 18-point-per-game average while upping his assist-rate from 2.9 to 4.6 per game.
He even shot 38.7 percent from downtown, his best mark in three years, and measured in a quarter-inch below 6’1″ (listed at 6’0″ by Louisville).
There’s no mystery as to what you’re getting with Smith—an offensive gunner and spark plug who can make things happen with the ball in his hands.
At 160 pounds, he’s not guarding anybody, but in limited doses, Smith can be a guy worth putting in with the hope he catches fire.
PG (Louisville – Senior)
23 years old | 6’1″ | 160 lbs
CBS Mock Draft:
Gary Parrish- 41. Denver Nuggets
Matt Moore- 40. Minnesota Timberwolves
Zach Harper- 48. Milwaukee Bucks