Projected second-round pick Petr Cornelie will pass on entering this year’s draft, agent Bouna Ndiaye tells Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). The power forward who’s a native of France was the 47th-ranked prospect on Givony‘s list as well as the one that Chad Ford of ESPN.com compiles. Cornelie has a strong chance to become a first-round pick next year, according to Givony.
Cornelie, who turns 20 in July, combines shot blocking, outside shooting and mobility in a 6’11” frame, and he drew more attention from NBA scouts this year, Givony tweets. He saw only 16.4 minutes per game for the French club Le Mans Sarthe Basket this season, but his role with the club figures to expand in 2015/16, according to Givony. Cornelie averaged 3.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per contest, though his range didn’t consistently extend beyond the three-point line, as he hit just 30.0% of his shots from that territory. He put up 5.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG in close to 12 MPG during last year’s Adidas EuroCamp, a showcase of significance of overseas prospects.
It’s quite conceivable that Cornelie wouldn’t have been playing in the NBA next season even if he had entered the draft and been selected, since draft-and-stash maneuvers are common in the second round. There’s no guarantee Cornelie enters next year’s draft, either, since international players aren’t automatically eligible for the draft until the year they turn 22, which would be 2017 in Cornelie’s case, though the chance to become a first-round pick might be too tempting to pass up.