Anybody who paid attention to the news coming out of the 2018 NBA draft combine knows that Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova redshirt sophomore and the Final Four’s most outstanding player, is a player who helped raise his stock by participating in last week’s workouts.
DiVincenzo, who declared for the draft but did not forfeit his NCAA eligibility by signing with an agent, has until May 30 to decide whether he wants to remain in the draft or return to Villanova.
Coming off a strong combine, the 6-foot-5 combo guard from Newark, Del., told Yahoo Sports that he expects to remain in the draft unless he gets injured or simply messes up in some of the individual workouts he has scheduled with teams.
Donte DiVincenzo hasn't made a formal decision, but told @ShamsCharania he expects to remain in the NBA draft barring injury or a drastic change in his performance. https://t.co/HZ8kwOP0WO pic.twitter.com/AzqPiXHo2D
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) May 21, 2018
Many sites are listing DiVincenzo as one of the “winners” at the combine and say that NBA teams expect him to be one of the 30 first-round draft picks.
What DiVincenzo reportedly did in Chicago was show teams he was more than just the stereotypical long-range shooter — although he can certainly do that.
During the agility drills Thursday, DiVincenzo tied for the best vertical jump at 42 inches. He also scored well in the lane agility drill and three-quarters-court sprint.
During the five-on-five games, he displayed his athleticism and ability to defend. He reportedly eased concerns about his court vision, decision-making and ability to create plays.
“If I stay in the draft [or go back to Villanova], this whole process has been great,” DiVincenzo told reporters at the combine. “Teams have been trying to figure out more about me.
“I’m not very well known — not before all that attention in the tournament. … After the NCAA championship game, the outside perspective of me kind of blew up and made [playing in the NBA] a realization for me.”
In most mock drafts before the combine, DiVincenzo wasn’t listed as one of the 60 players predicted to be selected over two rounds. After the combine, he is showing up as a pick in the final third of the first round.
For the 2017-18 season, the salary range for players drafted between 20 and 30 went for about $5.5 million guaranteed over three years to about $4.2 million.
After scoring 31 points in the national championship, the 21-year-old DiVincenzo will likely never see his stock be higher.
Villanova swingman Mikal Bridges is viewed as a lottery pick, and consensus college player of the year Jalen Brunson is expected to be drafted in the first round. Bridges and Brunson have signed with agents. Redshirt freshman Omari Spellman, who did not sign with an agent, can still return to school but has a workout scheduled with the Los Angeles Lakers.