Despite winning the national championship in April, it might be a quiet NBA draft on Thursday for Villanova. With Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins returning to school, it leaves departing seniors Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu as the team’s only NBA prospects.
Arcidiacono appears to be the more likely of the two to be drafted, as he’s reportedly worked out for 11 teams since the college season concluded. Now let us break down those squad’s point guard situation to find a fit for Arcidiacono.
2016-17 PG under contract: None
In most scenarios, a team with no point guards on the roster would appear to be a good fit for Arcidiacono, but the Nets have so little talent in their roster that they might be looking for a player who can score a little more. The Nets are unpredictable and seem to want more draft picks, but Arcidiacono is probably more of a fit for a winning team looking to add a piece and not a team looking to fill many holes on its roster.
Picks: 7, 15, 53, 56
2016-17 PG under contract: Emmanuel Mudiay, Jameer Nelson
The picks are important here. That late second-round is where most experts think Arcidiacono has a chance to sneak into. Denver has a clear starter at point guard, but Nelson might be traded or released. This could be a match, but Denver also needs no team to snatch Arcidiacono before them and possibly free up some roster room with so many picks. It’s possible, but not the best possibility.
Picks: 37, 43
2016-17 PG under contract: Patrick Beverley
A return to the site where Villanova won the national title might be in the cards for Arcidiacono. The Rockets need depth at point guard and have two second-round picks to use on Thursday. Working against the pick is that the Rockets view themselves as potential title contenders and might want to fill their point guard issues with a veteran, but it seems like there might be a match here.
Picks: 20, 50
2016-17 PG under contract: Jeff Teague, Joseph Young
That No. 50 pick seems like the range Arcidiacono might go in, but Indiana isn’t a terrifically likely landings spot. The team just traded for Jeff Teague and used a second-round pick on Young last season. There’s always a chance Arcidiacono could go here and be used as a third point guard or stashed in the D-League, but Indiana might have bigger holes to fill.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Picks: 2, 32
2016-17 PG under contract: D'Angelo Russell, Lou Williams
This seems like an unlikely spot for the Villanova point guard. The Lakers' picks are a little too high for where Arcidiacono might go, although it's possible the Lakers might trade for more picks. Still, with so many holes on this roster, it would be tough to see Los Angeles using a pick on a third-string point guard.
Picks: 10, 36
2016-17 PG under contract: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Michael Carter-Willians, Tyler Ennis
The Bucks are about as deep as you can get at the point guard position and have money invested in all three players. Throw in that their pick at No. 36 might be a little for Arcidiacono, and this seems as unlikely as it gets barring a trade.
2016-17 PG under contract: Ricky Rubio, Tyus Jones
Minnesota has two young and talented point guards on the roster and just a top-5 pick. That’s not a great recipe for drafting Arcidiacono. The team could use a third point guard, but it’s a stretch to see them trading back into the draft to grab Arcidiacono.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
Picks: 6, 39, 40
2016-17 PG under contract: Jrue Holiday
New Orleans was the last reported workout for Arcidiacono, and there could be a fit here. Backup point guard Tim Frazier is a restricted free agent, which means the team might need some depth at the position. Also, with two second round picks, the Pelicans might be willing to take a chance on Arcidiacono, although it still may be a little high. Throw in that coach Alvin Gentry likes guards that can shoot and make plays, and this could be the spot.
Picks: 1, 24, 26
2016-17 PG under contract: None
This appears to be a fit on the surface, as the three point guards on the roster (Ish Smith, T.J. McConnell and Kendall Marshall) are free agents or have non-guaranteed contracts. Throw in the sentimental factor of drafting the local kid, and it makes a lot of sense. However, the Sixers have no second-round picks, and it seems unlikely Arcidiacono is going in the first round. Unless they are willing to make a trade, it’s likely the hometown hero will go elsewhere.
Picks: 12, 42, 52, 60
2016-17 PG under contract: George Hill, Dante Exum, Raul Neto, Trey Burke
Utah has three second-round picks, which is good for Arcidiacono, but they also have four point guards under contract for next season. There simply seems to be bigger holes to fill on the Utah roster, and it’s unlikely they’ll use one of those picks on a point guard.
2016-17 PG under contract: John Wall
The Wizards could use a solid backup point guard like Arcidiacono, but they also have no draft picks. That means the team will need to make a draft or hope he goes undrafted. There is probably too much that needs to happen for him to land here.