Draft Roundup: Mitch McGary progressing, Nik Stauskas trending toward top ten

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan 61, Syracuse 56 extra-52
Dustin Johnston

With the NBA Draft just one week away, Mitch McGary still hasn’t worked out for an NBA team. McGary’s health continues to progress, but not to the level where he’s ready to workout in public. Mark Snyder reports that there’s still a possibility for McGary to return to action this week.

“Mitch is progressing and hopefully will get in a workout or two this week,” McGary’s agent Mark Bartelstein told the Detroit Free Press. “We’ll see.”

Is McGary simply not healthy enough to workout yet, or might he have a promise somewhere in the first round? Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy reports that there are rumors McGary could have a promise.

Mitch McGary was being projected as a fringe first-round prospect entering the pre-draft process, but now a number of executives around the league believe that he has a promise in the 20-30 range.

McGary’s decision to skip the NBA draft combine in Chicago and then refuse to work out for a number of teams seems to indicate that he could have a promise from a team in the first round. A number of teams have tried very hard to get McGary in for a workout, but his camp isn’t budging, which has talent evaluators around the NBA wondering if he has a promise and is being asked to stay away from other teams.

There’s only a week until the draft, but many outlets still have McGary projected in the first round despite the questions regarding his health.

Draft Projections:

Nik Stauskas moving toward top ten

Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris faced off three times this season and now are battling for draft position in the top ten. The two discussed their rivalry with the Sporting News. As would be expected, Stauskas wasn’t shy with his assessment of the head-to-head showdowns.

“Obviously, we have a rivalry because of the teams we played for and we are such big rivals in terms of that, the positions and roles we played,” Stauskas said. “But we beat them twice this year.

“He played pretty well against us, but we won the games and I had some good games going against him this year, too, I had good games against his team. They did beat us in the (Big Ten) tournament, so he has that, but I think if you look at it overall in the rivalry, I got the better of him. We won twice.”

Stauskas is emerging as a legitimate option as a top ten pick and Sports Illustrated notes that that wouldn’t have been taken seriously four months ago.

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. He’s an average defender without high level athleticism, but guards who can shoot like him are tough to pass up.

There are even whispers that the 6-foot-6 Canadian might not even be on the board for the Hornets at No. 9. Considering he worked out for the Celtics, Lakers, Suns and Hornets — with the Suns being the only team to pick outside of the top 10 at No. 14 — Stauskas and his agents are confident in his stock. Stauskas is expected to workout in LA on Friday.

Stauskas also admits that he doesn’t even have a driver’s license in this video interview with Campus Insiders.

Draft Projections:

Glenn Robinson III on the edge

While the last month appears to have been mostly positive for Stauskas and McGary, Glenn Robinson III might be stuck in neutral just a bit. He appears to be hovering right on the edge of the first and second round and his draft day will probably depend on a team like Oklahoma City or Houston taking a chance on him late in the first round. Robinson most recently worked out for the Clippers, who have the 28th pick in the draft.

Draft Projections:

  • AADave

    The very first time I saw Stauskas – in a youtube video – I thought he was destined for the NBA. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t ranked higher by scouts. I predict he will not be just a starter in the NBA but a stud. He will blow up.

    If his health holds up, McGary will be a starter in the NBA and probably an all star at some point.

    If he continues to work hard and maintains a positive attitude, the sky’s the limit for GR3. Teams would be smart to draft him in the first round on potential alone but he’s less of a sure bet.

    I predicted great things for Kawhi Leonard and that turned out pretty well!

    • Dr_ZC

      I was thinking that Stauskas will be another Ginobili, GR3 could be as good as Leonard, and Mitch can be better than Splitter.

      • Northern Blue

        Stauskas can be like Ginobili on the offensive end, but never will he have the defence or toughness/ competetiveness that Manu does and thats not a knock on Nik. The only player with comparabilitiy in the NBA to Manu in regards to that trait is Kobe.

        I see McGary’s ultimate upside as a Splitter with a better jump shot. Ultimately, I think its more likely Splitter is the better player and has better career (team success aside) than McGary. Hope he proves me wrong though and think he will be a very solid bench big if he can stay healthy – maybe a better rebounding Nick Collison?

        No way GR3 even comes close to Kawhi. I loved watching all three of these guys and will be rooting for them all the way, just believe these predictions are way too optimistic.

  • mikey_mac

    Love the Clippers as a landing spot for McGary. He could quickly become part of that rotation, on an elite team with a very solid coach.

    • yinkadoubledare

      They could use the bigs as it is, and Mitch could get even more playing time if LeBron opts out and they end up the destination (as it would likely require them dumping DeAndre Jordan among others to clear cap space)

  • gobluemd16

    I wonder if that McGary rumors is just baseless NBA exec. speculation. Not knocking Alex Kennedy at all, he probably did hear those things, but Mitch not working out for a lot of teams may have to do with his health more so than a promise from a team. I don’t know how you could promise a player in the mid to late 20’s without knowing who is left on the board before you pick.

    • Guest

      Promising players that they’ll take them at that spot if they’re there at late 1st round is more common than you think.

    • mikey_mac

      I too am a little wary of that rumor. It would be more believable if McGary had actually shown he was ready for team workouts. Part of my willingness to believe it, though, comes from what McGary’s stock was at this time last year, and understanding that some teams view late-first-round picks as lottery tickets.

      • gobluemd16

        More backing for my opinion, McGary is now working out for the Bucks (his first team workout), who have the 2nd and 31st picks. Why workout for a team picking 31st if you have a guarantee in the 20’s?

  • JohnNavarreIsMyHero

    Stauskas would be downright scary on the Miami Heat. He’d be shooting wide open threes all game. In fact, if any of the three got on a team like Miami or OKC, they could be in a great spot to be on fantastic teams winning a lot and being eased into the league. I think the draft positioning favors McGary and GR3 since both are more likely to get on a better team.