Just a few days ago Malachi Richardson was telling pro teams that he planned to stay in the NBA Draft, and he made it official yesterday when he signed with Andy Miller as his agent. The former Syracuse Orange standout has been climbing up draft boards since deciding to participate in last week's combine, and it's only continued from there. If he does go in the first round, the pick will put Syracuse in elite company, as John detailed over the weekend. He'd make it five straight years with an Orange first-rounder.
ESPN's Chad Ford moved Malachi up on his latest Top 100 list, making that possibility even more likely. On Monday, Ford listed Malachi as the 13th overall prospect and the number three shooting guard prospect in the draft, calling his stock "red hot." Returns from the Draft Combine in Chicago seemed to show off enough raw talent and upside to adjust everybody's thinking on the wing player.
NBADraft.net has him going 19th overall, though fails to expand from there. While still not a first rounder in the eyes of The Vertical, Richardson jumped from undrafted to 37th. Bleacher Report's Jon Wasserman has stood by the first-round guarantee he has or will receive, without a commitment to where (but has the sources to indicate it's very likely to happen). CBS Sports has him going 25th, but adds a caveat that his exact placement is hard to nail down:
"Richardson was someone few had a great feel for in terms of his NBA stock coming into the week. However, when the NBA did not make him participate in the 5-on-5 portion of the event, it was a pretty clear sign that his stock is a bit higher around the league than anticipated. Richardson has extremely long arms, solid size, and good quickness, but he lacks a lot in the way of explosiveness and efficiency in production this season. I'd say his range is anywhere from No. 18 through No. 40 or so, but indeed it's higher than many thought when he declared for the draft, myself included."
It's a good sign for Malachi if he's still looking for a team to guarantee him a first round selection. There's just over a month until the draft so nothing is set in stone, but you can take this as his most ringing endorsement yet.