Jordan Bruner

Draft Notes: Whitney, Scouting, Bruner, Mock Draft

Freshman forward Kahlil Whitney, who dropped out of Kentucky in January, has declared for the draft and will hire an agent, Jonathan Givony of ESPN reports. Whitney’s stock has taken a major hit since he arrived at Kentucky. He was the No. 12 recruit in the 2019 ESPN 100, but he struggled to keep his spot in the Wildcats’ rotation, averaging 3.3 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 12.8 MPG. He appeared in 18 games before dropping out of school. The 6’7” Whitney is ranked as the No. 80 NBA draft prospect in ESPN’s top 100 for the 2020 draft.

We have more draft-related news:

  • The limitations for scouting prospects due to the pandemic has some executives worried about their evaluations, Keith Smith of NBC Sports reports. For the time being, they can only look at film. As the process moves along, they can conduct virtual meetings with prospects but workouts, and even watching live workouts remotely, are prohibited. There are other concerns as well. “If there are medical red flags, it can take a guy right off our draft board,” an Eastern Conference GM told Smith. “Now, we have to trust what we get from the agent, and there’s different motivation there. Then we, of course, want to see the guy work out.”
  • Jordan Bruner has apparently opted to change schools rather than enter the draft pool. The former Yale forward is transferring to Alabama, Tyler DeLuca of Sooner Sportspad tweets. An earlier report suggested that Bruner, who has one year of eligibility remaining, would enter the draft.
  • The latest ESPN mock draft has the Warriors selecting Georgia guard Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 overall pick. Edwards is ranked No. 1 on ESPN’s best available list. The mock draft, conducted by Givony and Mike Schmitz, has the Cavaliers selecting center James Wiseman with the No. 2 pick and the Hawks taking Auburn swingman Isaac Okoro at No. 3.

Draft Notes: Bruner, Graves, Gaffney

If not for the coronavirus pandemic, the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament would have taken place over the last few days, with draft hopefuls getting a chance to show their skills – and potentially improve their stock – on a national stage.

Instead, college basketball – like virtually every other sport in North America – has been shut down indefinitely, leaving possible early entrants for the 2020 draft to make their decisions under unusual circumstances.

Here are a few updates on college players who may end up being part of the 2020 NBA draft class:

  • A report earlier this month indicated that Jordan Bruner is expected to declare for the draft and go pro. However, as Evan Daniels of 247Sports details, the former Yale forward has also entered the NCAA transfer portal and is drawing plenty of interest. Bruner explained to Daniels that he wants to keep his options open, given the uncertainty created by the coronavirus crisis. “I’d like to keep my options open and hear what NBA scouts and other people think I’m capable of and what they think about me,” he said. “I don’t want to get stuck in a place where I can’t play in college if I want to.”
  • Buffalo junior guard Jayvon Graves announced on Twitter that he intends to test the draft waters. Graves bumped his scoring average from 9.7 PPG as a sophomore to 17.1 PPG as a junior, chipping in 5.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.2 SPG in 32 games (34.4 MPG) for Buffalo.
  • Ohio State forward Alonzo Gaffney won’t be returning to the Buckeyes for his sophomore season, sources tell Brian Snow of 247Sports. According to Snow, Gaffney – who played very limited minutes as a freshman – will likely pursue professional opportunities rather than transferring to another college program.

Draft Notes: UAC, Hayes, Early Entrants

NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe issued a memo to NCAA coaches on Tuesday morning telling them that the league will be accepting applications from college players seeking feedback from the Undergraduate Advisory Committee, per Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

The UAC provides potential early entrants with feedback on their stock – based on input from NBA executives – to help them make informed decisions on whether or not to declare for the draft. Prospects who want to test the draft waters must first apply for an evaluation from the UAC.

This year’s deadline to apply for that evaluation is April 16 — it’s not clear whether that date will be pushed back in the coming weeks, given the uncertain nature of the NBA’s hiatus. Adam Zagoria of Forbes tweeted today that multiple sources expect the draft to be postponed until July or August.

Whether or not the UAC application deadline changes, the process figures to be more important than usual this spring for prospects seeking feedback, as ESPN duo points out. Team executives are preparing for the possibility that scouting and workout opportunities will be extremely limited, if not entirely eliminated, leading up to this year’s draft.

According to Wojnarowski and Givony, VanDeWeghe acknowledged the “rapidly evolving” situation in his memo, noting that the league would advise NCAA coaches and players of any changes to the pre-draft process “whenever such information is available.”

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft: