Utah Valley big man Fardaws Aimaq is testing the NBA draft waters and has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal, he tells Travis Branham of 247Sports.com (Twitter link). Aimaq, who also declared for the draft in 2021 before eventually withdrawing, had a big junior year, averaging 18.9 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 1.3 BPG in 32 games (34.4 MPG) for Utah Valley.
Wyoming shooting guard Hunter Maldonado will also enter the draft while retaining his remaining year of NCAA eligibility, he announced on Twitter. As a senior in 2021/22, he put up 18.5 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 5.7 RPG in 33 games (37.3 MPG). He has one more year of eligibility left due to the adjustments the NCAA made in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like Aimaq and Maldonado, Louisiana Tech sophomore forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. will test the draft waters this spring, announcing his decision today on Twitter. In 33 games (27.0 MPG) this season, Lofton averaged a double-double, posting 16.5 PPG and 10.5 RPG to go along with 2.8 APG and 1.2 SPG.
Finally, Washington junior forward/center Nate Roberts announced on Twitter that he’s entering the draft and intends to sign with an agent. Roberts, who started all 32 games he played for Washington this season, wasn’t much of an offensive threat, averaging 5.5 PPG, but he was the team’s leading rebounder (7.5 RPG).
Here are a few more draft-related notes:
- Following the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) evaluated how several of the top prospects fared and updated their mock draft.
- Meanwhile, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic focused on the top players from a few of the tournament’s Cinderella teams, exploring whether Tyrese Hunter (Iowa State), Hunter Dickinson (Michigan), and Kameron McGusty (Miami), among others, are viable NBA prospects.
- The Pistons would be the ideal landing spot for Chet Holmgren, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who ranks the top 11 fits for the Gonzaga big man. O’Connor’s list only includes lottery-bound teams that will have a realistic shot at drafting Holmgren with a top pick.
- Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) thinks there’s a noticeable drop-off after the top four prospects in this year’s draft (Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith, and Jaden Ivey). Jeff Goodman of Stadium disagrees, tweeting that the 2022 class is much stronger throughout the lottery than people give it credit for.