Vanderbilt's Darius Garland leaves NBA Draft Combine, per report; Lakers, Bulls among teams who could be interested
Despite only playing in five game at the collegiate level, Garland is one of the more highly-touted prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft
The dust has settled from the lottery and 2019 NBA Draft is beginning to come into focus.
The NBA Draft Combine happens this week, but one prospect is leaving prematurely. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Vanderbilt freshman standout Darius Garland has left the NBA Draft Combine and there's a belief that Garland could "have a promise" from one or more teams in the lottery.
Garland appeared in just five games during his freshman season at Vanderbilt after he suffered a meniscus injury in his left knee back in November. Just playing so few games at the collegiate level, the Tennessee native still decided to declare for the 2019 draft.
In those five contests, Garland put together averages of 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists while shooting 47.8 percent from beyond the arc. His best performance came on Nov. 19 when he scored 33 points in a 79-70 Vanderbilt win over Liberty.
CBS Sports' Garry Parrish currently has Garland going to the Phoenix Suns with the sixth overall pick in his . The general consensus is that Garland will be selected in the top 10 and could even sneak into the top five of the June draft.
As far as where Garland could end up, several teams in the top 10 could show significant interest in a player of Garland's caliber.
The Los Angeles Lakers could be very interested in drafting Garland as their roster is currently constructed. Obviously, their interest could change if an Anthony Davis trade occurs prior to the draft, but Garland would make a ton of sense for the team. Rajon Rondo is set to become a free agent and if the Lakers were select Garland, Lonzo Ball wouldn't have to handle the basketball as much and could be more of an offensive weapon.
The Chicago Bulls and Suns also could have interest in grabbing Garland if he falls out of the top five. Outside of Chicago's starting backcourt of Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, the Bulls don't exactly have a ton of depth and Garland would fit the bill considering he's a combo guard. The Suns could also be interested with their need for a point guard, which Garland could blossom into down the road.
It's certainly going to be worth keeping an eye on what teams bring Garland in for pre-draft workouts, which potentially could give a clearer indication of what teams are interested in selecting him.
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