Fanbo Zeng

Pacers Will Sign Fanbo Zeng To Exhibit 10 Deal

10:34pm: Zeng will receive an Exhibit 10 contract, tweets James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. Zeng had a pre-draft workout with the Pacers on June 8.


8:28pm: Fanbo Zeng, a Chinese forward who played for G League Ignite this season, will sign with the Pacers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania doesn’t offer specifics on the type of contract Zeng will receive, but he is expected to join the team for the Las Vegas Summer League.

Zeng appeared in nine G League games this season, averaging 3.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per night. He originally committed to play at Gonzaga, but he changed his mind last year and opted for the Ignite.

Listed at 6’11” and 190 pounds, Zeng is ranked 30th on ESPN’s list of the best undrafted players.

Draft Notes: Wesley, Sotto, Rockets, Timberwolves

Notre Dame shooting guard Blake Wesley has upcoming workouts scheduled with the Grizzlies, Heat and Bulls, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Wesley told Robbins he had already worked out for the Spurs, Cavaliers, Bucks and Pistons.

A potential first-round selection, the 6’5” Wesley is ranked No. 27 overall on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more draft-related news:

  • International center prospect Kai Sotto will return to NBA team workouts this week on the West Coast after nursing a sprained ankle, Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com tweets. He already worked out for the Knicks, Magic and Hawks, among others. The 7’3” big man from the Philippines spent last season in Australia’s National Basketball League, averaging 7.5 PPG and 4.5 RPG for the Adelaide 36ers.
  • The Rockets are sitting at the No. 3 spot and will presumably take the remaining big man in the trio of Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero, unless there’s a draft-day surprise. The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen picks the brains of some NBA executives and a college coach to get a handle on how the trio’s skills will translate to the NBA.
  • The Timberwolves brought in six prospects on Monday, Andrew Slater tweets. That group included Tyson Etienne (Wichita State), Jermaine Samuels (Villanova), Aminu Mohammed (Georgetown,) Justin Lewis (Marquette), Fanbo Zeng (G League Ignite) and Kalob Ledoux (Louisiana Tech).

Pacers Notes: Turner, Walters, Brown Jr., Workout

After breaking up their big man combination by trading Domantas Sabonis in February, the Pacers are in no hurry to part with Myles Turner, Marc Stein says on his latest Spotify podcast (hat tip to Jackson Frank of Uproxx). Indiana is hoping to return to contention next season, and the team views Turner as part of that effort.

“Myles Turner, every time I ask, the word I get back is that he’s likely to stay in Indiana,” Stein said. “I don’t think that discourages teams from trying to get him, I’m sure the Pacers are getting calls on Turner. But every time I check, that’s kind of the word I get.”

Turner will have an expiring $17.5MM contract next season, so the Pacers’ stance on trading him could change if they get off to a slow start. He was limited to 42 games this year, missing the final 39 with a stress reaction in his left foot, but he remains one of the league’s best shot blockers.

There’s more on the Pacers:

  • Turner offered evidence that he has recovered from his foot issues, posting a video Tuesday that showed him working out with the Knicks’ Julius Randle, per James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. Turner didn’t do anything on the court in the video, but he leaped over hurdles while holding a basketball, practiced chest passes from his knees, jumped rope and lifted weights.
  • Former player agent Happy Walters has joined the Pacers as a consultant, Stein tweets. Walters is an Indiana native who has also found success in music, television and movies, Boyd adds in a separate story. His clients included Dwight Howard, Amar’e Stoudemire and Jimmy Butler.
  • Washington guard Terrell Brown Jr., who worked out for the Pacers on Monday, talked to Boyd about the influence of his godfather, former NBA star Jason Terry“It’s a wonderful feeling to have him in my corner, just talking to me through all of the workouts, showing teams that I can improve,” Brown said. “(He) just keeps giving me confidence more and more. Going into last season, he was like, ‘If you average 20 points, you gonna have a lot of interest.'” Brown is projected as a possible late second-round pick.
  • The Pacers hosted six players today for a pre-draft workout, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. On hand were Jalen Adaway of St. Bonaventure, R.J. Cole of Connecticut, Collin Gillespie of Villanova, Fanbo Zeng of G League Ignite, Amadou Sow of UCSB and Trevion Williams of Purdue.

Full List Of 2022 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 76 players who have been invited – and who are expected to attend – next week’s draft combine in Chicago. The combine workouts will take place from May 18-20.

Over the course of the week, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft likely won’t participate in scrimmages, those top prospects are still expected to attend. That group includes Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey.

A handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp could be invited to participate in the combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 76 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link):

  1. Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas (senior)
  2. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee (freshman)
  3. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (freshman)
  4. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  5. MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  6. Hugo Besson, G, Australia (born 2001)
  7. Malaki Branham, G/F, Ohio State (freshman)
  8. Christian Braun, G, Kansas (junior)
  9. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor (freshman)
  10. John Butler Jr., F/C, Florida State (freshman)
  11. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (junior)
  12. Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  13. Max Christie, G, Michigan State (freshman)
  14. Kofi Cockburn, C, Illinois (junior)
  15. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  16. Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin (sophomore)
  17. JD Davison, G, Alabama (freshman)
  18. Moussa Diabate, F, Michigan (freshman)
  19. Ousmane Dieng, F, Australia (born 2003)
  20. Khalifa Diop, C, Spain (born 2002)
  21. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis (freshman)
  22. Tari Eason, F, LSU (sophomore)
  23. Keon Ellis, G, Alabama (senior)
  24. Michael Foster, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  25. Collin Gillespie, G, Villanova (super-senior)
  26. AJ Griffin, F, Duke (freshman)
  27. Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  28. Ron Harper Jr., F, Rutgers (senior)
  29. Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga (freshman)
  30. Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford (freshman)
  31. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue (sophomore)
  32. Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, Indiana (junior)
  33. Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia (born 2003)
  34. Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA (junior)
  35. Ismael Kamagate, C, France (born 2001)
  36. Trevor Keels, G, Duke (freshman)
  37. Walker Kessler, F/C, Auburn (sophomore)
  38. Christian Koloko, C, Arizona (junior)
  39. Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest (junior)
  40. Justin Lewis, F, Marquette (sophomore)
  41. E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State (junior)
  42. Bennedict Mathurin, G/F, Arizona (sophomore)
  43. Matthew Mayer, F, Baylor (senior)
  44. Bryce McGowens, G, Nebraska (freshman)
  45. Leonard Miller, F, Canada (born 2003)
  46. Josh Minott, F, Memphis (freshman)
  47. Aminu Mohammed, G/F, Georgetown (freshman)
  48. Iverson Molinar, G, Mississippi State (junior)
  49. Jean Montero, G, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  50. Wendell Moore, F, Duke (junior)
  51. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (sophomore)
  52. Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
  53. Scotty Pippen Jr., G, Vanderbilt (junior)
  54. Gabriele Procida, G/F, Italy (born 2002)
  55. Orlando Robinson, F/C, Fresno State (junior)
  56. David Roddy, F, Colorado State (junior)
  57. Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo (sophomore)
  58. Dereon Seabron, G, NC State (sophomore)
  59. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  60. Jabari Smith, F, Auburn (freshman)
  61. Terquavion Smith, G, NC State (freshman)
  62. Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor (freshman)
  63. Matteo Spagnolo, G, Italy (born 2003)
  64. Julian Strawther, G/F, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  65. Dalen Terry, G, Arizona (sophomore)
  66. Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  67. Jabari Walker, F, Colorado (sophomore)
  68. TyTy Washington Jr., G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. Peyton Watson, G/F, UCLA (freshman)
  70. Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame (freshman)
  71. Alondes Williams, G, Wake Forest (super-senior)
  72. Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara (junior)
  73. Jaylin Williams, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  74. Mark Williams, C, Duke (sophomore)
  75. Trevion Williams, F/C, Purdue (senior)
  76. Fanbo Zeng, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2022 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2022 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 283 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 247 are from colleges, while 36 are international early entrants.

Those are big numbers, but they fall well short of the 353 early entrants who initially declared for the draft a year ago. Beginning in 2021, the NCAA granted players an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in seniors having to decide between staying at college for one more season or declaring for the draft as an “early” entrant.

That tweak to the NCAA’s eligibility rules has increased the number of total early entrants due to the influx of seniors into the pool. However, as Jonathan Givony of ESPN observes (via Twitter), the number of college non-seniors (123) on the initial early entry list this year is actually the lowest since 2016, while the number of international prospects (36) is the lowest since 2014.

This year’s total of 283 early entrants figures to shrink significantly by June 1 and again by June 13, the two deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it still looks like the pool will remain extremely crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants certain to exceed 58, the number of picks in the draft.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2022 draft is fully up to date and can be found right here.

Here are the changes we made to our tracker today:


Newly-added players:

College players:

These players either didn’t publicly announce that they were entering the draft or we simply missed it when they did.

International players:

These players weren’t previously mentioned on our list of international early entrants. The country listed here indicates where they last played, not necessarily where they were born.

