Since the NCAA’s own withdrawal deadline passed earlier this month, today’s deadline doesn’t have a real impact on most college players — if they were going to withdraw, they’ve probably done so already to avoid forgoing their remaining NCAA eligibility. However, today’s deadline is an important one for non-college prospects, including those who are playing in professional leagues in Europe and around the world.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has provided a series of updates on top international prospects who are finalizing their early entry decisions today. Let’s round them up…
(Note: The country listed for each prospect is where he has been playing, not necessarily where he’s from.)
Staying in the draft:
- Hugo Besson, G, Australia (born 2001) (Twitter link)
- Ousmane Dieng, F, Australia (born 2003) (ESPN story)
- Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia (born 2003) (Twitter link)
- Ismael Kamagate, C, France (born 2001) (Twitter link)
- Gabriele Procida, G/F, Italy (born 2002) (Twitter link)
- Ziga Samar, G, Spain (born 2001) (Twitter link)
- Gui Santos, F, Brazil (born 2002) (ESPN story)
Dieng, the No. 12 player on ESPN’s big board, and Jovic, ESPN’s No. 24 prospect, are considered good bets to be first-round picks, so it comes as no surprise that they’ll remain in the draft. The other players in this list may not be first-rounders, but most of them have a good chance to be drafted.
Besson comes in at No. 38 on ESPN’s board, while Kamagate is No. 40. Procida is the 52nd on player on ESPN’s list, but has received “strong reviews” during the pre-draft process, according to Givony.
Samar, the No. 61 player on ESPN’s board, has also gained traction recently due to his strong workouts for teams and the fact that his NBA buyout is flexible and inexpensive, making him an appealing draft-and-stash option, Givony explains.
Santos is the No. 76 player on ESPN’s top 100.
Withdrawing from the draft:
- Zvonimir Ivisic, F/C, Montenegro (born 2003) (Twitter link)
- Karlo Matkovic, F/C, Serbia (born 2001) (Twitter link)
- Leonard Miller, F, Canada (born 2003) (ESPN story)
- Matthew Strazel, G, France (born 2002) (Twitter link)
Miller, the No. 43 prospect on ESPN’s big board for 2022, will sign with the G League Ignite, he tells Givony.
“My decision to withdraw from this year’s draft is based on what’s best for my long-term development,” Miller said. “With another year of development both on and off the court, I will put myself in an even better position for the 2023 draft. Going through the pre-draft process, I learned about what it takes to be a successful professional. Whether it’s the daily on-court work, off-court work, diet, or recovery, I have gained a much greater understanding of the habits it takes to get to the top of this field.”
Givony is bullish on Miller’s chances of boosting his draft stock for next year, tweeting that the young forward will likely be a top-20 pick in ESPN’s next 2023 mock draft.
Matkovic was the No. 60 prospect on ESPN’s board, while Ivisic was No. 63, which made them borderline candidates to be drafted. Strazel was unranked.
A total of 37 international prospects declared for the draft as early entrants and typically no more than about 10 or 15 of those players keep their names in the pool. In other words, it’s a safe bet that many more players on our list of international early entrants will withdraw by today’s deadline, even if it those decisions aren’t reported immediately.