Hugo Besson

Bucks Sign AJ Green To Two-Way Deal

JULY 1: Green’s two-way contract is now official, the Bucks confirmed today in a press release.


JUNE 24: Undrafted rookie AJ Green of Northern Iowa will sign a two-way contract with the Bucks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 6’4″ combo guard played four seasons with the Panthers and was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2020 and 2022. Green missed most of his junior year because of hip surgery, but he bounced back strong as a senior, averaging 18.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 38.8% from three-point range.

Green, who had one year of eligibility remaining, entered the transfer portal at the same time he declared for the draft. He ultimately decided to pursue a pro career rather than return to school.

Milwaukee’s other two-way slot currently belongs to Sandro Mamukelashvili.

Hugo Besson, whom the Bucks took with the final pick in Thursday’s draft, might have been a candidate for a two-way contract, but the team plans to keep him overseas next season, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Bucks Acquire No. 58 Pick From Pacers, Choose Besson

A pair of Central Division teams made a late second-round swap, as the Pacers agreed to trade the No. 58 pick to the Bucks, Shams Charania of Stadium tweets. Indiana is receiving cash in the deal, reports James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link).

The Bucks used the last pick of the draft, which was originally owned by Phoenix, to select French guard Hugo Besson, who played for the New Zealand Breakers last season and averaged 13.9 PPG.

Besson will presumably be a draft-and-stash pick for Milwaukee.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Blazers, Wolves, Nuggets

Sources told Tony Jones of The Athletic that “there is a world where the Jazz keep most of their top-seven core with the hope that a new coach energizes them.” Jones explores the potential cost of a Rudy Gobert trade to Chicago with fellow Athletic writer Darnell Mayberry, but stresses that Gobert won’t be traded just for the sake of shaking up the roster, noting that the asking price for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year will be very high.

Utah is casting an extremely wide net as they seek a replacement for Quin Snyder. As our head coaching search tracker shows, Sam Cassell became the 15th candidate linked to the Jazz after it was reported that he’ll interview for the vacancy.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • The Trail Blazers are hosting a pre-draft workout with six prospects on Wednesday, including a couple of potential lottery picks, tweets Aaron J. Fentress of The Oregonian. Shaedon Sharpe, the No. 7 prospect on ESPN’s big board, headlines the group, followed by Jeremy Sochan (No. 15), Dalen Terry (No. 25), John Butler (No. 67), Jamaree Bouyea (No. 79) and Jordan Hall (No. 87). Portland holds the Nos. 7, 36 and 59 picks in the draft.
  • The Timberwolves are also hosting workout of draft-eligible players on Wednesday, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). The group features multiple potential second-round picks, including Hugo Besson (No. 41 on ESPN’s board), Michael Foster Jr. (No. 49), Jean Montero (No. 52) and Gabe Brown (No. 78). It also includes Nysier Brooks, who is unranked, and David Roddy (No. 30), as Wolfson previously reported. The Wolves hold the Nos. 19, 40, 48 and 50 picks, but aren’t expected to have four rookies on the roster next season.
  • Peyton Watson (No. 34) headlines a group of six prospects working out for the Nuggets on Thursday, as Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports relays (via Twitter). The other five players are Florida’s Anthony Duruji, UNLV’s Bryce Hamilton, Flagler’s Jaizec Lottie, Marquette’s Darryl Morsell and Buffalo’s Ronaldo Segu, all of whom project to go undrafted and are unranked on ESPN’s board. After reaching an agreement to trade JaMychal Green to the Thunder, Denver now controls the Nos. 21 and 30 picks in the 2022 draft.

Draft Decisions: Dieng, Jovic, Besson, Kamagate, L. Miller, More

The players who declared as early entrants for the 2022 NBA draft have until 5:00 pm Eastern time on Monday to decide whether or not to keep their names in this year’s draft pool.

