As the draft nears and workouts are completed, players have been in motion on mock drafts as each looks to improve upon their draft stock. Several players have impressed over the past few weeks, and with that, others prospects have fallen. Here are six prospects that have shifted the most thanks to their performances in recent workouts.
1. Kristaps Porzingis 7-1 220 PF/C International
The 19-year-old Porzingis has wowed scouts during a recent workout that brought Phil Jackson to Las Vegas. Porzingis showed intrigue with his fluidity and shooting ability at his immense 7-foot-1 size. Multiple NBA draft websites have slated Porzingis at number three to the Philadelphia 76ers in recent mock drafts, and it’s not out of the question after Joel Embiid suffered a setback in his leg recently. Porzingis is truly the mystery man in this draft, and could get picked anywhere from 3-8 in this draft.
2. Rashad Vaughn 6-5 SG 200 UNLV Freshman
Vaughn’s shot selection, defense and health were all reasons he was slated as a late-first or early second round prospect early on, but his stock has improved with impressive workouts of late. Vaughn doesn’t turn 19 until August, and already has NBA size at 6-5 with a solid 200-pound frame. Vaughn’s problems are improvable and fixable with good coaching, and he has a lot of room for improvement thanks to his youth. Look for Vaughn to be picked between 18-25 on draft night.
3. Cameron Payne 6-2 185 PG Murray St. Sophomore
It always seems like every year there’s a mid-major point guard prospect that increases his stock during workouts, and this year it’s Cameron Payne. Payne is arguably the most pure point guard in this draft, and combine that with his ability shoot and make plays off the pick and role, you have yourself one solid point guard prospect. Payne’s maturity, adequate size for the position, and unselfishness are all pluses, which is why he is likely to be picked between 9-13 in this year’s NBA draft.
1. Robert Upshaw 7-0 260 C Washington Sophomore
There were rumors Upshaw’s size and potential could get him looks in the late first round, and those rumors went quiet after issues were found with him medically. Upshaw had to cancel all his workouts and training until his issues are resolved, so this has hurt his draft stock a good bit. Upshaw has the size and defensive ability to make an immediate impact in the NBA, but these questions stockpiled onto other off the court questions make Upshaw a surefire second round pick.
2. Kevon Looney 6-9 220 SF/PF UCLA Freshman
Looney is looked at as a stretch-four type power forward, but the problem is his slim size at that position and his lack of ball skills to make it on the wing. Looney will need to put on a solid 15-20 pounds to make himself into a workable frontcourt player, and appears to be too much of a tweener at this stage to be a viable mid-first round draft pick. Look for Looney to be picked at the end of the first round on a team that’d be willing to develop him into a player down the line.
3. Aaron Harrison 6-6 SG 210 Kentucky Sophomore
Aaron Harrison’s stock has fallen into undrafted territory, as teams realize he is too one-dimensional on offense to survive as a shooting guard in the league. He’s a shooting guard that can’t shoot (31.6 percent from three last season), and struggles to create and finish on his own. He lacks the versatility of his twin brother to play both backcourt positions and doesn’t quite have the lateral quickness to develop into a defender. There will always be a chance Aaron gets drafted just because of his brother (a la Taylor Griffin as the brother of Blake Griffin), but chances are Aaron Harrison might be out of luck.