Vanderbilts Darius Garland leaves NBA Draft Combine, per report; Lakers, Bulls among teams who could be interested – CBS Sports

Vanderbilt\s Darius Garland leaves NBA Draft Combine, per report; Lakers, Bulls among teams who could be interested - CBS Sports
Gambo 3: Darius Garland, Coby White among Suns options at No. 6 in draft
The NBA Draft Combine happens this week, but one prospect is leaving prematurely. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Vanderbilt freshman standout Darius Garland has left the NBA Draft Combine and theres a belief that Garland could “have a promise” from one or more teams in the lottery.

Top prospect Darius Garland has left the NBA Draft Combine, fueling belief among some teams that he could have a promise in lottery, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Darius Garland has left the NBA Draft Combine, fueling a belief among some teams that he has received a promise from a team in the lottery.

Garland appeared in just five games during his freshman season at Vanderbilt after he suffered a meniscus injury in his left knee back in November. Just playing so few games at the collegiate level, the Tennessee native still decided to declare for the 2019 draft.

In those five contests, Garland put together averages of 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists while shooting 47.8 percent from beyond the arc. His best performance came on Nov. 19 when he scored 33 points in a 79-70 Vanderbilt win over Liberty.

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CBS Sports Garry Parrish currently has Garland going to the Phoenix Suns with the sixth overall pick in his post-lottery mock draft. The general consensus is that Garland will be selected in the top 10 and could even sneak into the top five of the June draft.

As far as where Garland could end up, several teams in the top 10 could show significant interest in a player of Garlands caliber.

Phoenix is in dire need of a point guard and has been listed in a majority of early mock drafts — and named by 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro and Kellan Olson — as a potential landing spot for Garland, who played in five games before injuring his meniscus in his knee. Is it the Suns who promised Garland?

The Los Angeles Lakers could be very interested in drafting Garland as their roster is currently constructed. Obviously, their interest could change if an Anthony Davis trade occurs prior to the draft, but Garland would make a ton of sense for the team. Rajon Rondo is set to become a free agent and if the Lakers were select Garland, Lonzo Ball wouldnt have to handle the basketball as much and could be more of an offensive weapon.

Shams: Darius Garland Leaves 2019 NBA Draft Combine; Could Have Lottery Promise

The Chicago Bulls and Suns also could have interest in grabbing Garland if he falls out of the top five. Outside of Chicagos starting backcourt of Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, the Bulls dont exactly have a ton of depth and Garland would fit the bill considering hes a combo guard. The Suns could also be interested with their need for a point guard, which Garland could blossom into down the road.

Its certainly going to be worth keeping an eye on what teams bring Garland in for pre-draft workouts, which potentially could give a clearer indication of what teams are interested in selecting him.

Like any young point guard, Garland will need to improve his decision making and work through an offense rather than trying to take over too much, especially at the pro level. His scorers mentality got him into trouble at times in his brief Vanderbilt career but he has all the makings of a point guard in todays NBA. Consider the four point guards remaining in the NBA Playoffs – Curry, Lillard, Lowry and Bledsoe, all of whom averaged at least 1.6 triples per game in the regular season.

Most would agree that the number of instant-impact prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft can be counted on a single hand.

That means the Phoenix Suns, who learned Tuesday in the lottery that they will select sixth, will add either a project or a role player if they remain in their first-round draft slot.

Starting with the NBA Draft Combine this week, there’s still much time before the June 20 draft for evaluators to reshape opinions of this draft class. That said, John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station has three realistic prospects for the Suns to watch at No. 6.

And to nobody’s surprise, Gambadoro’s list of three players includes two point guards whose scoring abilities can, in theory, take the pressure off Devin Booker.

Twitter LogoCopy Link IconNBA DraftShams: Darius Garland Leaves 2019 NBA Draft Combine; Could Have Lottery PromiseRob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergTwitter LogoFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2019 CommentsComment Bubble Icon

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