Since the NCAA’s own withdrawal deadline passed earlier this month, today’s deadline doesn’t have a real impact on most college players — if they were going to withdraw, they’ve probably done so already to avoid forgoing their remaining NCAA eligibility. However, today’s deadline is an important one for non-college prospects, including those who are playing in professional leagues in Europe and around the world.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has provided a series of updates on top international prospects who are finalizing their early entry decisions today. Let’s round them up…

(Note: The country listed for each prospect is where he has been playing, not necessarily where he’s from.)

Staying in the draft:

Dieng, the No. 12 player on ESPN’s big board, and Jovic, ESPN’s No. 24 prospect, are considered good bets to be first-round picks, so it comes as no surprise that they’ll remain in the draft. The other players in this list may not be first-rounders, but most of them have a good chance to be drafted.

Besson comes in at No. 38 on ESPN’s board, while Kamagate is No. 40. Procida is the 52nd on player on ESPN’s list, but has received “strong reviews” during the pre-draft process, according to Givony.

Samar, the No. 61 player on ESPN’s board, has also gained traction recently due to his strong workouts for teams and the fact that his NBA buyout is flexible and inexpensive, making him an appealing draft-and-stash option, Givony explains.

Santos is the No. 76 player on ESPN’s top 100.

Withdrawing from the draft:

Miller, the No. 43 prospect on ESPN’s big board for 2022, will sign with the G League Ignite, he tells Givony.

“My decision to withdraw from this year’s draft is based on what’s best for my long-term development,” Miller said. “With another year of development both on and off the court, I will put myself in an even better position for the 2023 draft. Going through the pre-draft process, I learned about what it takes to be a successful professional. Whether it’s the daily on-court work, off-court work, diet, or recovery, I have gained a much greater understanding of the habits it takes to get to the top of this field.”

Givony is bullish on Miller’s chances of boosting his draft stock for next year, tweeting that the young forward will likely be a top-20 pick in ESPN’s next 2023 mock draft.

Matkovic was the No. 60 prospect on ESPN’s board, while Ivisic was No. 63, which made them borderline candidates to be drafted. Strazel was unranked.

A total of 37 international prospects declared for the draft as early entrants and typically no more than about 10 or 15 of those players keep their names in the pool. In other words, it’s a safe bet that many more players on our list of international early entrants will withdraw by today’s deadline, even if it those decisions aren’t reported immediately.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Workouts, Wizards, Russell, Magic

The Hornets hold three picks in the 2022 NBA draft (Nos. 13, 15, and 45) and are keeping busy in the weeks leading up to June 23, bringing in a handful of prospects on a daily basis for a closer look.

On Tuesday, the Hornets worked out Tyson Etienne (Wichita State), Jordan Goldwire (Oklahoma), John Meeks (College of Charleston), Orlando Robinson (Fresno State), D’Shawn Schwartz (George Mason), and Bryson Williams (Texas Tech), according to the team (Twitter link). All six of those players rank outside of the top 75 on ESPN’s big board, so they figure to receive consideration as possible second-round or UDFA targets.

On Wednesday, Hugo Besson (New Zealand Breakers), Khalifa Diop (Gran Canaria), Hyunjung Lee (Davidson), Javante McCoy (Boston University), Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga), and Yannick Nzosa (Unicaja) make up the Hornets’ workout group (Twitter link). Several of those prospects are more highly regarded by draft experts — ESPN ranks Nembhard, Besson, and Diop 35th, 38th, and 39th respectively.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Wizards will be in the market for a starting point guard this offseason, but don’t expect them to pursue D’Angelo Russell. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News said on his podcast (The Scoop w/ Doogie) that he has heard Washington has no interest in the Timberwolves guard (hat tip to HoopsHype).
  • The Wizards‘ pre-draft workout on Wednesday will feature Kenny Baptiste (France), Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State), Kyle Foster (Howard), Justin Kier (Arizona), Aminu Mohammed (Georgetown), and Gabe Osabuohien (West Virginia), as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays (via Twitter).
  • Murray State guard Tevin Brown was in Orlando on Tuesday, presumably to work out for the Magic, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. The Murray State guard is the No. 74 on ESPN’s big board, so the Magic could consider him in the second round or as an undrafted free agent.

