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Coronavirus's impacts on NBA Draft, local college players

Karthik Venkataraman chats with CBS Sports reporter Jon Rothstein about how players like Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie are affected.

The NBA Draft is still scheduled for June 25 despite the coronavirus pandemic.

That could change though depending on the coming months. The NBA Draft process has already seen changes, which affects at least one player from our area; former Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie, who just finished his senior season.

It all started with the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament. CBS Sports reporter Jon Rothstein said not having an NCAA Tournament affects the French big man's draft stock.

"Killian Tillie was somebody that could have shined during the NCAA Tournament and all of a sudden he could have become much more of a commodity in terms of shining at the next level," he said.

Rothstein gave examples of former players around the nation, like Syracuse's Malachi Richardson and Villanova's Donte DiVincenzo, as players who turned themselves from second round to first round NBA Draft picks by playing really well in the NCAA Tournament.

Tillie didn't get that chance this year.

Without it, the second round seems more likely for him due to recurring injuries stopping him from reaching his full potential.

Rothstein said it also doesn’t benefit guys like Tillie because of how different the draft process is going to be, which could very well mean Tillie doesn't get a chance to impress on the court again before draft night.

“The majority of what I’ve gathered is that NBA personnel are planning to not have a combine, to not have pre-draft workouts," he said. "They are preparing to make their decisions on Skype interviews and prior scouting.”

Rothstein said this also affects others guys on Gonzaga’s roster who could declare fore the draft, like Filip Petrusev and Corey Kispert, but are also projected to be drafted in the second round if they do.

“If you don't have a prognosis or guarantee that you're going to be a first round draft pick, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to put yourself in a position to put yourself in the NBA Draft," Rothstein said. "I think you have to be judicious and diligent in your decision making always, but even more so now because you can't audition for anybody."

Rothstein also gave his thoughts on Washington State star CJ Elleby.

He doesn’t doubt Elleby will be an NBA-caliber player, but once again due to the uncertainty and not getting to show NBA scouts what he can do in a combine like setting, Rothstein believes Elleby will return to school as well.

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