Draft Notes: Hardy, Minott, Nesbitt, Benitez

In an appearance on the Posted Up podcast with Chris Haynes, G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy sounded confident that he should be a top pick in the 2022 NBA draft (Twitter link via Yahoo Sports).

I feel like I’m the best player in this draft, if you ask me. Playing in the NBA G League, I mean it’s the second-best league in the world. I’ve played against people that are playing in the NBA right now, like Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga. Like those guys are on the Warriors getting good minutes and they were just playing against me. So I’m playing against NBA talent,” Hardy said.

The 6’4″ guard is currently No. 26 on ESPN’s best available players list, but Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has him No. 13 on his latest Big Board.

Here are some more draft-related notes:

  • Freshman forward Josh Minott is entering the draft and will initially keep his college eligibility, but he has no intention of returning to Memphis, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Minott is No. 54 on ESPN’s best available list, but he hopes to move up draft boards in June. “I plan to be like Josh Primo [a surprise No. 12 pick in the 2021 draft] coming out of the woodwork this spring,” Minott said. “I will listen to the NBA’s feedback. If they feel I’m a first-round talent and want to invest in me, that would be the best situation.” John Hollinger of The Athletic likes Minott as a sleeper, as we previously relayed.
  • Jordan Nesbitt of Saint Louis has declared for the draft (via Twitter). The 6’6″ guard averaged 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds on .391/.337/.692 shooting as a sophomore for the Billikens. Based on the wording of his announcement, it sounds like he plans to forgo his remaining eligibility.
  • French point guard Hugo Benitez will also declare for the draft, his agent Herman Manakyan told ESPN’s Givony (Twitter link). Benitez, who turned 21 in January, is averaging 7.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals on .509/.395/.875 shooting for JL Bourg of the LNB Pro A league. Givony states that Benitez is a good defensive player who displays intelligence and maturity in pick-and-rolls.
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