Jordan Hall

Central Notes: LaVine, Pacers Workouts, White, Pistons Draft

Zach LaVine‘s decision to have knee surgery in the offseason shows his commitment to the game and the Bulls, according to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. LaVine’s decision to play through his knee injury this season with Chicago heading to the playoffs proved how much he wanted to experience the postseason for himself and give his teammates a chance to do the same. He’ll still get paid this summer in unrestricted free agency, likely a maximum deal, Johnson adds.

We have more on the Central Division:

44 Prospects Announced For 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp

The NBA G League has formally announced its field of 44 draft prospects for the 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp.

The event, which will take place May 16 and 17 in Chicago, “gives draft prospects an opportunity to display their skills in front of NBA and NBA G League scouts, coaches and front-office executives over the course of the camp by playing in five-on-five games and participating in strength and agility drills.”

The top performers from the camp will be invited to the NBA Draft Combine, which will take place from May 18-22 in Chicago. Some NBA players who have participated in past G League Elite Camps include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, Clippers wing Terance Mann, and Heat wing Max Strus.

Here’s the list of 44 draft-eligible attendees:

The list of attendees features 13 players on ESPN’s big board, notes Jonathan Givony of ESPN (via Twitter), so some players have a chance to be drafted.

The top-ranked prospect at the camp is Scheierman (No. 69), who averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals on .508/.469/.802 shooting this season for South Dakota State (35 games, 33.3 minutes per contest).

Draft Notes: Walker, Abmas, Hall, Travers, Freeman-Liberty, Kiss, Big Board

Colorado’s Jabari Walker, a First-Team All Pac-12 selection, intends to stay in the draft, his father and former NBA player Samaki Walker told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link).

“Jabari is fully committed to becoming a professional basketball player and has no intentions on returning to school. He wants to sign with an agent and go all in,” Samaki Walker said.

Jabari Walker averaged 14.6 PPG and 9.4 RPG as a sophomore for the Buffaloes. A power forward, Walker is rated No. 61 on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more draft-related news:

  • Oral Roberts’ Max Abmas, Saint Joseph’s Jordan Hall, Australian forward Luke Travers and DePaul guard Javon Freeman-Liberty have been invited to the NBA G League Elite Camp, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw reports (Twitter links found here). Among that group, Hall (No. 76) and Travers (No. 87) are on ESPN’s Best Available list.
  • Guard Peter Kiss will work out for the Celtics on Tuesday, Adam Zagoria tweets. Kiss averaged a Division I-best 25.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG for Bryant this past season.
  • Jabari Smith Jr. and Chet Holmgren remain the top two players on Sam Vecenie’s latest big board, which includes his top 100 prospects. The Athletic’s draft expert considers Smith a somewhat safer pick because his shooting and defense translates well to the NBA game. Separating players into tiers, Vecenie ranks Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin and Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe just outside the top five.

Bryce McGowens, Others Declare For 2022 NBA Draft

Nebraska freshman shooting guard Bryce McGowens has opted to declare for the 2022 NBA draft and will go pro, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

“I am planning on forgoing my college eligibility and hiring agent Drew Gross of Roc Nation Sports,” McGowens told ESPN.

In his first and only college season, McGowens averaged 16.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game in 31 appearances (33.3 MPG) for the Cornhuskers. He got the opportunity to play his brother, junior guard Trey McGowens, en route to earning a spot on the Big Ten All-Rookie team.

Bryce McGowens is the No. 30 prospect on ESPN’s big board for 2022, with Givony writing in his scouting report that the 6’7″ wing looked like a potential lottery pick on some nights and a second-rounder on others. McGowens told ESPN that he hopes to “squeeze into the lottery.”

Givony praised McGowens as a “fluid, versatile scoring threat” who can finish with either hand around the basket and has deep range on his pull-up jumper. However, he had some trouble scoring efficiently as a freshman, making just 40.2% of his field goal attempts, including 27.2% of his three-pointers.

Saint Joseph’s sophomore forward Jordan Hall (Instagram link) and Rutgers freshman guard Jaden Jones (press release) have also declared for the 2022 draft in recent days. The wording of their statements suggest they both plan to forgo their remaining NCAA eligibility rather than simply testing the draft waters. Hall tested the waters in 2021 before returning to school.

Draft Notes: Carr, Primo, Hall, Vila, Perry

Marcus Carr is expected to withdraw from the draft and transfer to another college, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. Carr worked out for the Hornets and Timberwolves last month. Carr averaged 19.4 PPG and 4.9 APG for the Minnesota Golden Gophers last season.

We have more draft-related news:

  • Alabama’s Joshua Primo will remain in the draft and hire an agent, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. The 6’6” Primo was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after averaging 8.1 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 22 MPG. He’s currently ranked No. 25 on ESPN’s Best Available list.
  • Jordan Hall will return to college and remain at St. Joseph’s, according to Rothstein. He had contemplated a transfer to Texas A&M. The 6’8” Hall averaged 10.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 5.7 APG as a freshman.
  • UTEP’s Eric Vila will play professionally in Spain rather than returning to college, Rothstein reports in another tweet. The Spanish-born Vila started 14 games for the Miners last season.
  • UCF’s Darius Perry will return to school and use his additional year of eligibility, Rothstein tweets. The 6’2” guard averaged 14.7 PPG last season.

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.