Draft Notes: Bona, Walsh, Nelson, Broome

UCLA big man Adem Bona has decided to test the 2023 NBA draft waters after wrapping up his freshman season, he tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He’ll maintain his remaining NCAA eligibility during the process.

Bona had a promising year in 2022/23, averaging 7.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 1.7 BPG in 22.9 MPG (33 games) for the Bruins, earning Pac-12 All-Defensive and Rookie of the Year honors. He’s the No. 45 player on ESPN’s big board, making him a solid candidate to be drafted.

However, Bona injured his shoulder in the Pac-12 tournament last month, then aggravated the injury during the NCAA tournament. He underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum and isn’t expected to fully recover until the fall, Givony writes.

Bona will be able to go through interviews with NBA teams during the pre-draft process, but will be unable to conduct full workouts, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll opt to keep his name in the draft pool or withdraw and return to school for his sophomore year.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Freshman forward Jordan Walsh has decided to test the NBA draft waters following his first college season at Arkansas, he tells Curtis Wilkerson of HawgSports.com. The No. 51 prospect on ESPN’s board, Walsh started 22 of 36 games as a freshman for the Razorbacks, averaging 7.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 1.1 SPG while playing strong, versatile defense.
  • North Dakota State junior power forward Grant Nelson is entering the draft while preserving his remaining NCAA eligibility, he announced on Instagram. A member of the All-Summit first team and the conference’s All-Defensive team in 2022/23, Nelson averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in 30 games (30.7 MPG). He ranks 94th on ESPN’s list of 2023 prospects.
  • Auburn junior forward Johni Broome is testing the NBA draft waters for a second straight year, he announced on Instagram. Broome transferred to Auburn after two standout seasons at Morehead State, where he was named the Ohio Valley Conference’s Rookie of the Year in 2021 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2022. He averaged 14.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 2.4 BPG in 33 games (26.5 MPG) as a junior with the Tigers.
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