Report: Malachi Richardson and Cheick Diallo tell teams they’ll stay in draft

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Syracuse freshman Malachi Richardson entered the NBA draft without hiring an agent, allowing him to maintain his college eligibility.

What would it take for him to stay in the draft?

Richardson, via Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report:

“A guaranteed first-round, early first-round spot.”

Hmmm.

Chad Ford of ESPN:

Richardson didn’t participate in five-on-five play or drills at the combine, more circumstantial evidence of a promise.

The wing is a fast-riser thanks to Syracuse’s Final Four run. He’s long and athletic, capable of getting his own shot. There are raw tools to like. But Richardson is 20, old for a freshman, and his mid-range game is broken. There’s nothing wrong with taking him in the first round – as long as you realize you’re getting nothing close to a finished product.

Cheick Diallo – who hired an agent – is even more of a project. A highly rated recruit last  year, the power forward played just 7.5 minutes per game in 27 contests at Kansas. Diallo plays hard, maximizing his length and athleticism. But he needs to add strength and offensive polish. He looks like a borderline first-rounder, but in a similar position last year – barely playing during one season at Kansas – Cliff Alexander went undrafted. When you’ve played so little, there’s more variance in your draft range.