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)

Possible First-Round Pick Hugo Besson Enters Draft

France’s Hugo Besson has entered the 2022 NBA draft, his agent Bouna Ndiaye told Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The combo guard could become a first-round pick, as he’s currently ranked No. 32 on ESPN’s top 100 prospects list.

Besson spent the 2021/22 season with the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian National Basketball League, averaging 13.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists on .385/.306/.795 shooting in 25 games (27.6 minutes per contest). The NBL has seen a number of its former players transition to the NBA in recent years, including LaMelo Ball, Josh Giddey, R.J. Hampton, Didi Louzada, Jae’Sean Tate and Jock Landale.

With the Breakers, Besson teamed up with Ousmane Dieng, a fellow Frenchman who has also declared for the draft and is considered a potential lottery pick. Besson showcased an impressive array of dribble moves and shooting range, even if his shooting splits weren’t ideal (video link via Givony).

In his draft profile for ESPN, Mike Schmitz states that Besson is an improving and confident three-level scorer, displaying an ability to play on or off the ball. He needs to improve his defense, but his scoring and play-making should draw plenty of attention from NBA teams, per Schmitz.

Deadline Day For Early Entrant Draft Decisions

Today is Monday, July 19, which means it’s deadline day for the early entrants who declared for the 2021 NBA draft. Those players have until 5:00 pm ET today to decide whether they’ll remain in this year’s draft pool or remove their names and become draft-eligible in a future year.

The NCAA always sets its own early entrant withdrawal deadline that comes before the NBA’s deadline, and that one occurred earlier this month, on July 7. Most college players who are going to pull out of the draft did so by that deadline

A college player could theoretically wait until today to withdraw from the draft. However, in that scenario he’d lose his NCAA eligibility and would likely end up playing professionally in an international league for the next year before becoming draft-eligible.

Most of the players who will withdraw between July 7 and today’s deadline are international prospects who don’t have to worry about the NCAA’s rules. According to recent reports, these are some of the players who have removed their names from the draft pool after initially declaring as early entrants:

Once today’s deadline passes, the NBA will put out an official list of the early entrants who are eligible to be drafted in 2021. That list typically shows up within about 24 hours of the withdrawal deadline, though it’s possible it could take a little longer this year since the list of eligible players will be longer (since NCAA seniors are also on it). In the meantime, our extremely unofficial early entrant list can be found right here.

One international early entrant who won’t be withdrawing, according to Givony (Twitter link), is Juhann Begarin, who will turn 19 next month. The French shooting guard is coming off a strong season playing for Paris Basketball, and agent Bouna Ndiaye tells Givony that his client will keep his name in the draft.

Jared Butler, Others Enter 2021 NBA Draft

Ahead of Sunday’s early entry deadline, Baylor junior guard Jared Butler announced (via Twitter) that he was declaring for the 2021 NBA draft. While his announcement doesn’t explicitly state that he’s forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility, it strongly suggests he intends to go pro.

While it took a while for him to make it official, Butler was always considered a good bet to enter this year’s draft following an impressive 2020/21 campaign in which he averaged 16.7 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 2.0 SPG on .471/.416/.780 shooting in 30 games (30.3 MPG) for the eventual national champs.

A consensus first-team All-American, Butler was named the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player after the Bears defeated Gonzaga in the championship game. He’s the No. 23 prospect on ESPN’s big board, making him a strong candidate to be a first-round pick in July.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Fresno State sophomore guard Deon Stroud is testing the draft waters while maintaining his NCAA eligibility, according to an announcement from the school (Twitter link). Stroud, who began his college career at UTEP, averaged 12.2 PPG on .482/.357/.613 shooting in 23 games (23.1 MPG) in 2020/21.
  • Italian wing Gabriele Procida has declared for the draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that the 18-year-old is a projected second-round pick.
  • Givony also published a series of tweets listing several more international players who have entered the 2021 NBA draft pool. Those players are as follows (the countries listed represent where they last played, not where they were born):
  • Since the NBA’s early entry deadline has now passed, we should get a full, official list of early entrants from the league on Tuesday. In the meantime, our unofficial tracker is here.