Jean Montero

Eastern Notes: Banchero, Portis, Wizards, Knicks

With the Las Vegas Summer League underway, top pick Paolo Banchero isn’t shying away from the spotlight, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes. The Magic forward is eager to show the fans why Orlando considered him the draft’s top prospect.

“I love when big crowds are out, when all the cameras are out, that’s when I play my best,” he said. “So, I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be fun.”

Orlando begins Summer League play tonight.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Bobby Portis has inked his four-year, $48.58MM contract with the Bucks but he’s not in a celebratory mood, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. Portis says it just motivates him to keep working. “I’m glad that the Bucks chose to bring me back and we met at terms and this and that, but I’ll always feel like I’ve got something to prove,” he said. “Obviously I’m happy that I got a chance to build generational wealth for my family, but still a lot of work left to do and there’s not time or need to celebrate. I work hard, I work on my game.”
  • The Wizards still have some holes to fill at point guard and center, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes. However, guards Kris Dunn and Pierria Henry and big man Jaime Echenique, who are Summer League team members, could force their way into the mix. There’s a good chance the roster they currently have is essentially the one they will go with when the season opens, Hughes adds.
  • There are a number of under-the-radar players on the Knicks’ Summer League roster who could catch someone’s attention, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes. Braziller provides details on seven of those players, including guard Jean Montero and forward Feron Hunt.

Knicks, Jean Montero Agree To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Knicks and undrafted free agent guard Jean Montero have reached an agreement on an Exhibit 10 contract, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

An Exhibit 10 deal is a one-year, minimum-salary contract that counts toward a team’s 20-man offseason roster limit, but doesn’t count against the cap unless the player makes the regular season roster. Although it’s not guaranteed, a player on an Exhibit 10 contract can earn a bonus of up to $50K if he’s waived and then joins his team’s G League affiliate.

Montero, who will turn 19 in July, began his professional career with Gran Canaria in Spain and played for the new Overtime Elite program in 2021/22. The Dominican combo guard is considered a talented scorer and has also exhibited creativity as a passer, according to Givony, who writes in his scouting report that the youngster’s inconsistent defense is a concern.

Montero was the No. 4 prospect on ESPN’s list of players who went undrafted on Thursday night.

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.

Northwest Notes: Gobert, Snyder, Nuggets, Jovic

With the Jazz seemingly ready to shake up their roster following yet another underwhelming postseason appearance, All-Star center Rudy Gobert could be made available in a trade. Tony Jones and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic assess the potential fit of Gobert on the Hawks, and what a hypothetical deal could cost Atlanta.

Jones opines that rim-rolling Hawks center Clint Capela has been a great fit with Atlanta. While he may not be at the level of Gobert as an all-around player, he is on a considerably more team-friendly contract. Kirschner notes that Gobert, a four-time All-NBA honoree and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, would be an obvious improvement at the position, and could help a defensively-challenged Hawks club upgrade on that end overall.

The duo discusses their hypothetical framework for a trade package. Multiple deals are posited that include Capela, draft compensation, and either guard Bogdan Bogdanovic or promising young forward De’Andre Hunter. On the Hawks side, Danilo Gallinari and John Collins are also considered as potential alternate trade candidates.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Jazz head coach Quin Snyder kicked off a potential summer of upheaval for Utah when he opted to leave the club he had coached for eight seasons earlier this week. Eric Walden and Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune take a deep dive into Snyder’s departure. Snyder – who oversaw a lot of the team’s development during his tenure, including the design of their practice facility – made a list of pros and cons before ultimately deciding to depart.
  • After struggling defensively this season, the Nuggets may target players to help shore up their perimeter defense in the draft. Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports identifies seven wing prospects for Denver in the 2022 draft. Mike Singer of the Denver Post also explores five point guard prospects the Nuggets may consider as options behind current reserve point guard Monte Morris, including Kentucky guard TyTy Washington Jr., Overtime Elite guard Jean Montero, and Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard.
  • 6’10” wing prospect Nikola Jovic, currently with KK Mega Basket, could be available for the Nuggets when they make their selection in the 2022 draft with the No. 21 pick. After undergoing a Friday workout with Denver, the 19-year-old Serbian NBA prospect discussed the session with the Nuggets and the impact of Denver’s reigning two-time MVP, Serbian legend Nikola Jokic, per Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post. “I showed a little bit of everything,” Jovic said. “A little bit of my shot. A little bit of my passing skills. Guard skills. Low-post skills,” Jovic said. “I see myself as a guy who always knows what the coach wants me to do on the court.” Jovic also spoke about Jokic’s impact in their homeland: “For (Jokic) to be the two-time MVP, all the kids now, everybody wants to play basketball. Everyone is up late to watch him.” 

Draft Notes: 2022 Mocks, J. Davis, Montero

In the most recent update to their 2022 NBA mock draft, BasketballNews.com has G League Ignite guard/forward Dyson Daniels, who has been rising up draft boards of late, going to Indiana at No. 6, and fellow G League Ignite players MarJon Beauchamp and Jaden Hardy go off the board at Nos. 21 and 23, respectively.

