Manny Camper

Draft Notes: K. Jones, Springer, Camper, S. Mitchell

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic published his latest 2021 NBA mock draft this week, while Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer posted the initial version of his draft guide, complete with prospect rankings. Like just about every other draft expert, Vecenie and O’Connor have Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham atop their boards, with Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, and Jonathan Kuminga filling out the top five, in some order.

Beyond the top five though, there are some interesting choices filling out the lottery in Vecenie’s mock draft and in O’Connor’s rankings. Both analysts are high on the raw potential of Texas big man Kai Jones, with O’Connor placing him eighth and Vecenie putting him at No. 10 — Jones falls outside the lottery on ESPN’s big board.

Meanwhile, Tennessee guard Jaden Springer is the No. 27 player on ESPN’s board, but is considered a potential lottery pick by both Vecenie (No. 12) and O’Connor (No. 14). Vecenie acknowledges that there’s a wide range of opinions on Springer, who has some “real inefficiencies in his game,” but believes the 19-year-old is boosting his stock with a strong finish to the season.

Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft:

  • After testing the draft waters a year ago, Siena swingman Manny Camper has declared for the draft in 2021, confirming his decision on Twitter. Camper was a senior this year, but because NCAA players were granted an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, he isn’t automatically draft-eligible.
  • Boston College senior forward Steffon Mitchell is entering the draft, he announced on Instagram. Mitchell averaged 9.1 PPG and 7.3 RPG in 16 games (32.6 MPG) in 2020/21.
  • In case you missed it, potential lottery pick Isaiah Jackson is testing the draft waters, as we detailed earlier today.

Draft Decisions: Dennis, Lewis, Green, Teague, Camper, Vogt

As Sam Vecenie of The Athletic observes within his latest big board for the 2020 NBA draft, the unusual circumstances surrounding this year’s NBA and NCAA calendars have created an unprecedented situation for early entrants.

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for players to pull out of the 2020 draft class is August 3. However, the NBA is allowing early entrants to declare up until August 17, since the draft itself has been postponed until October.

As a result, Vecenie confirms, an NCAA underclassman who is struggling with his decision could withdraw by August 3, then re-enter by August 17 if he has change of heart. At that point, he’d be forgoing his remaining college eligibility, but it would essentially give him an extra two weeks to make up his mind.

With that detail in mind, here are a handful of updates on players withdrawing their names from the draft pool:

  • Wichita State guard Dexter Dennis will return to school for at least one more year, he announced on Twitter. Dennis averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 28 games (25.8 MPG) as a sophomore for the Shockers.
  • James Madison guard Matt Lewis will head back to school for his senior season, he tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Lewis was, by far, the Dukes’ leading scorer in 2019/20, posting 19.0 PPG on .410/.373/.715 shooting in 30 games (35.6 MPG).
  • Northern Iowa’s AJ Green is withdrawing from the draft after testing the waters, a source tells Goodman (Twitter link). The 6’4″ guard is coming off a big sophomore year in which he averaged 19.7 PPG on .416/.391/.917 shooting in 31 games (34.8 MPG).
  • MaCio Teague is returning to Baylor for his senior year, he announced in a Twitter video. The 6’3″ guard previously spent two years at UNC Asheville before transfering to Baylor and averaging 13.9 PPG in 28 games for the Bears in 2019/20.
  • Siena swingman Manny Camper will return to school after testing the draft waters, the program announced in a press release. “Even though I couldn’t do a ton, it was still great to be able to get a little feedback from the NBA on what I need to work on and also what I do well that I can continue to improve on,” Camper said in a statement.
  • Cincinnati center Chris Vogt confirmed on Twitter that he’s rejoining the Bearcats for a “last go around.” The big man averaged 11.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 30 games (28.5 MPG) as a junior.

Draft Decisions: S. Lewis, Armstrong, Camper, Santos-Silva, More

Florida freshman shooting guard Scottie Lewis had been considered a strong candidate to be drafted this spring, ranking 38th overall on ESPN’s big board. However, Lewis has opted not to declare for the draft, as he confirms to Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

“I was so stuck on going to the NBA when I got home, but then I thought long and hard about it and with all the uncertainty about the draft process, and if there will even be a combine and team workouts, I felt like it was the right move to go back to school,” Lewis told Stadium.

As Goodman details, Lewis got feedback from the NBA’s advisory committee, and while he was confident he’d be selected if he entered, he received a wide range of opinions on when exactly he might come off the board. With few opportunities during this year’s pre-draft process to boost his stock, Lewis has opted to play at least one more college season in the hopes of showing individual improvement and enjoying more team success.

“There’s so much more I think I can show, that we can show as a team,” Lewis said. “I want to leave a legacy at Florida. … I’m an optimistic person and no matter where I get drafted, I’m going to work my butt off. But with all this uncertainty, it was best for me to play it safe and put myself in a better position a year from now.”

Although Lewis isn’t entering his name in the 2020 NBA draft pool, several NCAA underclassmen are doing so. In addition to Kentucky guards Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans, whose decisions we covered earlier today, here are some of the recent prospects who will at least test the draft waters: