In more not-so-surprising news, Providence sophomore Ben Bentil will put his hat in the ring for the 2016 NBA Draft, per a report from Evan Daniels of Scout.com. The move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone after Bentil had a breakout sophomore campaign that garnered him First Team All-Big East honors and the league’s Most Improved Player Award. Bentil will not hire an agent, per the report. The report was confirmed by Bentil via his own Twitter account.
With the rule change that allows players to test the NBA Draft waters without forfeiting their amateur status and remaining eligibility, this move is a no-brainer for Bentil. He will now be allowed to attend the Draft Combine and work out with each team a maximum of one time. For Bentil, it will give him the opportunity to receive direct feedback from NBA teams instead of the previous methodology, which required information to be passed along from a committee of people who would estimate draft stock. Now Bentil will be able to hear what teams like and don’t like about his game.
“I have decided to declare for the NBA Draft and go through the workout process over the next six weeks,” Bentil said in a statement released by Providence. “I intend on staying in school this spring and finishing my sophomore year. I am not hiring an agent so that I have the option of returning to Providence College for my junior season.”
As of today, Bentil’s stock appears to be in the latter part of the second round. DraftExpress.com ranks him 58th overall in their top 100 prospects list and that site’s latest mock draft has Bentil going 51st overall. It’s certainly possible workouts could boost his stock, but the question for Bentil is, how much higher could he get in the 2017 draft? There are many things to consider, a critical factor being the 2016 draft appears weaker than 2017’s eligible talent pool. Bentil will now get the best information he can before making a decision. That decision needs to be made by May 25th this year, 10 days after the Draft Combine.
“We support Ben and as he goes through this process,” Ed Cooley said. “We believe this will enable him to gain valuable experience and have better knowledge about when it will be best for him to pursue his dreams of playing in the NBA.”
Bentil averaged a Big East-leading 21.1 points/game and grabbed 7.7 rebounds/game, while playing 34.2 minutes/game. He would be Providence’s top dog next season if he returns and would garner similar preseason praise and hype to what Kris Dunn experienced after Dunn spurned a likely mid-first round selection in the 2015 NBA Draft to come back for one more season at Providence.
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