Bryce Hamilton

Draft Notes: Maker, Hamilton, Riley, Green

Howard University freshman big man Makur Maker has declared for the draft but hasn’t hired an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to college, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Maker, 20, played only two games for the Bison last season because of a groin injury, averaging 11.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 2.0 APG. The team played only five games before the university shut down the season due of COVID-19 issues. Maker is listed at No. 100 on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more draft decisions and news:

  • UNLV’s Bryce Hamilton will remain in the draft process but plans to return to school, Jeff Goodman of Stadium tweets. The Rebels guard averaged 17.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.0 APG last season as a junior.
  • UCLA’s Cody Riley will also enter the draft while retaining his college eligibility, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. Riley, a junior forward, had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against Gonzaga in the Final Four. In 31 starts last season, he averaged 10 PPG and 5.4 RPG. “I’ve encouraged Cody to take advantage of this time and this evaluation process. I know that he wants to see where he fits at the next level and where he needs to improve,” coach Mick Cronin told the Associated Press.
  • Cade Cunningham sits atop Jonathan Wasserman’s big board but the Bleacher Report analyst has a mild surprise in the No. 2 slot, with Jalen Green ranking above Evan Mobley. Jalen Suggs is a close fourth in Wasserman’s rankings.

Draft Updates: Christopher, Liddell, Akinjo, More

Arizona State shooting guard Josh Christopher is entering the 2021 NBA draft, he announced late last night on Twitter.

The 6’5″ freshman played just 15 games for the Sun Devils, having missed 10 due to leg and back issues. When he played, he averaged 14.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.5 SPG on .432/.305/.800 shooting. Despite his limited résumé at the college level, Christopher looks like a good bet to be drafted, currently ranking 37th overall on ESPN’s big board.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for the 2021 draft:

  • On the heels of Ohio State’s early exit from the NCAA tournament, sophomore forward E.J. Liddell will enter the draft while leaving the door open to return to the Buckeyes, he announced on Twitter. Liddell enjoyed a breakout year in 2020/21, increasing his scoring average from 6.7 PPG as a freshman reserve to 16.2 PPG as a full-time starter.
  • Junior guard James Akinjo announced on Instagram that he’ll test the draft waters this spring. After spending his first two college seasons at Georgetown, Akinjo transferred to Arizona and averaged 15.6 PPG and 5.4 APG in 26 games (34.9 MPG) this year.
  • North Texas guard Javion Hamlet has opted to enter the draft pool, he announced on Twitter. In two college seasons, Hamlet averaged 15.1 PPG on .461/.396/.878 shooting in 59 games (31.7 MPG), earning Conference USA Player of the Year honors in 2019/20.
  • UNLV guard Bryce Hamilton is testing the draft waters, according to an announcement on Twitter. Hamilton averaged 17.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG in 24 games (32.6 MPG) as a junior this season.