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Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford, potential first-rounder, declares for NBA draft

SEC Basketball Tournament - Second Round

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - MARCH 14: Daniel Gafford #10 of the Arkansas Razorbacks dunks the ball against the Florida Gators during the second round of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 14, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Daniel Gafford might have waited too long to declare to the NBA draft.

He’s not wasting any more time.

Gafford looked like a possible lottery pick and likely first-rounder last year, but he returned to Arkansas for his sophomore season. Though the Razorbacks made the NIT, Gafford won’t play in it.

Kyle Deckelbaum of KATV:

University of Arkansas forward Daniel Gafford has hired an agent and will enter the NBA Draft, coach Mike Anderson announced Monday morning.

Gafford’s extra season at Arkansas probably didn’t help his draft stock. Hopefully, he at least enjoyed his time in Fayetteville.

The good news for him: He could still be a first-round pick.

Gafford should look better in NBA spacing with NBA guards setting him up. The 6-foot-10 center is awesome leaper with ability to finish inside – on pick-and-rolls, in transition and off offensive rebounds.

He can protect the rim, though he must still improve his defensive awareness and ability to defend on the perimeter. That’s similar to his assessment last year.

Maybe Gafford has slightly expanded his shooting range and post-up ability. Those could be useful complementary skills.

But Gafford still profiles as the type of rim runner/rim protector he did last year. And that could still get him into the first round, even though he’s a year older.