SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Not many people were surprised when Malachi Richardson declared for the 2016 NBA Draft a few weeks ago, but some are surprised where his stock has risen to.
It was announced yesterday that Richardson would not participate in the 5-on-5 scrimmages at the NBA Combine in Chicago, which is an early indicator he expects to be taken in the draft, regardless of the round.
The other players not participating in the 5-on-5 scrimmage? Jamal Murray, Thon Maker and Brandon Ingram - all projected to get drafted with Murray and Ingram consensus top five picks.
Richardson has not signed with an agent yet, which leaves the door open for a return to Syracuse.
He is now projected to go 53rd overall, according to Draft Express.
According to a report from Keith Pompey, Richardson will interview with the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
The 6-foot-6 guard/forward averaged 13.4 points last season while starting all 37 games for the Orange. His 21-point second-half performance against Virginia helped the 20-year-old gain national exposure after an up-and-down freshman year.
Draft Express has Richardson ranked as the 18th-best freshman in the 2016 NBA Draft.