French big man Mouhammadou Jaiteh will indeed enter this year’s draft, agent Herman Manaykan confirmed to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). Jaiteh told Givony earlier this year that he intended to do so. He’s the 50th-best prospect in Givony‘s rankings, and Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks him 54th, so it appears that he has a strong chance to become a second-round pick if he stays in the draft this time, which he didn’t do after declaring in 2013. He said he would enter again in 2014, but he never formally submitted his name before deciding against it.
The 20-year-old averaged 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game for JSF Nanterre of France this season. The numbers are an improvement over last year, which was his first on France’s highest level. He impressed an American audience with nine rebounds in less than 15 minutes in a 2013 appearance at the Nike Hoop Summit.
It’s much easier for prospects from overseas, like Jaiteh, to declare and withdraw than it is for their counterparts from the NCAA. College players lose eligibility if they don’t pull out before April 12th, a deadline that passed this Sunday, while early entry candidates who are already pros can wait until the NBA’s draft-withdrawal deadline of June 15th, 10 days before the draft. Jaiteh wouldn’t be automatically eligible for the draft until 2016, the year in which he turns 22.