Draft Updates: Gabriel, Bowen, Mokoka, Marinkovic

Kentucky forward Wenyen Gabriel has decided to declare for the 2018 NBA draft, but won’t hire an agent for now in order to retain his NCAA eligibility, he announced today on Twitter.

“After talking with Coach Cal (John Calipari) and the staff, they believe it’s in my best interest to see where I stand in the eyes of the NBA,” Gabriel said in his statement. “I’m confident I can play at the next level, but I want to be absolutely certain that this is the right decision for me at this time.”

In his sophomore year for the Wildcats, Gabriel averaged a modest 6.8 PPG and 5.4 RPG, but showed the ability to protect the rim (1.1 BPG) and hit outside shots (.396 3PT%). He’s the fifth Kentucky underclassmen to declare for this year’s draft, joining teammates Hamidou Diallo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, and PJ Washington.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • South Carolina forward Brian Bowen, who enrolled at the school in January, is hoping to be granted eligibility for the 2018/19 season. However, he tells Jeff Goodman of ESPN (Twitter link) that he plans to declare for the NBA draft just in case he’s not reinstated by the NCAA.
  • A pair of international prospects, French shooting guard Adam Mokoka and Serbian shooting guard Vanja Marinkovic, have declared for the 2018 NBA draft, according to their agency BeoBasket (Twitter links via agents Pedja Materic and Misko Raznatovic). Mokoka, who was born in 1998, currently plays for Gravelines in France, while 1997-born Marinkovic is a member of Partizan Belgrade.
  • Spanish wing Xabier Lopez-Arostegui has declared for the draft, sources tell Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). Lopez-Arostegui has spent the season with Joventut in Spain’s ACB, averaging 5.7 PPG and shooting 37% on three-pointers.

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