Other notable draft-eligible early entrants:

The NBA sent its teams a list of 33 “also-eligible” names. That list isn’t public, but Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link) shared some of the most notable players on it, and we’ve added them to our early entrant tracker. They are as follows:

  1. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite
  2. MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite
  3. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite
  4. Henri Drell, G/F, Windy City Bulls
  5. Michael Foster, F, G League Ignite
  6. Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite
  7. Makur Maker, C, Sydney Kings (formerly Howard Bison)
  8. Jean Montero, G, Overtime Elite
  9. Samson Ruzhentsev, G/F, Mega Basket (formerly Florida Gators)
  10. Kai Sotto, C, Adelaide 36ers (formerly G League Ignite)
  11. Zaire Wade, G, Salt Lake City Stars
  12. Kok Yat, F, Overtime Elite
  13. Fanbo Zeng, F, G League Ignite

Players removed:

Despite reports or announcements that the players below would declare for the draft, they didn’t show up on the NBA’s official list.

That could mean a number of things — they may have decided against entering the draft; they may have entered the draft, then withdrawn; they may have had no NCAA eligibility remaining, making them automatically draft-eligible; they may have incorrectly filed their paperwork; or the NBA may have accidentally omitted some names.

In any case, we’ve removed the following names from our early entrant list, at least for the time being.

Finally, Givony reports (via Twitter) that Canadian forward Leonard Miller, from the Fort Erie International Academy has been asked to fill out additional paperwork to finalize his entrance into the draft pool. According to Givony, there’s an expectation that Miller will be added to the list, so we’ve left him listed in our early entrant tracker among the international players.

And-Ones: G League Ignite, Barea, Contract Extensions, Ukraine

Being involved with All-Star Weekend was a dream experience for several members of G League Ignite, writes Tania Ganguli of The New York Times. Jaden HardyScoot Henderson, MarJon Beauchamp and Dyson Daniels were all selected to participate alongside first- and second-year NBA players in the Rising Stars games. Fanbo Zeng and Michael Foster Jr. were chosen for a shooting competition, but Zeng had to withdraw because of an injury.

“I was nervous before the game before I even got out there, but when I got out there it was kind of relieving,” said Beauchamp, who is projected to be a mid first-round selection in this year’s draft. Beauchamp added that he always watches the All-Star events, “so just seeing myself on the screen is pretty amazing.”

The Ignite team, which serves as an alternative to college for NBA prospects, is only in its second season but is proving to be successful. Two Ignite players, Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga, were lottery picks last year and the team continues to attract elite young talent, paying up to $500K per season. The chance to be part of the All-Star experience was a bonus that the NBA offered this year.

“It was just fun to be able to be out there on the court with those young stars really and just being able to go out there and just laugh and compete,” Hardy said.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran guard J.J. Barea will return to Cangrejeros de Santurce in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 37-year-old, who spent 14 seasons in the NBA, also played for the team last season.
  • Although Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic will miss an extended stretch due to plantar fasciitis, he’s among a handful of viable candidates to receive contract extensions before the regular season ends, writes Yossi Gozlan of Hoops Hype. Nurkic is on track to be a free agent this summer, but he’s also eligible to extend his current deal for up to $64.5MM over four years. Another option, Gozlan notes, is to extend for two years at $25.8MM if Nurkic wants to keep his trade eligibility this offseason. Gozlan identifies Robert Covington, Thaddeus Young, Gary Harris and Tyus Jones as other players who are eligible for in-season extensions and could be realistic candidates.
  • The attacks on Ukraine are having an effect on basketball in the region, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. Roughly 40 American players have played in the country this year and several are still under contract. An agent told Smith that there’s an effort to bring those players home to protect their safety, even though it would be a breach of contract. Familiar names on the Budivelnik Kiev roster include Michael Stockton, son of Hall-of-Famer John Stockton, along with former NBA players Gian Clavell, Drew Gordon and Alec Brown, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Blue, Pargo, Morey, G League Ignite

NBA alum Vander Blue has signed a new deal to play for Club Atletico Peñarol in Uruguay, per Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Most recently, Blue played with Mexican club Libertadores de Queretaro, where he averaged 21.7 PPG, 3.7 APG and 1.8 SPG during the team’s 2021/22 season.

