Word on the Street: Agent Hirings and Early-Entry Speculation #2

Word on the Street: Agent Hirings and Early-Entry Speculation #2
Apr 22, 2006, 03:08 am
McRoberts Returning to Duke?

A league source indicated to DraftExpress on Friday that Duke freshman Josh McRoberts will be returning to Duke next season. “From what I understand, and from the information I've received, he is staying in school,” said the source. “Coach K has asked the agents recruiting him to back off. He will be the feature player on Duke next year.”

A call to Duke’s Men’s Basketball office yielded no comment. “When it’s time to do so, a statement will be released,” said the only member of the Coaching staff that was in the office yesterday.

DraftExpress spoke with McRoberts’ AAU coach, Spiece Indy’s Mike Conley Sr., who also coached Greg Oden and his son Mike Conley Jr., both attending Ohio State next season. Conley Sr. told us that “no decision has been made yet.” Conley last spoke with McRoberts last week, and said he didn’t think he was leaning either way at the time. He expects to hear from him when he indeed makes up his mind, “I think it’ll come down to April 29th“ [the deadline]. When asked whether he’s involved in the decision making process, Conley responded “this is a decision that Josh is going to make on his own. He’s made that clear to everyone.”

An NBA scout we spoke with who assigned to watch McRoberts multiple times this season said he thinks he “definitely needs to go back to school. He did not impress me one bit this year and I think he’s too nice of a kid to just expect to have that fire that is needed to develop on the job. Being stuck on the bench for his first two or three years in the league is not a good idea for him, unless he feels like he’s already reached his peak and is not up to the task of being a go-to guy in the spotlight next season, and prefers to just cash in right now. I’d be a little worried about that, since he could have just as well declared out of high school. What has changed since then, except his weaknesses being exposed? Everyone is talking about his upside, but what about his downside? It’s pretty big as well. What does he really have on James Augustine for example right now? No, to answer your question, I don’t think he’s the guaranteed lottery pick everyone is making him out to be.”

Millsap In For Good?

Multiple sources over the past week informed and confirmed to DraftExpress that Louisiana Tech Junior Paul Millsap is on the verge of signing with an agent and forfeiting his remaining college eligibility. Every single one of the sources independently said they've heard he’ll be represented by Atlanta based agent Raymond Brothers of IAM Sports. Multiple calls and voice mails to Brothers’ cell phone this past week were not returned.

As expected, Millsap declared for the draft in early April and implied through his uncle that he does not intend on returning to school. The bruising 6-8 power forward led the country in rebounding for a record three NCAA seasons in a row. As of right now he is a borderline first rounder who will likely need a strong showing in the Orlando pre-draft camp to secure himself a guaranteed contract.

The NBA scout we spoke with hadn’t seen Millsap play in person this year, but did say that there were some question marks about the level of competition he went up against at Louisiana Tech. He said that he would like to see him go to Orlando and "show that he can rebound like that against players his size." He also added that “the first round is getting more and more crowded by the day. It’s getting very difficult these days to distinguish between the 16th best player in the draft and the 45th. Someone’s going to be disappointed on draft night.”

Stinson Signs with Agent

Kevin Bradbury of BDA Sports Management confirmed to DraftExpress Friday that Iowa State Junior Point Guard Curtis Stinson has agreed to be represented by his agency. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise as the 22-year old Stinson was widely expected to forfeit his remaining college eligibility after Iowa State head coach Wayne Morgan was fired following an alleged recruiting scandal.

The NBA scout we spoke with says he considers Stinson a “prime candidate to be invited to the Orlando pre-draft camp and leave a strong impression,” saying that “guys like that tend to do well.” He specifically mentioned his attitude and shot-creating “no-nonsense style of play” as well as his excellent size, strength, ball-handling skills and defensive ability.

BDA Sports Management appears to be cornering the market in point guards this year, having already signed Kentucky’s Rajon Rondo (Bill Duffy), Marcus Williams of UConn (Calvin Andrews), Villanova’s Allan Ray (Duffy), and now Stinson (Bradbury). Their Director of European basketball Rade Filipovich also has Slovenian Point Guard Goran Dragic.

Stinson was seen working out today at Tim Grover’s gym in Chicago with fellow BDA client Rajon Rondo, amongst others. Bradbury informed us he’ll be preparing for the draft mostly at the official US Olympic Training site, the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, along with Allan Ray and Marcus Williams.

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