Izaiah Brockington

Lakers Notes: Ham, Rivers, Pelinka, Brockington

Bucks assistant Darvin Ham is the only finalist for the Lakers‘ coaching vacancy without previous head coaching experience, but he apparently has the support of LeBron James, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report“He’s the guy LeBron wants,” a source from a rival team tells Pincus.

Ham, 48, also has the advantage of a previous relationship with the Lakers. After his playing career ended, his first NBA job was an an assistant coach in L.A., where he stayed for two seasons before joining Mike Budenholzer‘s staff in Atlanta and later in Milwaukee. Ham possesses a strong personality and plenty of energy, and Pincus believes he could be the best choice to motivate the Lakers’ veteran-laden roster.

Assessing the other finalists, Pincus calls Terry Stotts the “safest choice,” but says he’ll need an experienced assistant to handle the defense, and he views Kenny Atkinson as a “wild card” with a reputation for being rigid in his approach to the game.

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • None of the finalists inspire any excitement, in the view of Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times, who says the Lakers need to find a way to acquire Doc Rivers from the Sixers. Rivers still has three seasons left on his contract in Philadelphia and recently received a vote of confidence from president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, but Plaschke cites rumors that Morey would prefer Mike D’Antoni, especially in the wake of the Sixers’ second-round exit. Plaschke theorizes that the Lakers would have already hired Rivers if he weren’t under contract with another team.
  • Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and Nets GM Sean Marks were seen meeting at the NBA Combine this week, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog. While no details of the conversation were made public, it’s worth noting that the Lakers had internal discussions about acquiring Kyrie Irving before he resumed playing in January. Marks is also very familiar with one of Pelinka’s head coaching finalists, having hired Atkinson during his first year in Brooklyn.
  • The Lakers are part of a growing list of teams that have lined up a workout with Iowa State guard Izaiah Brockington, per Spencer Davies of Basketball News. Brockington wasn’t invited to the Draft Combine or the G League Elite Camp, but he has already worked out for the Hawks and sources tell Davies that as many as 14 teams are interested in seeing him in action. The Lakers don’t have any picks in this year’s draft, so they would have to trade for one or hope to sign him as a free agent if he goes undrafted.

Draft Notes: Withdrawals, LaRavia, J. Williams, T. Smith, More

Former Murray State forward K.J. Williams has withdrawn from the 2022 NBA Draft and will transfer to LSU for 2022/23, he told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Williams averaged 18 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals on .538/.327/.699 shooting last season for the Racers.

Boise State guard Marcus Shaver has also withdrawn from the draft, announcing on Instagram that he’ll return for a final season with the Broncos. Shaver put up 13.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 34 games last season.

Here are more draft-related notes:

  • After a strong showing at the combine on Wednesday, where he led his group by making 18 of 25 shots during the three-point star drill, Wake Forest’s Jake LaRavia opted to sit out of scrimmages on Thursday, according to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Although it went unsaid, the implication is that LaRavia may have received a promise from a team that he’ll be selected in the draft. LaRavia has been rising up draft boards recently. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic had him going No. 28 in his latest mock draft, while John Hollinger of The Athletic ranks him as the No. 20 prospect.
  • Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams and North Carolina State’s Terquavion Smith are also draft risers, per Rafael Barlowe of NBABigBoard.com (All Twitter links). Williams might end up becoming a lottery pick, while Smith has been performing well in workouts and drills at the combine. One scout compared Smith to Warriors guard Jordan Poole. “Breathtaking athlete. Super confident. Jordan Poole in every way. Great shooter with blazing speed and an electric right leg. Impossible to stay in front of in one on one play,” the scout said. ESPN’s Mike Schmitz (Twitter link) also likes Smith’s game, saying he thinks Smith will project well to the NBA. Williams and Smith were both in the 20s in Vecenie’s mock draft.
  • G League ignite guard/forward Dyson Daniels has met with nine teams thus far at the combine, including the Knicks, Kings, Cavaliers and Hawks, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Daniels is a projected lottery pick, currently the No. 10 prospect on ESPN’s big board. He’s considered a strong passer, rebounder and versatile defender.
  • Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim, who recently worked out for the Kings, Knicks and Warriors, has an additional 10 teams lined up for workouts, as Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com relays (via Twitter). Boeheim led the ACC in scoring in ’21/22.
  • In an interview with Spencer Davies of BasketballNews.com, Iowa State’s Izaiah Brockington said he thinks his competitive fire and work ethic will translate to the NBA-level. “I feel like my work ethic allows me to catch guys that a lot of people deem ‘better’ or would rank higher [than me],” Brockington said. “I feel like I have the intangibles that other people don’t. I have athleticism, and I have the dog mentality — somebody who just loves to compete and loves to win and isn’t gonna let somebody just walk all over them.” Brockington has workouts scheduled with 10 teams, according to Davies.

MSU’s Gabe Brown Among Early Entrants For 2022 Draft

Michigan State senior wing Gabe Brown will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility and enter the 2022 NBA draft, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who tweets that Brown is signing with Parlay Sports for representation.

The No. 94 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Brown was a full-time starter for the Spartans in 2021/22, averaging 11.6 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 36 games (28.9 MPG). His calling card is his three-point shooting — he knocked down 39.3% of his attempts from beyond the arc over the last two seasons.

Brown’s MSU teammate Marcus Bingham also won’t be back with the Spartans next season, telling Mike Lacett of 13 On Your Side (video link) that he’s going through the NBA draft process. The senior center averaged 9.3 PPG and 6.3 RPG on .534/.415/.747 shooting in 35 games (18.7 MPG) for Michigan State in 2021/22.

Here are a few more players who are entering the 2022 NBA draft:

Expected to forgo remaining NCAA eligibility:

Testing the draft waters:

Our full list of early entrants for the 2022 NBA draft, which will be constantly updated in the next several weeks, can be found right here.

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2021 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2021 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 353 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 296 are from colleges, while 57 are international early entrants.

That number obliterates the previous record of 236 early entrants, established in 2018. That had been expected, however, since the NCAA gave 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.

Since well over half of the college early entrants are seniors, there are actually fewer college underclassmen than usual in this initial group of early entrants.

This year’s total of 353 early entrants figures to shrink significantly by July 7 and again by July 19, 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 60, the number of picks in the draft.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2021 draft now includes seniors and is fully up to date. It can be found right here. It doesn’t include players who are automatically draft-eligible this year. As Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets, that list of auto-eligible players includes the prospects who played for the G League Ignite, such as Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.

Here are the changes we made to our tracker today:


Newly-added players:

College players:

These players hadn’t previously been included on our unofficial list of underclassmen early entrants and weren’t on the list of senior early entrants that the NBA sent to teams last week.

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.


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 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 for the time being.