NBA Draft week has arrived and 4 former Jayhawks soon will know their fate

For four former Kansas basketball players, this week will go down as one of the biggest of their lives.

It begins today, with regular workouts and possibly a few more inquiries from NBA teams and scouts. And it ends Thursday night, with Devonte’ Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk, Malik Newman and Billy Preston all hoping to be hear their name called during one of the 60 times an NBA official walks to the stage in Brooklyn and announces the next pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

For the past couple of months, everything these guys have done has been with this week in mind.

Workouts, eating right, testing, more testing, traveling and retooling the weak parts of their games, all with the hope of catching the eye of that one scout or one team who will allow them to live out their NBA dreams in the coming years.

The prospects look better for some of these guys than others, but all four appear to be in the mix for at least a second-round selection, which is all anyone can ask for at this point — a chance.

That we know from the dozens of variations of the mock drafts that have been done over the past several weeks. But by far one of the most interesting breakdowns I’ve seen came Monday morning when Seth Davis, of The Fieldhouse at The Athletic, dropped his look at the Top 50 prospects in this year’s draft class through the eyes of a man named Finch.

Finch, as Davis’ story explains, is not one man but a combination of the insights and opinions of five different NBA scouts, who, in this latest draft breakdown, give their honest assessment of these players and how they might or might not fit in the NBA.

This story alone, in my opinion, is worth the subscription cost. So check it out if you’re so inclined. And if you’re not, here’s a quick look at what Finch had to say about two of those four former Jayhawks.

There was no breakdown on Preston (no surprise) and Mykhailiuk, in my opinion, was surprisingly missing from the list, as well. More on that later in the week.

On Devonte’ Graham:

“He’s going to make shots, but I don’t

know what else he’ll do. I see him

maybe as a third point guard. He knows

what it takes to win. Size would be

the biggest concern. Is he more of a

2-guard? He only had to play the point

for one year because he had Frank

Mason with him. He doesn’t have the

jet quickness you need at point guard,

but he has a strong mind. Big-time

character. He’s not dynamic with the

ball, he’s not going to get by you,

but he can be a backup and make a

couple of baskets.”

On Malik Newman:

“Well, he helped himself in the

tournament, that’s for sure. I think

the kid learned how to play. He

thought he was just a natural, and it

didn’t work out at first. He’s going

to have to come off the bench and

score in bunches. I don’t think he’s

going to play true point guard. He’s

small. He has to be a Lou

Williams-type, and I don’t know if he

can do that. I don’t know how devoted

he is to the defensive end.”


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