Caleb Houstan

Draft Notes: Rockets, Nuggets, Green Room, Houstan, Sharpe, Roddy

Now that they’re poised to add the No. 26 pick to their list of draft assets, the Rockets are looking into the possibility of trading up in the draft, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reports within his latest mock draft. According to O’Connor, Houston has inquired about moving up from No. 3 into one of the top two spots in the draft, and has also explored the possibility of moving up from No. 17 into the late lottery.

Like Houston, the Nuggets have agreed to acquire an extra first-round pick (No. 30) and are trying to package it with No. 21 in order to move into the middle of the first round, O’Connor writes. However, O’Connor expects Denver to have to add a young player or a future asset to its package in order to make any real headway.

O’Connor’s newest mock draft includes a few more interesting tidbits, including his suggestion that there’s still some “chatter” about teams trying to trade for the Magic‘s No. 1 overall pick.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Five more players have been invited to the green room for next Thursday’s draft, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). Tari Eason, Jalen Williams, TyTy Washington, MarJon Beauchamp, and Jaden Hardy received invites, joining an initial list of 16 invitees. Of the 21 players invited to the green room, only Hardy (No. 22) and Beauchamp (No. 23) are outside of the top 21 prospects on ESPN’s big board.
  • Michigan’s Caleb Houstan, one of the only prospects to decline a combine invite this year, worked out this week for the Grizzlies and Nuggets, a source tells Givony (Twitter link). Those two teams control the last two picks of the first round.
  • Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe told reporters today that the Spurs, Thunder, and Magic are among the teams he has worked out for in the pre-draft process, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Sharpe will work out for the Pacers on Monday, a source tells James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link).
  • Colorado State forward David Roddy still has workouts coming up with the Thunder and Celtics, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. By the time draft night arrives, Roddy will have visited “half the league,” Wolfson adds.

Draft Notes: Green Room, Houstan, Nembhard, O’Neal, Gillespie

There were no surprises in the 11 green room invitations forwarded to the draft’s top prospects. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony confirmed that the list includes Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray, Shaedon Sharpe, Dyson Daniels, Bennedict Mathurin, AJ Griffin, Jalen Duren and Johnny Davis. Approximately four more green room invites will be sent out next week, a source tells Givony.

We have more draft news:

  • Michigan’s Caleb Houstan and Gonzaga’s Andrew Nembhard, who both hail from Canada, will work out for the Raptors on Friday, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. They’re both considered late first-round or second-round prospects and Toronto has the No. 33 overall pick.
  • LSU forward Shareef O’Neal, son of Shaquille O’Neal, worked out for the Bucks on Thursday, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. The younger O’Neal will visit the Lakers, Cavaliers, Hawks and Wizards in the very near future.
  • Villanova guard Collin Gillespie also worked out for the Bucks on Thursday, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets. He’ll soon visit the Suns, Nuggets, Jazz and Trail Blazers. Gillespie is ranked at No. 64 on ESPN’s Best Available list.

David Roddy, John Butler, Caleb Houstan Staying In Draft

Colorado State swingman David Roddy and Florida State big man John Butler Jr. both plan to stay in the 2022 NBA draft, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter links).

Both players have a chance to hear their names called on June 23; Roddy is currently ranked No. 47 on ESPN’s big board, while Butler is No. 72.

In 31 games (32.9 MPG) as a junior in 2021/22, Roddy stuffed the stat sheet with averages of 19.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.1 BPG on .571/.438/.691. The 7’1″ Butler had a lesser role in his lone season for FSU, averaging 5.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.2 BPG in 31 games (19 MPG), but he did shoot an impressive .393 from three-point range.

Michigan’s Caleb Houstan will also stay in the draft, according to a team press release (via Twitter). The guard/forward averaged 10.1 PPG, 4 RPG, and 1.4 APG on .384/.355/.783 shooting for the Wolverines as a freshman in ’21/22.

Houstan is No. 49 on ESPN’s board, but there have been rumors that he received a first-round promise, with some league insiders speculating that it may have come from OKC at No. 30.

Here are more updates on the early entrants who are up against the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline:

  • Pete Nance, the younger brother of Larry Nance Jr., will withdraw from the draft and transfer from Northwestern, per Jeff Goodman of Stadium (twitter link). Nance averaged 14.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.7 APG and 1.1 BPG for the Wildcats last season. He’s No. 77 on ESPN’s board and will use his extra year of eligibility to play a fifth college season.
  • Florida A&M’s MJ Randolph and Coastal Carolina’s Vince Cole are both staying in the draft, as Rothstein relays (Twitter links). Both players were seniors in 2021/22, but could have used an extra year of eligibility to play one more season in college. Instead, they’ll turn pro.
  • Drew Peterson is withdrawing from the draft and using his extra year of eligibility to return to USC next season, tweets Rothstein. Peterson, who recently worked out for the Lakers, averaged 12.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 3.3 APG on .467/.412/.717 shooting for the Trojans last season (34 games, 33 MPG).
  • Forward Jalen Wilson is also withdrawing from the draft and returning to Kansas for his senior season, Goodman reports (via Twitter). Jayhawks fans will certainly be happy to hear the news, as he averaged 11.1 PPG and 7.4 for the champs last season.
  • Mouhamed Gueye will withdraw from the draft and transfer from Washington State, Goodman tweets. The 6-foot-11 big man averaged 7.4 PPG and 5.2 RPG for the Cougars in ’21/22.

Draft Notes: J. Williams, Sasser, LaRavia, Houstan, Minott, More

Santa Clara wing Jalen Williams was perhaps the standout of last week’s draft combine in Chicago, while Houston guard Marcus Sasser looked like the best player at the G League Elite Camp, John Hollinger and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic write as part of their analysis of the combine.

Hollinger and Vecenie suggest that Williams’ stock has “exploded into the stratosphere” as a result of his performance in Chicago and that he looks like a safe bet to be a first-round pick. As for Sasser, he got “nearly unanimous praise” from scouts, who believe he has a chance to start his rookie season on a standard NBA contract, rather than a two-way deal.

The Athletic’s duo shares several more combine-related tidbits in their full story, including identifying Wake Forest forward Jake LaRavia as a prospect who is drawing legitimate interest from contending teams in the last 10 picks of the first round.

Hollinger and Vecenie also say that chatter about Michigan forward Caleb Houstan having received a promise continues to circulate among league insiders. Those insiders have speculated that Oklahoma City at No. 30 could be the team eyeing Houstan, given the Thunder‘s history of shutting down their targets well ahead of draft night.

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Josh Minott, the No. 48 player on ESPN’s 2022 big board, will be keeping his name in the NBA draft, according to his uncle (Twitter link via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports). The freshman forward played fewer than 500 total minutes in his first and only college season at Memphis in 2021/22.
  • Wyoming guard Hunter Maldonado tells Rothstein (Twitter link) that he’ll withdraw from the draft and use his final year of NCAA eligibility. Maldonado had a big senior year in 2021/22, averaging 18.5 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 5.7 RPG and making the All-Mountain West Conference first team.
  • George Washington junior guard James Bishop will withdraw from the draft and return to school for at least one more year, tweets Rothstein. Bishop has been the Colonials’ go-to scorer since transferring for his sophomore season, averaging 17.6 PPG in 47 games over the last two years.
  • Senior guard Emmanuel Bandoumel will also withdraw from the draft as he transfers from SMU to Nebraska, tweets Rothstein.
  • Former Louisiana senior center Theo Akwuba has withdrawn from the draft and Oklahoma State junior guard Avery Anderson III and Tennessee junior guard Santiago Vescovi are expected to do the same, according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (all Twitter links). Goodman notes that Akwuba will be transferring to Ole Miss for his final college season.

Draft Notes: Robinson, Scheierman, Daye, Murray, Houstan

Fresno State center Orlando Robinson intends to remain in the 2022 NBA draft and hire an agent, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The No. 75 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Robinson declared for the draft after averaging 19.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 2.9 APG on .484/.352/.716 shooting in 36 games (33.2 MPG) as a junior. He’s participating in the draft combine in Chicago this week.

Meanwhile, three more prospects have opted to stay in the draft after declaring as early entrants, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (all Twitter links), who reports that UTSA guard Dhieu Deing, Wake Forest big man Dallas Walton, and UC Irvine forward Collin Welp are going pro.

Deing is coming off of his junior year, while Walton and Welp were seniors in 2021/22 — they won’t take advantage of their extra year of NCAA eligibility that was granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. None of the three prospects are on ESPN’s top-100 list.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Having spent the first three years of his college career with South Dakota State, forward Baylor Scheierman has committed to Creighton for 2022/23, but he’ll remain in the draft if he gets a promise that he’ll be selected, per Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. “Ultimately, I want to stay in the draft obviously,” said Scheierman, the No. 76 prospect on ESPN’s board. “If I can get picked, I’m going to stay in. And then the undrafted waters, I’ll have to talk to my agent and what not.”
  • After declaring for the draft as early entrants, Coastal Carolina guard Antonio Daye and Rider guard Dwight Murray Jr. will withdraw from this year’s draft and return to school, using their final year of college eligibility, according to Rothstein (Twitter links).
  • Iowa’s Kris Murray and Michigan’s Caleb Houstan are among a very small group of players that declined invites for this year’s draft combine, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link). Givony and Schmitz suggest Murray will likely return to school and say that some NBA teams think Houstan may have a first-round promise.

Draft Notes: Houstan, Molinar, Aluma

University of Michigan swingman Caleb Houstan has declared for the draft but is maintaining his NCAA eligibility while exploring the pre-draft process, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweets. He’s the second Wolverines freshman to make such a declaration on Monday — forward Moussa Diabate will also test the draft waters.

Houstan, a 6’8” wing, averaged 10.1 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 34 starts this season. He made 35.5% of his 3-point attempts. He’s currently ranked No. 64 on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more draft decisions:

  • Mississippi State’s Iverson Molinar is staying in the draft and will hire an agent, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. The 6’3” guard is ranked No. 62 on ESPN’s big board. He averaged 17.5 PPG and 3.6 APG in his junior year.
  • Virginia Tech forward Keve Aluma will enter the draft and hire an agent, he confirmed on his Twitter page. He averaged 15.8 PPG and 6.5 RPG in his senior year. The Wofford transfer started both of his seasons with the Hokies.
  • In case you missed it, AJ Griffin joined four Duke teammates in declaring for the draft.

And-Ones: Overtime Elite, 2022 Draft, Worst Offseasons, Taxpayers

The new Overtime Elite league for teenage prospects has made another noteworthy addition, securing a commitment from five-star recruit Tyler Smith, writes ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. The 6’9″ Smith, who ranked No. 8 on ESPN’s list of 2023 recruits, said he signed a two-year “seven-figure” deal with Overtime Elite, per Givony.

“This is different and new,” he said. “I wanted to be a pro already, working on stuff that NBA players work on. In high school, you can’t work out as much as they do at OTE.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report highlights five prospects projected to be part of the 2022 draft class who have generated buzz at the U19 World Cup and other recent events, including Michigan forward Caleb Houstan and G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels.
  • In the first article in a three-part series, David Aldridge of The Athletic ranks the 10 teams that have – in his view – had the worst offseasons in 2021. The Trail Blazers (28th), Kings (29th), and Timberwolves (30th) occupy the bottom three spots on Aldridge’s list.
  • According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter links), teams that finished in the tax in 2020/21 had their taxable salary adjusted downward by 28.9% to account for lost revenue. For instance, the Warriors finished the season about $37MM above the tax line, but were treated like a team over the tax by approximately $26MM — Golden State paid about $69MM in tax penalties, says Pincus.