March Madness NBA Draft Stock Watch: Who's Helped and Who's Hurt Their Draft Stock
Jalen Duren, Tari Eason and Mark Williams are among the many standouts (and disappointments) after the first two rounds of March Madness
On Monday, I gave some thoughts on how my top four NBA Draft prospects — Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jaden Ivey, who are still playing; and Jabari Smith, who isn’t — fared in the first two rounds of March Madness. I also talked about several other breakout players, including Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin, Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan, Ohio State’s Malaki Branham, Marquette’s Justin Lewis, San Francisco's Jamaree Bouyea and New Mexico State’s Teddy Allen.
Today I want to dive a little deeper into how, based on scouting plus conversations with NBA scouts, some of the other top guys on our Big Board fared over the past few days.
I’ve divided them into Stock Up, Stock Down and Stock Neutral to reflect the impact the NCAA Tournament has had on their draft stock so far:
6’11” | 250 | Wingspan: 7’5.25”
Age on draft night: 18.6
2022 Draft Projection: 5-15
Scouts got the matchup they were all waiting for: Chet Holmgren vs. Jalen Duren. And the winner was … Drew Timme?
Seriously, neither of the lottery prospects had his best game. Duren was clearly bothered by Holmgren’s length, toughness and constant activity. Duren’s strength was an issue for Holmgren. Both players struggled with foul trouble, which limited their playing time. Holmgren, I think, won the matchup, but scouts remain bullish on Duren’s long-term future.
He’s got an NBA body, he’s one of the youngest players in the draft class and he’s a powerful finisher at the rim and a better passer than you’d think for a player that young. He’s not going to light up the NBA in Year 1, but the long-term potential is there.
Just about everyone I’ve spoken to has Duren in the top 10, and a few have him as high as No. 5. I think he’s pretty safely a top-10 pick this year if he declares.