Taking the place of Jared Sullinger, Mitch McGary has become the poster child for why players should leave college as soon as possible, especially those expected to be a mid-lottery pick. Reasons for doing so? Scouts get an extra year to pick apart your game and find flaws that may have been hidden during your freshmen year and injury could cause a blow to your draft stock.
For McGary, he became a victim of injury, a back injury to be exact, which caused the Michigan forward to play only eight games during his sophomore year. A with the injury comes the blow to his draft stock as ESPN.com’s draft expert Chad Ford has completely left Mitch McGary off of his latest mock draft.
Of course, Ford’s word isn’t the end-all, be-all. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports a team may have given McGary a first-round draft promise via the word of executives around the league. Other mock drafts have predicted McGary be selected in the late twenties such as Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat (Sports Illustrated), and San Antonio Spurs (Draft Express)
Not all hope is lost for McGary. A late first-round selection could put McGary in a better situation rather than being drafted by a lottery team who’ll want the stretch big to make an immediate impact. One of those teams could groom him, allow him to slowly learn the system, and bring him along slowly as a role player, a route that could do wonders for his career and development.
Regardless of when and where McGary is drafted, it’s a testament to how an extra year could render a stellar rookie season useless.