Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson Entering 2018 NBA Draft

A day after word broke that Villanova’s Mikal Bridges will be leaving school to go pro, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that teammate Jalen Brunson will follow suit. According to Wojnarowski, Brunson will enter the 2018 NBA draft and will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility.

“After careful consideration and prayer, I have decided to enter the June NBA draft and hire an agent,” Brunson wrote in an essay for ESPN.com.

Brunson, a two-time NCAA champion like Bridges, is coming off an incredibly productive junior year in which he averaged 18.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, and 3.1 RPG with a shooting line of .521/.408/.802. The performance earned him 2018’s Naismith and Wooden awards for College Player of the Year.

Although he’s just the 36th-ranked player on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, Brunson boosted his stock in this year’s NCAA tournament, making an impression on NBA scouts with his leadership and toughness. Givony has the junior point guard coming off the board at No. 26 in his most recent mock draft.

Draft Rumors: Collins, Carroll, Brunson, Lessort

Gonzaga big man Zach Collins has signed with veteran agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. The 7-footer is ranked No. 12 by both DraftExpress and ESPN Insider Chad Ford. The freshman helped his draft status during the Zags’ run to the national title game. He declared for the draft last week.

In other news regarding the draft:

  • Euroleague prospect Vasilis Charalampopoulos will not enter the draft, international journalist David Pick tweets, citing a source. He wants more Euroleague exposure, Pick adds. The 20-year-old small forward, who plays for Panathinaikos, is listed at No. 10 in DraftExpress’ International 1997 rankings.
  • Oklahoma State forward Jeffrey Carroll has opted not to go through the draft process, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. Carroll decided to test the waters late last month after a breakout junior season with the Cowboys in which he averaged 17.5 PPG and 6.6 RPG.
  • Villanova guard Jalen Brunson is headed back to college for his junior season, Adam Zagoria of the 4 Quarters Podcast tweets. He averaged 14.7 PPG and 4.1 APG during his sophomore year. Brunson didn’t crack DraftExpress’ Top 100.
  • French draft prospect Mathias Lessort has signed with Wasserman and will be represented by Jason Ranne and former Pistons executive George David, HoopsHype tweets. The 6-9 forward is rated No. 34 by DraftExpress and No. 51 by Ford.