College basketball insider Adam Zagoria spoke with Malachi Richardson at the NBA Draft combine two weeks ago before the freshman decided to turn pro. As most people now know, Richardson’s decision hinged on a guarantee he’d be drafted in round one, according to Zagoria.
“He said he was looking for some assurance that he would be taken in the first round…It’s possible that Malachi got one or two teams through his agent Andy Miller say either we’re going to take you in the first round or you’re more than likely to go in the first round. Obviously he got some kind of indication that he was relatively safe to go ahead and sign with an agent,” Zagoria said.
How realistic is it for teams to guarantee a player they will be picked in a particular spot? Richardson could be first round talent to one team, but they may go ahead and draft a different player resulting in a later selection for the freshman. These promises can potentially be empty, Zagoria said.
“I don’t think we really know how many guarantees there are…Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It depends what the team needs, but until you hear your name called I’m not sure you can really be certain of anything unless you’re one of those top couple picks.”
With no legitimate guarantee, the best thing Richardson can do is let his game speak for itself and perform well in interviews with teams. So far he has done just that Zagoria told the Fizz.
“I talked to one NBA executive who said Malachi came off as very confident…This executive was very impressed with him. Malachi is a smart, sharp kid who interviews well.”
It’s always frustrating losing a talented freshman to the NBA Draft. So far it seems like Richardson has put his best foot forward during the pre-draft events however. He’s certainly representing Syracuse well.
Follow The Fizz on twitter @OrangeFizz to stay up to date with SU basketball and football recruiting.
Posted: Connor Morrissette