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NBA Draft Rankings 2016: New ESPN Big Board after Combine

The Cats continue to sit well in the ESPN NBA Draft Rankings.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 NBA Draft is approaching fast now that the NBA Combine has come and gone.

While the combine is only part of the draft process, it's also something that fringe first-round prospects can use to boost their status enough that they sneak into Round 1, while others simply solidify their status as high picks. The latter is true of three former Kentucky Wildcats, the biggest of which being Skal Labissiere.

After a great showing at the combine, ESPN's Chad Ford now has the big Haitian among his top 14 prospects entering the draft, or the range that constitutes Skal being a lottery selection. After being ranked 11th in Ford's prior rankings, Skal is now up to No. 11 in the updated rankings of the top 30 prospects.

11. Skal Labissiere

Previous rank: No. 15

Labissiere's biggest moment of the weekend didn't take place at the combine, where he only did interviews and measurements. Instead, it was at a private workout he put on Wednesday night at Roosevelt College.

Labissiere shot the ball very well from NBA 3-point range in a one-on-none workout. Is that good enough to get him drafted in the lottery after a disappointing freshman season at Kentucky? Some GMs say yes. Others no.

He's in the No. 8-20 range right now. It will be interesting to see whether he'll work out against other top prospects.

While Skal continues to look likely to go in the first half of this year's draft, Jamal Murray remains very likely to be the first Wildcat drafted. He remains Ford's No. 3 prospect ahead of the draft.

3. Jamal Murray

Previous rank: No. 3

Murray's participation at the combine was limited to interviews. Team officials raved about him in that setting, using words like "mature," "focused," "confident" and "knowledgeable" to describe him.

Most teams seem to be convinced he can make the transition to point guard in the NBA but feel confident he would excel as a 2-guard as well.

"I think he can play both positions, and I think that helps him," one scout said. "He gives teams and coaches some real versatility."

As for Tyler Ulis, he remains the No. 17 prospect on Ford's big board.

17. Tyler Ulis

Previous rank: No. 17

Ulis also surprised scouts by opting out of everything but the measurements and interviews. His measurements were about what people expected (5-foot-10 in shoes, 6-foot-2 wingspan), but his weight (149 pounds) was 13 pounds lighter than the next closest participant (Marcus Paige).

Teams did love his interviews and feel that, based on pure talent (disregarding size), he's the best point guard prospect in the draft.

But where does he land? Some teams were adamant that they would not draft a guard his size. Others seemed very interested in him as backup point guard. No. 14-25 looks like the range right now.

It's safe to think all three of these former Cats will hear their names called fairly quickly in this year's draft, and it's possible they are all lottery selections.

Here is Ford's fully-updated big board:

1. Ben Simmons

2. Brandon Ingram

3. Jamal Murray

4. Kris Dunn

5. Dragan Bender

6. Buddy Hield

7. Henry Ellenson

8. Marquese Chriss

9. Jakob Poeltl

10. Jaylen Brown

11. Skal Labissiere

12. Furkan Korkmaz

13. Malachi Richardson

14. Denzel Valentine

15. Domantas Sabonis

16. Deyonta Davis

17. Tyler Ulis

18. Malik Beasley

19. Dejounte Murray

20. Wade Baldwin IV

21. DeAndre Bembry

22. Ante Zizic

23. Demetrius Jackson

24. Thon Maker

25. Ivica Zubac

26. Ben Bentil

27. Patrick McCaw

28. Cheick Diallo

29. Juan Hernangomez

30. Diamond Stone

And here are Ford's next five in: Jarrod Uthoff, F, Sr., Iowa; Brice Johnson, PF, Sr., North Carolina; Timothe Luwawu, G/F, France: Guerschon Yabusele, PF, France; Chinanu Onuaku, C, So., Louisville.