Isaiah Miller

Draft Notes: Combine, Hinton, Krejci, Pinson, Miller

When the NBA announced in a memo to teams earlier this week that the 2020 draft lottery has been moved up by five days, the league also informed clubs that possible dates and formats for a 2020 combine are still being evaluated, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

The combine typically takes place in May after the lottery, but holding such a big event in person this spring was impractical due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While it remains to be seen whether any sort of in-person combine can take place, the NBA told teams which 105 prospects received the most votes to be invited to such an event. If the league is able to move forward with a combine in some form, that number would likely be whittled down to about 70 players, says Bontemps.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter links) compares the list of 105 prospects in the NBA’s memo to ESPN’s big board of 2020’s top 100 prospects, noting that ESPN is higher on Houston guard Nate Hinton, while NBA teams seem to be higher on Czech guard Vit Krejci, who plays for Zaragoza in Spain.
  • Missouri guard Xavier Pinson indicated in an Instagram video this week that he’ll return to school for at least one more year after testing the draft waters. As a sophomore in 2019/20, Pinson averaged 11.1 PPG, 2.8 APG, and 2.8 RPG in 31 games (24.0 MPG).
  • UNC Greensboro guard Isaiah Miller will also remove his name from draft consideration, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Miller declared for the draft following a junior year in which he averaged 17.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 2.8 SPG in 32 games (28.4 MPG).

Draft Notes: Early Entrants, Haliburton, Hayes, Avdija

The list of early entrants for the 2020 draft continues to grow, with a trio of guards among the latest underclassmen to announce their intent to test the waters this spring.

Wichita State sophomore guard Dexter Dennis, Colgate junior guard Jordan Burns, and UNC Greensboro junior guard Isaiah Miller all made their draft announcements on Twitter.

Dennis averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 28 games (25.8 MPG) for the Shockers in 2019/20; Burns, a former Patriot Tournament MVP, posted 15.8 PPG, 4.5 APG, and 1.7 SPG in 34 games (32.4 MPG) for the Raiders; and Miller recorded a team-high 17.8 PPG to go along with 2.8 SPG as he earned Player of the Year – and Defensive Player of the Year – honors in the Southern Conference.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Even after the departure of Leon Rose, the head of the agency’s basketball department, Creative Artists Agency is having no problem continuing to fill out its roster with promising young players. CAA announced on Thursday (via Twitter) that projected lottery pick Tyrese Haliburton will be represented by the firm.
  • Ethan Strauss of The Athletic shares his “unconventional” top five for the 2020 draft, valuing efficiency and production over hype and athleticism and focusing on versatile players who have at least one elite skill. Based on those criteria, French wing Killian Hayes top Strauss’ board, followed by Obi Toppin, Haliburton, Onyeka Okongwu, and Isaac Okoro.
  • With the help of draft expert Fran Fraschilla, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com takes an in-depth look at Israeli swingman Deni Avdija, who is another candidate to be one of the first five players off the board in the 2020 draft. Fraschilla cautions that Avdija’s shot needs some work, but views him as this year’s top international prospect – above Hayes – and believes he belongs in the upper tier of the draft class.