As the NBA Draft approaches later this month, we sat down with Jared Greenberg to get his take on the two Syracuse players who may be selected. Greenberg is a co-host of NBA.com Fantasy Insider with 10-year NBA veteran Dennis Scott, and also serves as a host for NBA TV’s GameTime on Thursdays during the regular season. Follow @NBATVJared
The Juice Online: Are you in the camp that thinks Chris McCullough should’ve come back to Syracuse for his second year?
Jared Greenberg: I was stunned this year with the amount of people this year coming out in general. I think there’s upwards of 90 people making themselves eligible, and that includes what appears to be a pretty talented international group. I don’t know Chris’ situation personally, but I wish people would understand that it’s more than just about their situation, it’s about the whole. There’s only 60 spots to get drafted, and for the most part, you’re not really in a good spot if you get picked in the second round. You kind of lose a lot of your leverage. Unless he’s betting on himself like so many guys last year that he’s got a good group around that can sell you to teams with their relationships, maybe just become a free agent and you’re better off doing that. You have to wonder with the amount of guys that have declared this year how it’s going to shake out and the ultimate impact it’s going to have on the entire class.
TJO: What are your thoughts on Rakeem Christmas?
JG: I’ve been reading about how NBA teams and scouts evaluate anybody, and they really look to when you have big games on a national stage. And you can really impress people when you know the spotlight’s on you, I think that’s what NBA teams value. There’s not too many nights in the NBA when it’s an off night. And I think with a guy like him, at the elite level, he can step up and be a gamer. If there was any doubt about his previous years, teams have had those questions answered and they saw him do what he can do on the court. And by the NBA Draft, they’ll have their interviews with him and they’ll see what they see in the individual workouts, and I think they’ll be quite impressed.