The June 23 NBA Draft is less than three weeks away. That window provides plenty of time for more prospect evaluation and draft status fluctuation. Based on how mock drafts and public big boards have shifted, we already see how some players are moving up and others are headed the other way.
Riser: Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington - With LSU's Ben Simmons and Duke's Brandon Ingram expected to go 1-2 in the draft, the real intrigue centers on who would go next. Buddy Hield, Dragan Bender, Kris Dunn and Jaylen Brown are the names mentioned most. That group might need to make room for one more as the 6-foot-10 Chriss' stock exploded upward once all took a closer look at the athletically gifted 18-year-old. DraftExpress had Chriss as a run-of-the-mill second round pick just before the NCAA Tournament before shifting the late bloomer into a potential lottery pick. In its latest mock draft, DE has Chriss going third overall. He shot 35% on 3-pointers, 53% overall and averaged 1.6 blocked shots during his lone season at Washington
Faller: Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette - Not sure I get this one based on watching the 6-foot-10 forward impress during his lone season in the Big East, finishng among the conference leaders in scoring and rebounding. Yet Ellenson's status on public big boards has dropped from a potential top 5 pick to late lottery. Primary reason is likely concerns over who he guards on the perimeter against stretch-4 types. On the other side of the court, Ellenson's versatility can cause missmatches, so teams will have to weigh that tradeoff.
Riser: Ben Bentil, PF, Providence - Arguably the most improved player in the nation last season, at one analyst believes Bentil is the premier score in the draft. He went from averaging 6.4 points as a freshman to leading the Big East with 21.2 per game. The 6-foot-9 power forward sports an impressive 7-foot-1 wingspan, the longest hands among the Combine participants and amid-range game that's NBA worthy. In a make-or-miss league, it's hard arguing against adding crafty players with the ball in their hands. Bentil could sneak into round one if his draft momentum continues during the workout process.
Faller: Diamond Stone, C, Maryland - Maybe the hype that enveloped College Park heading into last season eventually materializes. There were certainly times when the Wisconsin native looked like the Big Cheese on campus, including hs 39-point explosion against Penn State. There were also moments - the entire season, basically - where Stone appeared lost defensively and a black hole (0.4 assists) on offense. He's got plenty of size to compete against NBA centers, but the athleticism (29.5 inch vertical at the Combine) won't wow anyone. Considered a lottery pick before entering college, Stone is more likely to enter the NBA as a second round pick.
More risers: DeAndre Bembry (Saint Joseph's), Malachi Richardson (Syracuse), Cheick Diallo (Kansas)
More fallers: Jakob Poeltl (Utah), Caris LeVert (Michigan)
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