Boise State Basketball

If draft experts are right, Boise State's Hutchison will land with a six-time NBA champ

Boise State men's basketball coach Leon Rice can hardly wait for Thursday night's NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Imagine what the anticipation must be like for Boise State alum Chandler Hutchison, who is expected to go in the first round, which would be a first for the program.

"This is like waiting for Christmas, only 50 times worse," Rice said. "(Chandler's) excited. He's ready to go and ready for this day to come. It's amazing when it becomes a reality, and we're at that point. We're just really excited for him, really proud of him and what he's accomplished here at Boise."

Since he graduated from Boise State in May with a degree in communications, Hutchison has spent time training in Chicago.

The 6-foot-7, 206-pounder was officially invited to attend the NBA Draft, which begins at 5 p.m. Mountain time on ESPN, and he has about 20 family members going along for the ride. Players receive a formal invitation to the draft when they are expected to be chosen in the first round.

"We've talked to a lot of teams, first of all, and anywhere from 10 to 30 is what we've talked to," Rice told Andy Katz of NCAA.com. "There's a lot of teams I think that really like him that maybe won't pick early enough to get him. I think he's a guy that can come in and help a lot of different teams because of his versatility. He can play a number of different positions, and he's terrific in the open court."

While Rice is understandably high on the player he recruited out of Mission Viejo, Calif., here's what experts are saying about Hutchison's draft stock:

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

No. 22 to the Chicago Bulls

Writer Jeremy Woo includes Hutchison in both his Top 100 Prospect Rankings and in his most recent mock draft for Sports Illustrated — both times at No. 22 overall. Citing unsourced reports that the six-time NBA champion Chicago Bulls have made Hutchison a first-round promise, Woo praised Hutchison for his ability to attack the rim, rebound and create opportunities for teammates. "Hutchison is a developed prospect who should be able to contribute immediately, and a lot of scouts are high on his tools, shooting ability, and capacity to play on and off the ball," Woo wrote. When a draft-eligible player receives a first-round promise from a team, it means that if the player is still on the board when the team selects, the team will draft him.

ESPN

No. 29 to the Brooklyn Nets

A Nets scout was spotted at a preseason Boise State scrimmage and at the Broncos' game against Nevada in Reno this past season, which gives added weight to this pick by Jonathan Givony, who suggests the Nets may be the ones who gave Hutchison a first-round guarantee. "His size, athleticism and ability to create his own shot are intriguing in a league that is starved for players at his position," Givony wrote.

NBADRAFTNET.COM, NBA.COM, BLEACHER REPORT, THE RINGER

No. 22 to the Chicago Bulls

If everyone's saying it, maybe it's true? Eight of the 12 mock drafts cited in this story expect Hutchison to become a Bull. Aran Smith of NBADraftNet.com and Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer each provided insight into why they believe Hutchison withdrew from the combine. "It’s unclear who made the promise, if one was made at all, but it’s no secret that Hutchison’s agent Mark Bartelstein, the CEO of Chicago-based agency Priority Sports, is a family friend of Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf," O'Connor wrote. "The Bulls and Bartelstein have a successful working relationship. Bartelstein has represented a long list of former Bulls, from Steve Kerr and Jud Buechler to Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis, among many others."

Added Smith: "Rumors out of the combine were that Hutchison pulled out of participating in measurements and other activities due to a promise. Our sources indicate that the promise is in fact with the Bulls."

USA TODAY

No. 22 to the Chicago Bulls

Analysts Jeff Zillgitt, Michael Singer and Sam Amick teamed up on this mock draft, slotting Hutchison at No. 22 based on the widely shared story that he has a promise from the Bulls. "If that’s the case, the athletic, four-year wing would fit the bill of prospects the Bulls have drafted in the past," the trio wrote.

SPORTING NEWS

No. 22 to the Chicago Bulls

You might be starting to sense a trend, as yet another draft expert — this time Sean Deveney for Sporting News — predicts Hutchison is headed to Chicago. "Hutchinson is a good scorer and rebounder who can stretch the floor. He’s been quiet on the workout front, leading some to believe he’s already been given a first-round promise," Deveney wrote.

SBNATION

No. 14 to the Denver Nuggets

This prediction is an outlier. Tom Ziller wrote his entire mock draft for SBNation in haiku format. Here's what Ziller penned for Hutchison: “Chandler Hutchison is not a Boise QB despite what you’d think. Boise’s never had a first-round pick in this sport. Only Chris Childs! He was undrafted, but had a good, long career. Hutch could be much more."

CBS SPORTS

No. 22 to the Chicago Bulls

Gary Parrish doesn't stray from the pack with this pick for CBS Sports. Parrish says Hutchison "has all the tools necessary to be a quality NBA wing. "Hutchison had the best season of his four-year college career this season while establishing himself as a first-round talent," Parrish wrote.

BASKETBALL INSIDERS

No. 20 to the Minnesota Timberwolves

In a consensus mock draft that changes weekly, expert Jesse Blancarte believes Hutchison is bound for Minnesota "based on the latest news, workouts and information from the predraft process." Blancarte does not provide any specific insight for this choice, however.

NETSCOUTS BASKETBALL

No. 18 to the San Antonio Spurs

This mock draft is among the top 10 included on NBA.com. And like Basketball Insiders, commentary about every pick is not provided.

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