2010 NBA Draft: Pro Prospects for Maryland Stars Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne
As you know, it is very likely that Greivis Vasquez will hear his name called tonight in Madison Square Garden. My money is still on Memphis at 28 , but plenty of other options are in play. Just yesterday, for example, rumors emerged that the Knicks are trying to move up with the explicit goal of drafting either Vasquez or Iowa forward Craig Brackins. We shall see.
In the meantime, however, fellow Maryland standouts Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne are also (at least technically) on the board tonight. What are their chances?
Well, in a nutshell, they’re not good. But there have been a few nibbles.
Along with the Vaz, both Hayes and Milbourne worked out with the Wizards , although that’s a classic public relations move straight out of the Susan O’Malley playbook. I wouldn’t bank on the Wiz taking them, especially since their last pick is currently at 35 and both would be a reach at that position, plus the fact that the Wiz are looking to move up in the draft, plus the fact that the team is understandably looking at bigs with those selections.
Across the rest of the league, thanks to this wonderful, incredible document , we can see that Milbourne has drawn a lot more interest.
Hayes has been more under the radar, but that doesn’t mean The Steady One isn’t chasing the dream . His D.C. workout went pretty swimmingly , and he also racked up some extra footage and face time with the Raptors. Rumored sessions for the Bulls and Pistons don’t seem to have materialized.
As I wrote a couple months ago, Milbourne’s pedestrian showing at the Portsmouth Invitational probably sealed his fate. Hayes did not even garner an invitation to that event, which is college basketball’s answer to the Senior Bowl.
My prediction is that Milbourne gets a shot with the Wizards as an undrafted free agent. Simply put, they need tall guys. And just the fact that they invited Landon and Hayes for workouts means they still see the (financial) value in having hometown favorites on the roster. In the past, they have kick-started the pro careers of several other ex-Terps who were on the draft bubble at the time (Lonny Baxter and LaRon Profit come to mind).
Hayes will probably not be so lucky. But maybe the D-league is in his future. I would speculate that the NBA will not completely turn its back on someone with the calm demeanor of an Eric Hayes; that’s an increasingly rare commodity in the league, and is crucial for point guards. His NBA range doesn’t hurt either.
Of course, almost every country in the world has a pro basketball league, so these guys will almost assuredly get paid to play somewhere. It’s anyone’s guess what happens tonight. I know I’ll be pulling for all three.
(Note: This article is also posted at www.shell-games.com )
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