Lamar Peters

Central Notes: Beverley, Bucks, Pacers, Doumboya

Clippers free agent guard Patrick Beverley would consider signing with the Bulls, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (hat tip to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports). Beverley said he’d enjoy playing in his hometown, though he’d probably take the best offer he can find on the market.

“I am Chicago. I’m from Chicago. I bleed Chicago. I really think I can help the city. I think I can save the city,” Beverley said. “I inspire already. And I’d be a great inspiration just walking around the city of Chicago, knowing I’m from there, knowing that someone made it out and you can go and do the same. I’m a Chicago kid. So of course I’m open to playing for the Chicago Bulls if that’s a team that’s interested in me. At the same time, any decision that is made, it’s never personal. It’s always business.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks are the early favorite to win the championship next season, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. The odds from BetOnline.ag have the Bucks as the lukewarm 9-2 choice, followed by the Warriors.
  • The Pacers will host the Virginia Tech duo of Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Justin Robinson in a pre-draft workout on Monday, according to a team press release. Phil Booth (Villanova), Kris Clyburn (UNLV), Matt Mooney (Texas Tech) and KZ Okpala (Stanford) will also visit Indiana’s practice facility. Alexander-Walker is ranked No. 22 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony with Okpala two slots behind him. Devin Cannady (Princeton) JaKeenan Gant (Louisiana-Lafayette), Cameron Jackson (Wofford), Christian James (Oklahoma) and Lamar Peters (Mississippi State) were among the players who visited on Friday, Scott Agness of The Athletic tweets.
  • Draft prospect Sekou Doumbouya visited the Bulls on Friday, the team’s PR department tweets. The forward plays for Limoges CSP in the French league.

Bulls Notes: Point Guard, Cap Room, Workouts

Finding a solution at point guard and making savvy additions in free agency will be among the Bulls‘ goals this offseason, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (Insider link) in his preview of the team’s summer.

In Marks’ view, there’s a role for Kris Dunn in Chicago, but he’s probably not the long-term solution at point guard, so the club needs to use its No. 7 overall pick or a chunk of its cap space to address the position. Coby White as a possible option at No. 7, according to Marks, who says that if Chicago doesn’t draft a point guard, the club should set aside about $13-14MM of its cap room to try to get one in free agency.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

233 Early Entrants Declare For 2019 NBA Draft

The NBA has released the official list of early entrants for the 2019 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 233 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 175 are from colleges, while 58 are international early entrants.

That number falls just short of the previous record for early entrants, established in 2018. Last year, 236 early entrants declared for the draft, though ultimately only 91 of those prospects remained in the draft by the final deadline.

This year’s total of 233 early entrants also figures to shrink significantly by May 29 and again by June 10, the two key deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it still looks like that pool will remain crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants almost certainly exceeding 60, the number of picks in the draft.

Our list of early entrants is now up to date and can be found right here. Here are today’s updates:

College underclassmen:

The following players were listed on the NBA’s official breakdown today, but weren’t yet noted on our own list.

The following players reportedly declared for the draft or planned to, but weren’t named in the NBA’s official announcement today. As such, we’ve removed them from our list.

International players:

The following players were listed on the NBA’s official breakdown today, but weren’t yet noted on our list.

The following international players reportedly declared for the draft or planned to, but weren’t named in the NBA’s official announcement today. As such, we’ve removed them from our list.

Draft Updates: Early Entrant Decisions, Peters, Daum

More than 50 NCAA underclassmen have already hired agents – or plan to – and have forfeited their remaining college eligibility, but there are another 100+ early entrants who will have to decide in the next month whether to keep their names in the draft or return to school.

In his latest piece for The Athletic, Michael Scotto took a closer look at five of those underclassmen who have decisions to make, speaking to three NBA general managers, four executives, and a scout about Tyus Battle (Syracuse), Khyri Thomas (Creighton), Jarred Vanderbilt (Kentucky), PJ Washington (Kentucky), and Bruno Fernando (Maryland).

While all eight talent evaluators who spoke to Scotto believe that Thomas should go pro, they were divided on Battle and Vanderbilt, and the majority felt that Washington and Fernando should head back to their respective programs.

Here are a few more draft notes and updates:

  • Mississippi State guard Lamar Peters, who entered the 2018 NBA draft without hiring an agent, has decided to withdraw from the process and return to school for his junior year, he announced on Twitter. Peters will rejoin teammates Aric Holman and Nick Weatherspoon, both of whom considered testing the draft waters but ultimately didn’t enter their names.
  • South Dakota State forward Mike Daum will also withdraw from the draft process and head back to school for the 2018/19 season, he announced over the weekend (via Twitter). Daum will look to follow up a junior year that saw him average 23.9 PPG and 10.3 RPG for the Jackrabbits.
  • There’s no consensus among elite high school prospects on whether the elimination of the one-and-done rule for draft prospects would be a good thing, as Jason Jordan of USA Today details. While most players who spoke to Jordan were in favor of giving prospects more freedom by adjusting the rule, others worried that doing so could result in a flood of early entrants who aren’t yet ready for the next level.

Draft Notes: Newman, Duval, J. Robinson, Sanon

Malik Newman, a dynamic shooting guard who led Kansas to the Final Four, will declare for the draft and sign with an agent, according to a press release from the school’s athletic department.

The 21-year-old was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Mississippi State. He averaged 14.2 points in 39 games and was named Most Outstanding Player in the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA’s Midwest Regional.

“He had a terrific season this year and was one of the best players in the NCAA tournament,” said Jayhawks coach Bill Self. “I think this is good timing for Malik. We wish nothing but the best for him and appreciate all his efforts. We all know his best basketball is still ahead of him.”

Newman is listed 46th in the latest list of top 100 prospects compiled by Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

There are more early draft entrants to round up:

  • Duke’s Trevon Duval will enter the draft and sign with an agent, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN. Duval averaged 10.3 points per game and comes in 50th on Givony’s list.
  • Boston College teammates Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman will both enter the draft without hiring agents, writes John Rothstein of Fanrag Sports. Partners in the Eagles’ backcourt, Robinson averaged a 20.7/3.6/3.3 line this season, while Bowman put up 17.6/6.8/4.7. Robinson is ranked 39th by Givony, while Bowman didn’t make the list.
  • Mississippi State’s Lamar Peters will declare for the draft, but won’t hire an agent, Rothstein relays in a separate story. The point guard, who averaged 9.6 points and 4.5 assists this year, also isn’t listed by Givony.
  • Auburn’s Mustapha Heron plans to declare for the draft and sign with an agent, relays Evan Daniels of 247Sports. The 20-year-old sophomore wing averaged 16.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this year. “It’s always been a dream to play at the highest level,” Heron said. “Now is a better time than any other time. I’m coming off a pretty good season and the buzz is there and I feel like I’m ready mentally and physically.” He’s also not ranked by Givony.
  • Issuf Sanon of Urkaine plans to enter the draft, according to Mike Schmitz of ESPN. The 18-year-old guard has a multiyear contract with Petrol Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia that contains an NBA out each season. He has until June 11 to withdraw, but his agent, Daniel Moldovan, said Sanon plans to remain in the draft. “Since moving to Olimpija Ljubljana my game has grown,” Sanon said. “Working with coaches, I feel myself getting better every day. It has been a dream of mine to play in the NBA and I’m excited for this next chapter.” Givony rates him as the 69th best prospect.