Justin Turner

More Draft Decisions: Claxton, Bassey, Nowell, More

Draft decisions by this year’s early entrants continue to flood in as the NCAA’s May 29 withdrawal deadline nears. After relaying those decisions in a pair of posts already today, we’ve got more in the space below:

  • Georgia sophomore forward Nicolas Claxton will keep his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that Claxton is a potential first-round pick.
  • According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (via Twitter), Western Kentucky freshman center Charles Bassey will stay in the 2019 draft pool, barring a last-second change of heart. Bassey is the No. 80 prospect on Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.
  • Washington sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell is another early entrant who has decided to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility and stay in the draft, Goodman tweets. Nowell comes in at No. 92 on Givony’s big board.
  • Kentucky’s Nick Richards, a sophomore forward, will return to the Wildcats for at least one more season, he announced today in a video on Instagram.
  • South Carolina will get guard A.J. Lawson back for his sophomore year, as he announced today (via Twitter) that he’s withdrawing his name from the draft.
  • Bethune-Cookman head coach Ryan Ridder has informed Goodman (Twitter link) that both of his early entrants, Malik Maitland and Cletrell Pope, are heading back to school for another year.
  • Ohio State forward Kaleb Wesson is pulling out of the draft to return to the Buckeyes for his junior season, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
  • Bowling Green guard Justin Turner is heading back to school for his junior season, per Rothstein (via Twitter).
  • Weber State guard Jerrick Harding will withdraw from the draft and return to school for his senior season, he announced today (via Twitter).
  • Hampton junior guard Jermaine Marrow is withdrawing from the draft and retaining his NCAA eligibility, coach Buck Joyner tells Goodman (Twitter link).

Eastern Draft Notes: Cavs, Wizards, Bulls

The Cavaliers will cast a “wide net” when searching for the right prospect to select with the No. 5 overall pick, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes. Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) and Bol Bol (Oregon) are two of the players the team will consider in that spot.

Porter, who was suspended during the 2018/19 season for a “personal conduct issue” at USC, met with the Cavs on Wednesday. The team plans to bring him in for a pre-draft workout in the coming weeks.

Bol underwent measurements at the combine in Chicago but is not expected to workout or conduct interviews. The 7’2″ center suffered a foot injury back in December and was unable to play the remainder of the campaign for the Ducks.

Here’s more from on the draft from teams in the Eastern Conference:

  • Cam Reddish will meet with the Cavaliers on Friday, Fedor adds in the same piece. Reddish is a candidate to be a top-five pick.
  • The Wizards hold the No. 9 overall pick and they have interviewed several top prospects, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Reddish, Coby White (North Carolina), Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech), and Jordan Poole (Michigan) were interviewed by Washington. Other players who the team sat down with included Eric Paschall (Villanova), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Ty Jerome (Virginia).
  • Prior to the combine, the Bulls worked out six prospects, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic relays (Twitter link). Alpha Diallo (Providence), Fletcher Magee (Wofford), Isaiah Roby (Nebraska), Justin Turner (Bowling Green), Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State), Zach Norvell (Gonzaga/Simeon) all participated in drills with the team.

Draft Updates: Wiseman, Poole, Lard, More

While most of the draft-related focus these days is on 2019’s event, that didn’t stop ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz from taking an early look at 2020. In an Insider-only story at ESPN.com, the pair of draft experts updates their mock draft for ’20, notably moving up Memphis center James Wiseman from No. 3 to No. 1.

As Schmitz explains, Wiseman has long been considered the most physically gifted prospect in his high school, but his consistency and effort level left something to be desired. That has changed in recent weeks, as he has impressed evaluators with his play on both ends of the floor during the Nike Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic.

Circling back to 2019, here are a few more draft notes:

  • Michigan sophomore guard Jordan Poole has decided to keep his name in the 2019 NBA draft, the school announced today (via Twitter). Poole ranks just outside the top 60 on Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, but presumably the feedback he has received so far in the pre-draft process was encouraging.
  • Iowa State sophomore forward Cameron Lard officially announced this week that he has declared for the 2019 NBA draft, posting a message on Instagram to confirm the decision. Lard’s wording suggests that he’s committed to going pro and won’t retain his college eligibility after two up-and-down seasons with the Cyclones, which included multiple suspensions and off-court issues.
  • German forward Philipp Herkenhoff (born 1999) and German guard Jonas Mattisseck (born 2000) have added their names to the NBA’s early entry list for the 2019 draft, tweets Givony. Both players will have until June 10 to withdraw their names if they decide not to become draft-eligible quite yet.
  • The following players have also declared for the 2019 NBA draft: