NBA Rumor: Draft Early Entries

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6 months ago via

Chris Smith returning to UCLA

The Pac-12 Conference’s most improved player could become its most valuable. Chris Smith is returning to UCLA for his senior season, putting off the NBA for one more chance to continue his dramatic upward college trajectory. Sean Smith, Chris’ father, made the announcement Monday. “Chris is returning to school due to too much uncertainty on both sides of the coin,” said Sean Smith, alluding to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the cancellation of workouts for NBA prospects and a delayed draft. “He’ll finish his degree and work to improve in the areas he needs to improve on.”

Still, if the shot comes along, there is reason to believe in him as a potential first round pick in 2021. Dosunmu averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists, but more than that, he was the closer for an Illinois team that looked poised to potentially make a deep NCAA Tournament run. He hit more big shots this season to either win games or ice them than any player in the country. In the last five minutes, you knew he was getting the ball, and he just methodically got to his spot in the middle of the floor — particularly around the right elbow — and hit shot after shot. He’s a blur in transition, where his natural athletic gifts play up. Defensively, he plays hard and takes on tough assignments at both guard spots. Sources around basketball are also quick to note that Dosunmu is known to have a terrific work ethic and motor. He’s constantly in the gym, and has a real positive competitiveness to the way he approaches the game. He’s the kind of kid that teams are easily going to be able to sell themselves on once he fixes those skill-based issues.

Ultimately, Elleby looks like an interesting two-way contract candidate this year that has an outside shot to get drafted if he was to accept a two-way as a condition of being picked. The upside would be that of a shot-making wing, but he’d need to show a bit more as an on-ball defender in order to make a real NBA impact. Plus, he’d need to get even better as a shooter than what his current level is now. A source told The Athletic that he had some concern about the forthcoming college basketball season and its format, and decided that now was the time to turn pro.

Missouri basketball players Xavier Pinson, Mitchell Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon Jr. withdrew from the NBA draft Friday and will return to the Tigers for the upcoming season. Pinson started 31 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 11.1 points while shooting 40 percent from the field. Smith will be a fifth-year senior after the 6-foot-10 senior average 5.1 points and 4.9 rebounds. Tilmon also will be a senior has has averaged 8.9 points and 4.9 boards over 81 games in his career.
7 months ago via ESPN

Potential early-entry candidates for the 2020 NBA draft will have until Aug. 17 to declare that they are entering the draft, according to a memo obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday. The new deadline is pending the NBA finalizing an agreement with the players’ union on system rule changes in the collective bargaining agreement related to the resumption of the 2019-20 season. The NBA’s early-entry deadline had been April 26, in anticipation of a June 25 draft, but according to the CBA, players have the ability to make themselves draft eligible by petioning the league in writing “at least sixty (60) days prior.” Pending approval from the National Basketball Players Association, that would shift the early-entry deadline to Aug. 17 given the draft has been postponed to Oct. 16.

Frank Martin stands with A.J. Lawson in staying in the NBA Draft at this point in time. “There’s no need to rush. He’s had probably six or seven interviews with NBA teams, which is what they’re all doing right now,” Martin said. “As long as NBA teams are offering interviews, I don’t see any reason why he should try to make a decision sooner than he has to. If no NBA team was asking to meet with him, I would think he’d make a decision by now.”

SMU forward Feron Hunt will return to the men’s basketball program for his junior season in 2020-2021, he told The Dallas Morning News on Monday afternoon. Hunt had returned to campus and had taken a COVID-19 test earlier on Monday. “Just the uncertainty, how things would be played out,” Hunt said when asked why he made this decision. “There’s a lot of things going on in the world right now, just pretty much mainly the uncertainty. We’re not able to get in front of teams and stuff. And I felt like that’s where I’d be better. Just to show more of my game instead of going off my college film. “… [Teams] said they want me to get a little stronger, work on my jump shooting. I got great feedback.”

The “unknowns” for current NBA prospects could result in another year of college basketball for Iowa star Luka Garza, the projected preseason national player of the year in 2020-21. Garza, who has entered the 2020 NBA draft while retaining his eligibility, told ESPN he’ll make his decision about returning to school or turning pro based on the conversations and interviews he’ll have with NBA executives in the coming weeks and months. He said the inability to meet with the NBA’s power brokers for workouts — if the current situation persists — will play a role in his decision. “I think it all depends on what teams are telling me in these interviews and what they’re seeing on film,” said Garza, the Wooden Award runner-up after averaging 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season. “I’m not leaving for an unknown or an uncertain.

Garza, who has entered the 2020 NBA draft while retaining his eligibility, told ESPN he’ll make his decision about returning to school or turning pro based on the conversations and interviews he’ll have with NBA executives in the coming weeks and months. He said the inability to meet with the NBA’s power brokers for workouts — if the current situation persists — will play a role in his decision. “I think it all depends on what teams are telling me in these interviews and what they’re seeing on film,” said Garza, the Wooden Award runner-up after averaging 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season. “I’m not leaving for an unknown or an uncertain.

“It’s the million dollar question,” said Corey Kispert, when asked what would keep him in the draft and what would bring him back to GU. “I need to hear something from a team that has all the package to have me let go of my senior year, and that’s worth a lot. From the people here, the program, the atmosphere, the games we’re playing, it’s worth a lot. Knowing that I can be secure in whatever an NBA team offers me is basically what you have to weigh. At the end of day if I don’t get that, that’s perfectly fine with me. I’d be thrilled to come back for my senior year.”
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January 20, 2021 | 9:33 pm EST Update