French big man Jonathan Jeanne decided against entering this year’s draft, agent Jeremy Medjana told Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). The 18-year-old had a strong chance to become a first-round pick in June, coming in at No. 23 in Givony’s rankings and No. 25 with Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Jeanne’s stock only figures to improve with an extra year overseas, as Givony lists him 16th in his 2017 mock draft, though he wouldn’t become automatically eligible until 2019.
Sunday was the last day for early entrants to formally declare for this year’s draft, but the NBA has yet to announce the official early-entrants list, so news on some decisions is still trickling in. The absence of Jeanne means this year’s draft will be without one of its tallest would-be eligible prospects, as Ford lists him at 7’4″ while Givony has him at 7’2″ with a 7’7″ wingspan. He has 3-point shooting, ball-handling and passing skills, Ford writes, but he’s raw, shows immaturity at times and is a long way off from helping an NBA team, as Givony wrote for The Vertical in February. He played just six minutes at the pro level for Le Mans Sarthe Basket of France this season.
News about the draft entry decisions of another handful of other prospects has emerged since Sunday’s deadline, as we detail:
- Indiana sophomore shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. has entered the draft, the school announced. He hasn’t hired an agent, the school adds, so he can return to college ball if he pulls out of the draft by May 25th. Blackmon is Ford’s 77th-ranked prospect but falls outside Givony‘s top 100.
- Bakari Copeland, a junior forward from Maryland-Eastern Shore, is believed to have entered the draft as well, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. He’s outside the Ford and Givony rankings.
- Emmanuel Malou, a junior college power forward who’s committed to Iowa State, has entered the draft but hasn’t hired an agent, sources tell The Vertical’s Shams Charania (Twitter link). He also falls outside the Ford and Givony rankings.
- Italian shooting guard Diego Flaccadori has entered the draft, according to Eurohoops.net. The 20-year-old is the fourth-best overseas prospect among those born in 1996, according to Givony, though neither Givony nor Ford has him within the top 100 prospects overall.
- Spanish small forward Santiago Yusta is draft-bound, the Romaior Sports agency announced (on Twitter). The 18-year-old isn’t in Ford’s rankings and is outside of Givony’s top 100, though Givony deems him the 32nd-best overseas prospect among those born in 1997.