Draft Notes: Ware, Bamba, Nolley, Top Prospects, More

Oregon center Kel’el Ware has decided to transfer to a new school and does not intend to enter the 2023 NBA Draft, he tells Travis Branham of 247Sports.com.

Ware, who averaged 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on .457/.273/.712 shooting in 35 games (15.8 MPG) as a freshman for the Ducks, is a former top high school recruit and is currently ranked No. 35 on ESPN’s big board.

While Ware was a projected second-round pick, Jonathan Givony of ESPN says (via Twitter) “there were real concerns” about the big man’s chances of getting drafted.

Here are some more draft-related notes:

  • Washington State’s TJ Bamba has decided to test the draft waters. He’s entering the draft while maintaining his college eligibility and will also enter the transfer portal, he announced on Twitter. The junior guard averaged 15.8 points and 3.7 rebounds on .426/.372/.730 shooting in 31 games for the Cougars (32.2 MPG) in 2022/23.
  • Cincinnati guard/forward Landers Nolley will declare for the draft, he tells Givony (Twitter link). According to his own announcement (via Twitter), Nolley will maintain his college eligibility, so he won’t be hiring an agent just yet. Nolley, who has one year of eligibility left after previous stops at Virginia Tech and Memphis, averaged a team-high 16.8 points along with 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steal on .447/.417/.750 shooting in 36 games (32.1 MPG) for the Bearcats this season.
  • Which top draft prospects boosted their stock in the NCAA tournament? Givony tackles that subject in a story for ESPN (Insider link). Jordan Hawkins (No. 15 on ESPN’s big board) and Andre Jackson (No. 39) may hear their names called earlier by helping UConn advance to the Final Four.
  • The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor released a new mock draft last week. One surprising pick in his mock is Tennessee forward Julian Phillips, who is ranked No. 56 by ESPN. O’Connor has the freshman going No. 29 to the Pacers.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report examines what scouts are looking to see from five potential NBA prospects in the Final Four. Miami’s Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller have a chance to help themselves once again as they face off against UConn, according to Wasserman.
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