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June 23, 2014
Wolverines could see three go in NBA Draft first round
The NBA Draft is only days away (Thursday) and it's trending positively for Michigan's Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III.
Stauskas is a slam dunk lottery pick (see chart at the bottom), with the top eight media forecasting sites slotting the shooting guard to go in the first 16 picks. The majority of the sites either have Stauskas going No. 9 to the Charlotte Hornets or No. 10 to the Philadelphia 76ers.
"Four months ago, the suggestion of Stauskas as a top-10 pick would have been laughable. But Stauskas has looked terrific shooting the ball in group workouts and surprised a few executives with his ability to score off the dribble," said SI.com's Chris Mannix, who has him going to the 76ers.
"He's an average defender without high level athleticism, but guards who can shoot like him are tough to pass up."
"It's pretty simple - the Hornets can't shoot. Stauskas can," wrote SportingNews.com's Sean Deveney, on slotting the Wolverine to go ninth.
"Charlotte improved immensely on the defensive end under new coach Steve Clifford, and they're eager to add perimeter weapons to create offensive space for Al Jefferson down low. Stuaskas is among the best shooters in this draft, and has piqued the Hornets' interest."
Meanwhile, when McGary was forced to go pro after learning he would be suspended for the entire 2014-15 season after testing positive for marijuana use, the prospects of him landing in the first round were slim. McGary had missed most of his sophomore year following back surgery, and there was concern he would not be ready to work out for teams before the June 26 Draft.
However, McGary has been shooting up draft boards in recent weeks as he's proven he's 100 percent.
ESPN's Chad Ford has McGary going as early as No. 26 to the Miami Heat.
"The Heat got beaten up in the paint in the playoffs. McGary, when his back is healthy, is tough, physical and plays with great energy," Ford wrote for ESPN Insider. "He worked out for the Bucks and appears to be healthy. If he is, he's a steal at this point in the draft."
Of the eight media sites, six have McGary going in the first round while the other two - NBADraft.net and FoxSports.com - have him going within the first two picks of the second round.
The consensus seems to be that the Los Angeles Clippers (No. 28), Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 29) or San Antonio Spurs (No. 30) will grab McGary before he enters the second round.
Finally, there appears to be good news with Robinson. Early versions of mock drafts did not include the former Wolverine in the first round. In fact, of the eight sites we've included, only two had him going in the first round - the SportingNews.com and NBADraft.net - while four of the eight have him a first-rounder now, and three more have him going early in the second.
Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears has Robinson going to the Thunder at No. 29, noting: "Robinson's potential is too much to pass on. One scout said Robinson could also eventually play shooting guard."
Matt Moore bumped Robinson from the fourth pick of the second round to the last pick of the first round in his most recent mock for CBSSports.com.
"Robinson's workout circuit has been strong enough to get him dancing with the first-round in mocks," Moore wrote. "Getting some wing athleticism wouldn't hurt the Spurs, since they'll need to continue to rest Manu Ginobili so much and Kawhi Leonard needs a backup."
The 2014 NBA Draft will take place Thursday evening and can be seen on ESPN.