LJ Figueroa

Draft Notes: Bishop, Lottery Scenarios, Figueroa, Gach

Having had his waiver for another college season denied by the NCAA, Jermaine Bishop of Norfolk State will keep his name in the 2020 NBA draft and go pro, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

A 6’1″ guard, Bishop spent two years at Saint Louis before transferring to Norfolk State for his junior year. In 2019/20, he averaged 15.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.2 APG on .405/.395/.855 shooting in 31 games (33.4 MPG) for the Spartans.

Bishop isn’t a top-100 prospect on ESPN’s big board and seems likely to go undrafted in October, but his outside shooting ability should intrigue professional teams. His .395 3PT% this season came on 8.0 three-point attempts per game.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz break down the various lottery odds and options for the NBA’s bottom eight teams. Although ESPN’s draft gurus view LaMelo Ball as the best option for most of those clubs, they acknowledge that there may be a few tough decisions to make, with no clear No. 1 prospect in this year’s class.
  • After spending two seasons with St. John’s, guard LJ Figueroa is transferring to Oregon. Despite that commitment to the Ducks, Figueroa hasn’t ruled out going pro and his name is still in the draft pool, a source tells Zach Braziller of The New York Post. However, Figueroa is unlikely to remain in the draft.
  • Former Utah swingman Both Gach entered the transfer portal this spring and committed to the University of Minnesota. Gach was testing the draft waters during that process, but the expectation is that he’ll remove his name from draft consideration, a source tells Josh Newman of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Draft Notes: Combine, Haliburton, Francis, Figueroa

If not for the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA’s draft combine would have taken place last week in Chicago, with dozens of this year’s top prospects congregating for workouts, scrimmages, interviews, and medical tests. Instead, that event has been indefinitely postponed, and it’s unclear what form it will eventually take — if it happens at all.

According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, league sources still believe there’s a good chance that a “downsized” combine that includes live interviews could take place in August or September. One report earlier in May suggested that such an event might be held within the NBA’s “bubble” location – possibly Walt Disney World – rather than Chicago, though that’s still speculative at this point.

Of course, before the NBA can even line up tentative plans for a combine, it will need to formally postpone the draft, which is still scheduled for June 25. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link), some teams expect the draft to be delayed until September, with free agency potentially starting around October 1.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • Within his above-linked piece, Berman notes that Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm believes potential top-10 pick Tyrese Haliburton would benefit from being able to interview in person with NBA teams. “On Zoom, you can only impress so much,” Prohm said. “If he was in person, over dinner, or in the facility or ballroom at the combine, he’d knock it out of the park. His spirit and personality will wow people. He’ll move up on the charts on that alone. … His character and maturity is very high.”
  • Richmond guard Blake Francis, who tested the draft waters following his junior year, has decided to withdraw and return to school for one more season, he tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Francis is the third Richmond early entrant to withdraw from the draft pool, joining teammates Jacob Gilyard and Grant Golden.
  • St. John’s guard LJ Figueroa has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal, a source tells Evan Daniels of 247Sports (Twitter link). Figueroa, who declared for the draft in the spring, will continue testing the waters as he explores his transfer options, tweets Rothstein.

Draft Notes: Figueroa, H. Jones, Bishop, Langley

LJ Figueroa of St. John’s has announced on Instagram that he will enter the NBA draft. The sophomore guard averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 32 games this season.

“These past two years at St. John’s have presented me with tremendous opportunities for growth both on and off the court,” Figueroa wrote. “… After speaking with my family and coaching staff, I have decided to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft. I intend to keep all of my options open and look forward to the learning experience this process will offer.”

There are a few more early entries to catch up on:

  • Alabama’s Herbert Jones also declared his draft intentions with an Instagram post. The junior forward averaged 7.9 PPG and 6.4 RPG this year with the Crimson Tide. “For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to play in the NBA,” Jones wrote. “With that said and after much thought and discussions with those close to me, I have decided to enter my name in the 2020 NBA Draft process while maintaining my eligibility. I am excited to take this next step in reaching a dream that I’ve had since I first learned to dribble a basketball.”
  • Jermaine Bishop of Norfolk State is also entering the draft, announcing his decision on Twitter. Bishop, who averaged 15.6 PPG in his first season after transferring from St. Louis, called it a “lifelong dream for me and my family,” but is keeping his options open about returning for his senior season.
  • Kameron Langley of North Carolina A&T also tweeted that he will enter the draft. He averaged 9.4 points and 8.0 assists per game as a junior and will also consider coming back to college.
  • Ceasar DeJesus, a junior guard who averaged 9.5PPG at Central Florida, will also enter the draft pool.