Michigan State Spartans star Denzel Valentine finished last season as the 2015-16 AP national player of the year and a projected lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. However, a “fairly significant knee issue” could negatively impact his draft stock next Thursday.
In a recent mock draft on CBS Sports, Valentine’s knee issue was cited as the reason he slid out of the top 20.
“Valentine reportedly has a ‘fairly significant knee issue’ that is causing concern with some teams, and, I’m told, it could cost him on draft night. Without that issue, he could go in the top 10,” Gary Parrish wrote. “But there’s no guarantee he’ll even go in the teens with it.
“At some point, somebody, will weigh the risk vs. the reward and snag the former Michigan State star. But, at this point, it’s hard to pin things down.”
It’s unfortunate for Valentine, but if he does fall, it will provide him with some extra motivation when he begins his NBA career. After all, we have seen players in the past come into the league with a chip on their shoulder only to burst into superstardom.
The 2016 NBA Draft takes place Thursday, June 23 in New York City.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports