Darius Days

Draft Notes: Surprise Draft Options, Washington Jr., Days, Trapp, Burns, McGusty

The draft never goes exactly according to plan, writes Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman, so having an idea of some alternative candidates at each spot can be helpful. Wasserman goes through each of the lottery teams and gives one dark-horse candidate for their pick. Some notable outcomes: Jalen Green to the Pistons, the Cavaliers trading down for Scottie Barnes, and Sharife Cooper to the Pacers.

More news from around the NBA Draft:

  • Duane Washington Jr. will be keeping his name in the draft, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. The Ohio State guard had a strong showing at the G League Elite Camp, which he parlayed into an NBA Combine invitation, where he performed well in scrimmages and testing. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic tweets that Washington is viewed as a good two-way contract candidate due to his shooting ability.
  • Forward Darius Days announced his return to LSU today on Jordy Culotta’s radio show. “I love Louisiana, I love the people,” Days said. “It’s going to be a fun ride. This is the last ride with me and Coach (Will) Wade. I’m the last one left with all the guys I came in with and we’re looking for a title.”
  • Former Clemson guard Clyde Trapp has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will transfer to Charlotte for next season, reports Jeff Goodman. The four-year guard put his transfer papers in at the same time he declared for the draft, leaving the doorway open for a return to college hoops.
  • D.J. Burns has also withdrawn his name from the NBA draft, according to Goodman. The sophomore forward helped lead Winthrop to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2017, where they lost to fifth-ranked Villanova.
  • Kameron McGusty will return to Miami, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. “I learned a lot while going through the pre-draft process with NBA teams and feel the best decision for me is to return to Miami and continue to hone my skills,” McGusty said in a statement.

NBA G League Announces 40 Draft-Eligible Participants For Elite Camp

The NBA G League has announced in a press release that 40 draft-eligible prospects are set to participate in the NBAGL Elite Camp next week in Chicago from June 19-21.

The G League Elite Camp is back this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which takes place right before the draft combine, will give a few dozen draft-eligible players an opportunity to impress scouts, coaches, and executives through strength and agility drills and 5-on-5 games.

As today’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which is scheduled for June 21-27 in Chicago.

The list of draft-eligible players who took part in the most recent G League Elite Camp in 2019 included a handful of prospects who were eventually drafted, such as Terance Mann, Cody Martin, Justin Wright-Foreman, Reggie Perry, and Dewan Hernandez.

Many of the draft-eligible participants in the 2019 Elite Camp also made it to the NBA after going undrafted, including Oshae Brissett, Chris Clemons, Tyler Cook, Tacko Fall, DaQuan Jeffries, Caleb Martin, Justin Robinson, and Max Strus.

Two years ago, this event also featured 40 G League veterans, for a total of 80 players. Based on today’s press release, it sounds like this year’s Elite Camp may be pared down to only include draft-eligible prospects, though it’s possible the NBAGL will announce more names within the next few days.

Here are the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the 2021 G League Elite Camp:

  1. Derrick Alston Jr. (Boise State)
  2. Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech)
  3. Jose Alvarado (Georgia Tech)
  4. Juhann Begarin (France)
  5. Chaundee Brown (Michigan)
  6. Jordan Burns (Colgate)
  7. Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
  8. D.J. Carton (Marquette)
  9. Moussa Cisse (Memphis)
  10. Kofi Cockburn (Illinois)
  11. Oscar Da Silva (Stanford)
  12. Darius Days (LSU)
  13. Hunter Dickinson (Michigan)
  14. Dawson Garcia (Marquette)
  15. Marcus Garrett (Kansas)
  16. Haowen Guo (China)
  17. Jay Huff (Virginia)
  18. DeJon Jarreau (Houston)
  19. Carlik Jones (Louisville)
  20. DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina)
  21. Balsa Koprivica (Florida State)
  22. A.J. Lawson (South Carolina)
  23. E.J. Liddell (Ohio State)
  24. Mac McClung (Texas Tech)
  25. JaQuori McLaughlin (UCSB)
  26. Matt Mitchell (San Diego State)
  27. RJ Nembhard (TCU)
  28. Eugene Omoruyi (Oregon)
  29. EJ Onu (Shawnee State)
  30. Scotty Pippen Jr. (Vanderbilt)
  31. Orlando Robinson (Fresno State)
  32. Aamir Simms (Clemson)
  33. Javonte Smart (LSU)
  34. Mike Smith (Michigan)
  35. D.J. Stewart (Mississippi State)
  36. MaCio Teague (Baylor)
  37. M.J. Walker (Florida State)
  38. Duane Washington (Ohio State)
  39. Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
  40. Jalen Wilson (Kansas)

Draft Notes: Griffin, Robinson, Stevenson, More

Syracuse swingman Alan Griffin won’t be returning to the Orange for his senior year, having opted to go pro and forgo his remaining college eligibility. Griffin announced the decision in a video on Twitter, as Mike Waters of Syracuse.com relays.

After spending two years at Illinois, Griffin transferred to Syracuse for his junior season and emerged as a starter, averaging 13.3 PPG 5.8 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 28 games (29.3 MPG).

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

Jared Butler, Aaron Henry Among Prospects Withdrawing From Draft

A pair of early-entry prospects who were ranked within the top 60 on ESPN’s big board have pulled out of the draft in advance of Monday’s withdrawal deadline.

Baylor guard Jared Butler was one of those two players, announcing in a Twitter video on Monday morning that he has decided to return to the Bears for his junior year. Butler explained his decision in a conversation with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

“After going through this process, making an important decision for the rest of my life, I truly felt like I couldn’t go wrong with either decision,” Butler said. “It came down to making the most out of my development as a player and as an adult. In the end I felt like coming back to school would set me up in both aspects in a way that I couldn’t deny. Even though the opportunity to reach my dream of playing in the NBA was readily at hand, I think next year it will still be there, possibly even with greater opportunities.”

Butler emerged as Baylor’s leading scorer in 2019/20 as a sophomore, averaging 16.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 1.6 SPG in 30 games (30.4 MPG). He also showed improvement on his outside shot, making 38.1% of 6.7 three-point attempts per contest. He came in at No. 46 on Givony’s top-100 list at ESPN.com, making him a strong candidate to be drafted had he decided to go pro.

Meanwhile, Michigan State swingman Aaron Henry has also decided to withdraw from the draft after testing the waters, as Givony writes in a separate story. Henry had been the No. 55 prospect on ESPN’s big board.

Henry’s numbers as a sophomore in 2019/20 were somewhat modest — 10.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.9 APG in 30 games (29.1 MPG). However, Givony describes him as a “long, athletic wing with strong two-way potential” and points out that he’s in position to take on a larger role for a Spartans team that won’t have Cassius Winston back next season.

“Cassius leaves big shoes to fill. He was asked to do everything for Michigan State,” Henry told ESPN. “I’m hoping to step into a bigger role with the ball in my hands. Things will definitely look different. Everyone is going to need to step up and be a piece to the puzzle. NBA teams want to see me in a bigger role. They want to see me be the man on a team. I’m not afraid of that. Let’s get to it.”

Here are a few more early entrants who tested the waters and have now pulled out of the draft ahead of Monday’s withdrawal deadline:

Malachi Flynn Among Prospects Entering 2020 NBA Draft

San Diego State junior point guard Malachi Flynn has elected to enter the 2020 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility, as he tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Flynn, who transferred to the Aztecs after starting his college career at Washington State, had a breakout season in 2019/20, averaging 17.6 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.8 SPG with a .441/.373/.857 shooting line in 32 games (33.4 MPG). He was named the Mountain West Player and Defensive Player of the Year.

With a 30-2 record, San Diego State was in position for a top seed in the NCAA tournament, and Flynn told Givony he regrets not getting an opportunity to attempt a Final Four run.

“It was a tough decision deciding to declare,” Flynn said. “One of the biggest things that had me wanting to come back was not playing in March Madness. I talked to a lot of people about it, especially my family. My coaches were on board with me going all-in and trying to make a name for myself at the next level, which helped me out a lot. I think I showed teams enough, and it was time to make that step and move forward to the NBA.”

Currently the No. 43 overall prospect on ESPN’s big board, Flynn would have been a strong contender to go in the first round if he had led the Aztecs to a few March Madness wins, writes Givony.

Here are more updates on players declaring for the draft:

  • UMass-Lowell junior guard Obadiah Noel and LSU sophomore forward Darius Days are entering the draft while hiring agent Austin Walton of Next Sports, a source tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Because Walton is NCAA-certified, Noel and Days will retain their college eligibility throughout the process.
  • 18-year-old Greek forward Nikos Rogkavopoulos, a member of AEK Athens, has entered the 2020 draft, writes Stefan Djordjevic of EuroHoops.
  • A pair of Turkish prospects, 21-year-old shooting guard Sehmus Hazer and 21-year-old power forward Yigitcan Saybir, have declared for the draft, per Bugra Uzar of EuroHoops. Hazer plays for Teksut Bandirma, while Saybir is a member of Anadolu Efes.