Hyunjung Lee

Draft Notes: Christie, Rhoden, Brooks, Lee, Johnson, Bieniemy, Combine

Michigan State freshman guard Max Christie will stay in the draft and hire an agent, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Christie is ranked No. 44 in ESPN’s Best Available list after averaging 9.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 1.5 APG in 35 games with the Spartans in 2021/22. He’s participating at the Chicago pre-draft combine this week.

We have more draft-related news:

  • Seton Hall wing Jared Rhoden, who impressed at the recent G League Elite Camp, has worked out for the Knicks, Nets and Celtics, Adam Zagoria tweets. The 6’6” Rhoden averaged 15.5 PPG and 6.7 RPG for the Pirates.
  • Kentucky’s Keion Brooks said he’s staying in the draft, Zagoria writes in a ZagsBlog.com post. The 6’7” Brooks averaged 10.8 PPG and 4.4 RPG this past season. “I’m all in on the draft,” he said.
  • Like Brooks, Davidson’s Hyunjung Lee says he’s not going back to college, Zagoria tweets. “I’m 100 percent in for the draft… This is my long-term dream.” Lee said. “If I play whether in the League or the G League, I feel I can improve faster.”
  • Cleveland State forward Deante Johnson is withdrawing from the draft and returning to college, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets.
  • UTEP swingman Jamal Bieniemy, who averaged 14.7 PPG last season, is staying in the draft, Rothstein tweets.
  • Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams, Toledo’s Ryan Rollins, North Carolina State’s Terquavion Smith and Colorado State’s David Roddy are among the players who stand the most to gain from the combine, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz and Jonathan Givony write.

Central Notes: Grant, Pistons, Pacers, Haliburton

After securing the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft and selecting talented guard Cade Cunningham, the Pistons are hoping to have similar lottery luck this year. Detroit’s landing spot in Tuesday’s draft lottery could help add some clarity to the team’s decision on the long-term future of veteran forward Jerami Grant, writes Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

The Pistons could opt this offseason to extend Grant, whose deal with the club expires in 2023 after he earns $21MM next season. Should the Pistons find a suitable young replacement candidate in the draft, the team may opt to move on from the 28-year-old forward.

During his second season with the Pistons, Grant missed 35 games with a left calf strain. In his 47 healthy contests, he averaged 19.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.4 APG and 1.0 BPG, with shooting splits of .426/.358/.838.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pistons will have a variety of players to choose from wherever they land within the NBA lottery, writes James Edwards of The Athletic. Edwards takes a look at a handful of mock draft scenarios for Detroit depending on just where that selection ends up. Edwards notes that Purdue guard Jaden Ivey could rocket up the draft board for several clubs, and may be an intriguing top-four candidate for Detroit.
  • The lottery-bound Pacers held their first pre-draft workout of the 2022 offseason Friday at the St. Vincent Center with six young prospects. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files offers a breakdown of the day, including intriguing tidbits on draft hopefuls Josh Minott, a 6’8″ guard out of Memphis, and Hyunjung Lee, a 6’7″ guard out of Davidson.
  • New Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton hopes to stick around in Indiana for the long haul, writes Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files“I want to be here and I want to be part of it,” the 22-year-old said of his future with the franchise. Agness notes that Haliburton has remained in Indiana, working out consistently, since the team’s season came to an official close. He sat courtside to watch the Indiana Fever defeat the Minnesota Lynx 82-76 earlier this week. The 6’5″ guard averaged 17.5 PPG, 9.6 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 1.8 SPG in his 26 games with Indiana after being dealt by the Kings.

Central Notes: LaVine, Pacers Workouts, White, Pistons Draft

Zach LaVine‘s decision to have knee surgery in the offseason shows his commitment to the game and the Bulls, according to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. LaVine’s decision to play through his knee injury this season with Chicago heading to the playoffs proved how much he wanted to experience the postseason for himself and give his teammates a chance to do the same. He’ll still get paid this summer in unrestricted free agency, likely a maximum deal, Johnson adds.

We have more on the Central Division:

Western Notes: Craig, Snyder, Kings, Pelicans

Torrey Craig missed the last two games of the Suns‘ series vs. Dallas due to a right elbow contusion, but said today that he’s ready to go for Game 5, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link).

Craig only played six total minutes in the first two games of the series and hasn’t logged more than 11 minutes in a single playoff contest to date, so his availability won’t have a major impact on the Suns’ rotation.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

44 Prospects Announced For 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp

The NBA G League has formally announced its field of 44 draft prospects for the 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp.

The event, which will take place May 16 and 17 in Chicago, “gives draft prospects an opportunity to display their skills in front of NBA and NBA G League scouts, coaches and front-office executives over the course of the camp by playing in five-on-five games and participating in strength and agility drills.”

The top performers from the camp will be invited to the NBA Draft Combine, which will take place from May 18-22 in Chicago. Some NBA players who have participated in past G League Elite Camps include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, Clippers wing Terance Mann, and Heat wing Max Strus.

Here’s the list of 44 draft-eligible attendees:

The list of attendees features 13 players on ESPN’s big board, notes Jonathan Givony of ESPN (via Twitter), so some players have a chance to be drafted.

The top-ranked prospect at the camp is Scheierman (No. 69), who averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals on .508/.469/.802 shooting this season for South Dakota State (35 games, 33.3 minutes per contest).

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.