John Petty

John Petty, Chris Smith, Javonte Smart Withdrawing From Draft

Alabama wing John Petty has elected to return to school for his senior year after testing the draft waters, reports Cecil Hurt of The Tuscaloosa News (Twitter link).

Petty, who declared for the draft as an early entrant this spring, averaged 14.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 2.5 APG with an impressive .440 3PT% in 29 games (33.5 MPG) as a junior. He ranked 53rd on ESPN’s list of the top 100 prospects of 2020, making him a candidate to be drafted, but he has decided to wait another year before going pro.

Another candidate to be picked in the second round has also withdrawn from the draft, with Chris Smith‘s father indicating that the UCLA forward is headed back to school, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

The No. 65 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Smith had a breakout junior season for the Bruins increasing his scoring average to 13.1 PPG while also contributing 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 31 contests (28.3 MPG).

LSU guard Javonte Smart is also pulling out of the draft, Rothstein tweets. Smart, who doesn’t rank among ESPN’s top 100, recorded 12.5 PPG and 4.2 APG in 31 games (34.2 MPG) in his sophomore season in 2019/20.

Monday represents the deadline for college early entrants to withdraw from the draft and maintain their NCAA eligibility. That deadline arrives at midnight tonight, as Rothstein tweets.

Because of the draft postponement, the deadline to declare for the draft as an early entrant actually doesn’t arrive for another two weeks. So if a player like Petty, Smith, or Smart has second thoughts by August 17, he could technically re-enter the draft, as long as he’s prepared to forgo his remaining college eligibility.

Knicks Notes: Mosley, Jones, Rose, Trier

Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, a head coaching candidate for New York, has a keen ability to connect with players, longtime coach George Karl told The New York Post’s Marc Berman. “He was big in player development, then toward the end of his time, we gave him scouting reports, game-plan responsibilities,” Karl said. “He was really good with basketball intellect and really good with players. That’s the combo you need in today’s world and changing attitudes of the young players.”

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Arkansas guard Mason Jones could be a wise choice for the Knicks with their second-round pick in the draft, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic opines. Jones’ ability to get to the foul line could make him a valuable asset, Vorkunov notes. Arkansas wing Isaiah Joe and Alabama wing John Petty are among the other underrated prospects the team should consider, Vorkunov adds.
  • Leon Rose has been the team’s president for nearly four months and the early returns have been promising, according to Berman. Rose has made wide-ranging, diverse front office hires while keeping Scott Perry as GM, Berman notes. He’s also conducting a patient, thorough search for a head coach, even though Tom Thibodeau is widely considered the favorite to get the job, Berman adds.
  • Waiving Allonzo Trier in order to add Theo Pinson was a telling move by Rose, Steve Popper of Newsday opines. Trier, who was signed by the previous regime, showed talent but also drew criticism for his lackadaisical defensive effort and refusal to play his role offensively, Popper continues. That shows that Rose will value character and work ethic in future roster moves, Popper adds.

Kira Lewis, Tyler Bey Among Prospects Testing Draft Waters

Alabama guards Kira Lewis and John Petty will enter the 2020 NBA draft and will go through the pre-draft process before deciding whether to keep their names in this year’s pool, coach Nate Oats said today, per Charlie Potter of 247Sports (Twitter link).

“We’re planning on possibly not having either of them back,” Oats said of Lewis and Petty.

Lewis, a sophomore point guard who ranks 25th overall on ESPN’s big board, averaged a team-high 18.5 PPG to go along with 5.2 APG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.8 SPG in 31 games (37.6 MPG) in 2019/20.

Petty, the Crimson Tide’s starting shooting guard, recorded 14.6 PPG and 6.6 RPG with an impressive .440 3PT% in 29 games (33.5 MPG) as a junior. He ranks 56th on ESPN’s top-100 list.

Meanwhile, a pair of Colorado juniors will also test the draft waters, according to head coach Tad Boyle, who says that Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright will go through the process, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). A report earlier this month indicated Bey and Wright were expected to enter their names in the 2020 draft.

Bey, the No. 36 prospect on ESPN’s big board, posted 13.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG with 1.5 SPG and 1.2 BPG in 31 games (29.0 MPG) in 2019/20. The forward also showed a slightly increased willingness to let it fly from beyond the arc, making 13-of-31 (41.9%) of his three-point attempts.

As for Wright, he was the Buffaloes’ leading scorer with 14.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.0 APG. However, the junior guard doesn’t show up on ESPN’s list of 2020’s top 100 prospects.

While all four Alabama and Colorado underclassmen will go through the pre-draft process, it’s not clear yet what that process will actually entail, with the combine and individual workouts in jeopardy and this year’s draft calendar up in the air.