The 6’4″ shooting guard out of Marquette, 29, logged parts of three seasons in the NBA for the Celtics and Lakers, playing a total of 10 NBA games, including one start, and ultimately averaging 13.4 MPG. He last saw league action for five games during the 2017/18 NBA season with Los Angeles.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • After leaving Napoli Basket last month, former NBA guard Jeremy Pargo has signed a new G League deal and will join the Windy City Bulls, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors. Pargo, a Chicago native, played with the Grizzlies, Cavaliers, Sixers and Warriors during three NBA seasons. The 35-year-old combo guard holds NBA averages of 4.8 PPG, 1.8 APG and 1.0 RPG across 86 contests.
  • As a recent guest on The Colin Cowherd Podcast, Sixers GM Daryl Morey shared some bold concepts for changing the NBA regular season’s schedule and playoffs structure (hat tip to Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post). Morey proposed cutting the league’s current 82-game regular season schedule to 58 contests. “Every team plays every [other] team two times,” he said. “The playoffs, I 100 percent agree, shorter is better… I would have it one-and-done,” Morey said, suggesting that every postseason round be reduced from seven games to a single contest. “There’s a reason everyone tunes into every game at huge ratings in the NFL. It is literally one-and-done.”
  • Six prospects from the NBAGL club the G League Ignite, point guard Scoot Henderson, wing Dyson Daniels, shooting guard Jaden Hardy, and forward MarJon Beauchamp, plus big men Michael Foster Jr. and Fanbo Zeng, participated in the festivities for the NBA’s 2022 All-Star Weekend. Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated evaluated the Ignite players during a recent two-game stint prior to the weekend, five of whom (Henderson being the lone exception) could be selected for the NBA draft this year. Woo indicates that Henderson, Daniels, Hardy and Beauchamp all appear likely to be first-round picks.

Amir Johnson, Pooh Jeter Among G League Ignite Vets For 2021/22

Big men Amir Johnson and Jessie Govan are returning to the G League Ignite for a second season, and they’ll be joined by forward Malik Pope and guards Dakarai Allen, Amauri Hardy, and Pooh Jeter, our JD Shaw relays (via Twitter).

The Ignite is the G League’s developmental program for top prospects, but those young players are complemented by a handful of NBA and NBAGL vets who fill out the roster and serve as mentors.

Among this year’s group, Johnson is the only one with extensive NBA experience, having appeared in 870 total games for the Pistons, Raptors, Celtics, and Sixers from 2005-19. He averaged 8.5 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 15 games (13.3 MPG) for the Ignite last season.

Jeter, who will turn 38 in December, played in 62 games for Sacramento back in 2010/11, but has spent most of his professional career overseas.

Allen and Pope, who went undrafted out of San Diego State in 2017 and 2018, respectively, have multiple years of G League experience between them, and Pope has also played in Greece and Germany as well.

Hardy, meanwhile, went undrafted out of Oregon earlier this year and presumably earned a spot on the team in large part because his brother Jaden Hardy, a projected top-five pick in 2022, is the Ignite’s top recruit this year.

Besides Jaden Hardy, who is ESPN’s No. 3 ranked prospect for the 2022 draft, the Ignite roster features Dyson Daniels (No. 16), Michael Foster (No. 31), MarJon Beauchamp (No. 53), Chinese forward Fanbo Zeng (not in ESPN’s top 100), and 17-year-old Scoot Henderson (not draft-eligible until 2023). ESPN’s Mike Schmitz (Insider link) shared his thoughts on this year’s roster ahead of the Ignite’s preseason debut on Friday night vs. Iowa.

The Ignite won’t be part of the standard G League regular season that runs from December to April, but the club will compete in the NBAGL’s inaugural “Showcase Cup,” a tournament which tips off on November 5 and ends just before Christmas.

China’s Top Prospect To Join Ignite

China’s top prospect, Fanbo Zeng, has opted to join the G League’s Ignite team, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.

Zeng, an 18-year-old 6’10” forward, originally committed to national championship runner-up Gonzaga. He’ll now pursue his NBA dream in the Ignite program, which was designed for top prospects that didn’t want to go the one-and-done route in college.

Zeng, who will be eligible for the 2022 draft, is no stranger to the U.S. He played for Windermere (Fla.) Prep from 2018-20 after moving from China the previous year and was ranked as a four-star prospect.

He was recruited to the Zags by assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, who left Gonzaga to become Arizona’s head coach.

Zeng is the second highly-regarded forward to commit to the Ignite for next season. Five-star recruit Michael Foster Jr. signed with the Ignite on Friday.

The inaugural Ignite featured Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green, two of the top five prospects in this year’s NBA draft. However, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie said in Charania’s story that Zeng is more of a “long-term project” than a surefire first-rounder next year.