Ohio State’s Malaki Branham, another draft riser, goes to Oklahoma City at No. 12. The mock has three Duke players going in the lottery, which has been pretty common lately. A fourth, Trevor Keels, is the final pick of the first round, and a fifth, Wendell Moore Jr., is at No. 37.

Michigan’s Caleb Houstan, who is rumored to have received a first-round promise, goes to Memphis at No. 29.

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis has been projected to go to the Wizards at No. 10 in several recent mock drafts, including BasketballNews’, and he had a solo workout in front of all of Washington’s major decision-makers on Thursday. He told Josh Robbins of The Athletic that he thinks he’d be a good fit with the Wizards. “Especially with the projections and all that right now, I feel like this is a spot I could land at and be able to come in and make an impact right away,” Davis said. “I just wanted to be able to show the whole front office and the coaches that I can hoop.” Davis also told Robbins that he has workouts next week with the Pistons (No. 5) and the Spurs (No. 9).
  • Overtime Elite guard Jean Montero, who recently worked out for the Hornets and Wizards, has upcoming workouts with the Cavaliers, Hawks, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, and Bulls, Robbins tweets. Montero is a projected second-round pick, and all of those teams except Chicago currently control at least one second-rounder.
  • The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline passed on June 1, so Rafael Barlowe of NBA Big Board updated all of his projected second-round picks following last-minute decisions from several prospects.

Southeast Draft Notes: Murray, Hawks, Wizards, Hornets

The Magic hold the No. 1 pick and Iowa’s Keegan Murray isn’t expected to go higher than No. 4 in the lottery. That didn’t prevent Orlando from doing its due diligence on the high-scoring wing. Murray came in for a pre-draft workout on Thursday, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. The two sides also had a discussion during the draft combine in Chicago, Price adds.

We have more developments from the Southeast Division:

Wizards Notes: J. Davis, Prospect Workouts, Point Guards

The Wizards will host a pair of pre-draft workouts on Thursday, including a solo session for a potential target at No. 10. According to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link), Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis, who is viewed as a potential lottery pick and a viable option for a Washington team in need of backcourt depth, will take part in that solo workout.

Prior to Davis’ audition, the Wizards will host a morning group workout that features Kofi Cockburn (Illinois), Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Quenton Jackson (Texas A&M), Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech), Justin Bean (Utah State), and Marcus Bingham (Michigan State), per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post (Twitter link).

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • In a discussion with Robbins about the Wizards’ possible offseason point guard targets, John Hollinger of The Athletic speculates that Ricky Rubio, Eric Bledsoe, and even John Wall could be among the players Washington shows interest in, assuming Bledsoe and Wall reach free agency. Hollinger also identifies Malcolm Brogdon and Mike Conley as viable options on the trade market, and suggests Tyus Jones would be an ideal fit if he were willing to accept the full mid-level exception.
  • In the same Athletic story, Robbins and Hollinger consider potential targets for the Wizards with the No. 10 pick. G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels should get serious consideration if he’s still available, according to Hollinger, who also identifies Jeremy Sochan and AJ Griffin as logical fits on the wing.
  • Maryland guard Eric Ayala, Florida forward Anthony Duruji, Richmond forward Grant Golden, Utah State forward Brandon Horvath, Marquette guard Darryl Morsell, and George Mason swingman D’Shawn Schwartz participated in a pre-draft group workout for the Wizards on Wednesday, according to Robbins (Twitter link).
  • Overtime Elite point guard Jean Montero is among the other prospects expected to work out for the Wizards this week, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

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)

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.

And-Ones: M. Gasol, Leunen, B. Ferry, Overtime Elite

After big man Ekpe Udoh suffered a serious knee injury last month, Virtus Bologna head coach Sergio Scariolo reached out to Marc Gasol to gauge his interest in joining the Italian club, Scariolo confirmed this week on Italian Twitch channel Area 52 (video link). As Marc Stein of Substack relays (via Twitter), Scariolo said Gasol turned him down in an “elegant way.”

Scariolo coached Gasol on the Spanish national team and as an assistant in Toronto, so he has an existing relationship with the veteran center. However, Gasol – who was traded to Memphis and then waived in September – appears content to spend time with his family in Spain rather than joining another NBA or EuroLeague team anytime soon. There were rumors last month that Gasol would be playing for Girona, the Spanish club he owns, but that hasn’t come to fruition yet.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Oregon forward Maarty Leunen, who spent the last 13 seasons playing overseas in various European leagues, has announced his retirement, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Leunen was the 54th overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft and has had his rights traded four times since then – most recently to the Pacers in 2019 – but never signed an NBA contract.
  • Former Washington Bullets general manager Bob Ferry, who ran the front office from 1973 to 1990, died at age 84 on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The father of Danny Ferry, Bob Ferry won two Executive of the Year awards and helped Washington win the only title in franchise history in 1978.
  • Jeremy Woo of SI.com shares his impressions of the Overtime Elite’s Pro Day, including his thoughts on the program’s three most notable 2022 draft-eligible players: guard Jean Montero, wing Kok Yat, and forward Dominick Barlow.