Iowa forward Kris Murray, a projected first-round pick who is currently ranked No. 26 on ESPN’s big board, has declared for the 2023 NBA draft, he announced via Twitter. Murray’s statement doesn’t say anything about maintaining his college eligibility, so we’re assuming he plans to stay in the draft and turn pro.
As a junior for the Hawkeyes, Murray averaged 20.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.2 blocks on .476/.335/.729 shooting in 29 games (34.9 minutes). He was named to the All-Big 10 First Team for his efforts. Murray is the twin brother of Kings rookie Keegan Murray, who was the No. 4 overall pick last year.
UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez is also entering the draft and will forgo his final year of eligibility, he tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Jaquez, considered a fringe first-round pick, currently ranks No. 34 on ESPN’s board.
As a senior for the Bruins, Jazquez averaged 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals on .481/.317/.770 shooting in 37 games (33.2 minutes). He was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-America Second Team.
“Wherever I get drafted, I don’t care,” Jaquez said. “I’m going to make some sort of impact. People are going to feel like I impacted their organization. (Former No. 30 overall picks) Jimmy Butler, Josh Hart … those are the guys I study. They have a different mentality; they play to win.”
Here are a few more early entrants for the 2023 draft:
- Kentucky big man Oscar Tshiebwe, who was the 2021/22 AP Player of the Year, is entering the draft while maintaining his final year of college eligibility, he announced on Instagram. Tshiebwe averaged 16.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 block while shooting 56% from the field and 72.9% from the line in 32 games (33.6 minutes) as a senior. He is ranked No. 74 on ESPN’s board and considered a fringe second-round pick.
- Wake Forest’s Bobi Klintman (link via Sam Vecenie of The Athletic), Arizona State’s Warren Washington (Instagram link), and San Diego State’s Jaedon Ledee (Twitter link via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports) are all entering the draft while maintaining their eligibility. Vecenie believes Klintman, a 6’10” freshman wing from Sweden, could be a first-round pick in 2024. Washington and Ledee are both seniors who have one year of eligibility left due to the pandemic.