Tre Mann: Could Gators guard go in the NBA draft's first round tonight?
The Florida men’s basketball program hasn’t had a player selected in the first round of the NBA draft since the Washington Wizards picked freshman Bradley Beal with the third overall pick in 2012, but tonight should mark an end to the drought.
Gainesville native Tre Mann is expected to be drafted by the conclusion of the first round when the draft begins at 8 p.m. from the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. NBA analysts predict Mann will be either a middle or late first-round pick despite not being one of the 20 players invited to the “green room” for prospects expected to be drafted near the top of the first round.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports has Mann as the No. 28 pick in his latest Draft projections, while ESPN’s Chad Ford predicts Mann will be selected No. 27, picks currently owned by the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets, respectively.
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Mann, who averaged 16 points while shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range in a breakout sophomore season while earning All-SEC honors, has no shortage of confidence heading into what is considered a notably deep draft, however, telling HoopsHype on Sunday he believes he’s “the best guard in the draft, top-five for sure.”
Tre Mann could go in second half of first round
Mann, 20, also revealed his camp believes he’ll be selected anywhere from No. 16 to No. 25 come Thursday, though Mann said ultimately he’s keen on finding the right fit when it comes to his goals entering the night.
“(My initial mindset) was to go as high as possible, but as I got closer to the draft and worked out with the teams and everything and sat down and thought about what I want,” Mann told HoopsHype, “I want to be in a good system that fits my game that I can go be me and elevate my game.”
Though Mann has already worked out with several teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks, he wasn’t done. The 6-foot-4, 178-pound combo guard held private workouts with the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets across Monday and Tuesday, as coaches and scouts continue to get a better feel for what Mann can provide an NBA franchise on both ends of the floor.
Regardless of where he’s slotted, Mann’s name will surely be called Thursday, which isn’t necessarily the case for Gators wing Scottie Lewis, who is expected to be a fringe prospect come Thursday.
Florida's Scottie Lewis is draft underdog
A former five-star recruit out of Ranney School (N.J.), Lewis, 21, never quite lived up to the lofty expectations while at Florida — his usage dipped as a sophomore, resulting in a production drop-off — but Lewis’ seven-foot wingspan at the shooting guard position could lead to being drafted late in the second round despite the perception he remains limited on the offensive end.
Lewis signed with Klutch Sports Group — the agency led by Rich Paul, Lebron James’ agent — on April 22 as one of six prospects being represented by the company.
When: 8 p.m. today
TV: ABC, ESPN
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.