2021 NBA Draft

And-Ones: Dante, Hampton, 2021 Draft, Grant

Oregon big man N’Faly Dante has been informed that he’ll be ineligible to play at the start of the 2019/20 season because the NCAA missed his clearance date, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. In a statement, the five-star recruit that he has completed the academic requirements and intends to re-enroll to Oregon on December 14 in the hopes of being cleared to play.

Charania refers to Dante as a potential lottery pick in 2020, and NBADraft.net has him ranked 13th overall in the site’s latest mock draft. His name doesn’t show up at all in ESPN’s most recent 2020 mock, but it’s possible that will change if he gets his eligibility issues sorted out.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • R.J. Hampton, a projected 2020 lottery pick, said he had “a lot of room for growth” after his New Zealand Breakers played exhibition games against the Grizzlies and Thunder last week. According to ESPN’s Royce Young, there were nearly 60 NBA scouts and executives in attendance at the game in Oklahoma City.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) have already unveiled their first mock draft for 2021, with point guard Cade Cunningham in the No. 1 spot.
  • With the Qingdao Eagles signing American-born guard Darius Adams, the Chinese club is apparently parting ways with another one of its U.S. players. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter), former Knicks, Bulls, and Magic point guard Jerian Grant is the odd man out for Qingdao and will be released. Carchia initially reported last month that the Eagles were considering waiving Grant.

And-Ones: Pasecniks, Beauchamp, Motiejunas

The No. 25 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Anzejs Pasecniks had his rights renounced by the Sixers earlier this offseason, then joined the Wizards for Summer League action in July. Pasecniks averaged just 4.0 PPG on 28.6% shooting in four games (12.5 MPG), though he did chip in 5.3 RPG.

Despite his modest Summer League numbers, Pasecniks suggests that he’s receiving NBA interest, as Bruno Perkons of Sportazinas.com relays (hat tip to Sportando).

I don’t have a contract at the moment and am a free agent, but let’s just say the negotiations are mostly with NBA teams,” Pasecniks said.

Acquired by Philadelphia from Orlando in a draft-night trade in 2017, Pasecniks remained overseas for the last two seasons, playing for Gran Canaria in Spain. He has yet to sign an NBA contract, so we’ll see if that changes before the 2019/20 season gets underway.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • A top-30 high school recruit, MarJon Beauchamp plans to forgo college and will instead go through a year-long training program with Chameleon BX to prepare for the 2021 NBA draft, writes Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com. Beauchamp was ranked as the fifth-best small forward in the 2020 recruiting class, Borzell notes. A press release from Chameleon BX provides more information on Beauchamp’s decision.
  • After finishing the 2018/19 season with the Spurs, veteran power forward Donatas Motiejunas is headed back overseas for the 2019/20 campaign. Motiejunas recently signed a contract with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, tweets journalist Zhang Duo (hat tip to Nicola Lupo of Sportando). The Lithuanian big man previously spent two seasons with China’s Shandong Golden Stars.
  • In an interesting story for ESPN.com, Jackie MacMullan explored how head coaches like Kenny Atkinson (Nets) and Doc Rivers (Clippers) found out about – and reacted to – their teams signing star free agents this offseason. MacMullan also examined the other side of the coin, talking to Nick Nurse (Raptors) and Steve Kerr (Warriors) about losing their stars.
  • The NBA G League released its list of 50 invitees for this year’s NBAGL Player Invitational. The group of undrafted rookies and veteran free agents will get the opportunity to showcase their skills at the event in the hopes of securing a G League roster spot for the 2019/20 season.

NBA: No Major Draft Eligibility Changes Before 2022

The NBA has informed its teams that there will be no changes to the league’s draft eligibility rules to allow players to enter the draft right out of high school until at least 2022, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Currently, players must be at least 19 years old and must be at least one year removed from high school before they’re eligible to enter the NBA draft, which results in most top prospects attending college for one year before going pro.

Way back in November of 2017, we heard the NBA and the players’ union were discussing the possibility of adjusting draft eligibility rules with an eye toward eliminating that one-and-done path. The Commission on College Basketball subsequently issued a report this past April recommending that the one-and-done rule be altered or eliminated. While that appears likely to happen at some point, a July report indicated it wouldn’t occur until at least 2021 — now we know we’ll have to wait at least one additional year beyond that.

If and when the NBA opens the door for players to enter the draft out of high school, that draft year figures to be flooded with top prospects. For instance, if it happens in 2022, the top high school grads of that year would join that season’s top college freshman in the ’22 draft class. As such, the league would prefer to give teams plenty of notice for when it will happen.

With the league’s draft eligibility rules expected to remain unchanged until at least 2022, the NBA G League is set to offer top high school prospects an alternative to the usual one-and-done route in the NCAA. As we relayed earlier today, “select contracts” worth $125K – well over the standard $35K G League salary – will be available starting in 2019 for elite prospects who aren’t yet draft-eligible.