Nojel Eastern

Draft Notes: Combine, Diane, Pierre-Louis, Eastern

Although the NBA’s 2020 draft combine won’t take place in Chicago next week as originally scheduled, the league hasn’t given up on the idea of holding it – in some form – later this year. If it can happen in person, the combine may still be held in Chicago, but a more likely outcome would see it held in Las Vegas or Orlando, assuming that’s where the NBA sets up its “bubble” to resume the season, writes Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com.

As Zagoria notes, with NBA teams and personnel all gathered in one place to complete the season, it would make sense to host the combine in that location rather than asking prospects and evaluators to travel elsewhere. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the combine will be able to happen in person at all — a virtual event may end up being the most viable scenario.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft

  • Cal State Northridge forward Lamine Diane has signed with agent Richie Felder of CAA for representation, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. As a result, Diane will go pro and remain in the draft, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility. He currently ranks 71st overall on ESPN’s big board.
  • Like Diane, Temple guard Nate Pierre-Louis has decided to sign with an agent and remain in the draft, he tells Goodman (Twitter link). Pierre-Louis, who had one year of NCAA eligibility left, doesn’t show up on ESPN’s list of 2020’s top 100 prospects.
  • After deciding to test the draft waters this spring, Purdue’s Nojel Eastern has also opted to transfer, announcing today (via Twitter) that he has committed to Michigan for next season. While Eastern didn’t mention the draft, it appears he’ll play one more year of college ball before going pro.
  • Although these early entrants are making their draft decisions now, there’s no rush to do so. The NCAA announced on Wednesday that it has indefinitely postponed its June 3 withdrawal deadline for early entry prospects.

205 Early Entrants Declare For 2020 NBA Draft

The NBA has released the official list of early entrants for the 2020 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 205 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 163 are from colleges, while 42 are international early entrants.

That number falls just short of the previous record for early entrants, established in 2018. Two years ago, 236 early entrants declared for the draft, though ultimately only 91 of those prospects remained in the draft by the final deadline. A year ago, 233 early entrants declared, with 98 remaining in the draft.

This year’s total of 205 early entrants also figures to shrink significantly by June 3 and again by June 15, the two tentative deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool — assuming those dates aren’t pushed back. But it still looks like the pool will remain crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants likely to exceed 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.

  • Philippe Bayehe, F, Italy (born 1999)
  • Vinicius Da Silva, C, Spain (born 2001)
  • Imru Duke, F, Spain (born 1999)
  • Michele Ebeling, F, Italy (born 1999)
  • Dut Mabor, C, Italy (born 2001)
  • Sergi Martinez, F, Spain (born 1999)
  • Joel Parra, F, Spain (born 2000)
  • Mouhamed Thiam, C, France (born 2001)
  • Andrii Voinalovych, F, Ukraine (born 1999)

Withdrawal Deadline Looms For NCAA Early Entrants

NCAA early entrants in the 2018 NBA draft have until the end of the day on Wednesday, May 30 to make a decision on whether or not to keep their names in this year’s draft pool.

While the NBA’s deadline for draft withdrawals is on June 11, the NCAA has its own deadline. A college player who withdraws from the draft between May 31 and June 11 would become draft-eligible in a future year, but would be ineligible to return to his NCAA team next season. As such, the NBA’s June 11 deadline is generally only worth watching for international early entrants.

A record-setting 236 early entrants declared for the 2018 NBA draft, but many of those prospects were simply testing the draft waters without an agent and have since announced their intent to return to college for at least one more year.

We’ve been making an effort to keep tabs on all the latest early entrants news right here. As our list shows, a number of notable prospects still have decisions to make today. Kevin Huerter (Maryland), Tyus Battle (Syracuse), Jontay Porter (Missouri), PJ Washington (Kentucky), Omari Spellman (Villanova), Jarred Vanderbilt (Kentucky), Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State), Caleb Martin (Nevada), and Cody Martin (Nevada) are among the highly-regarded prospects who have yet to announce their intent one way or the other.

A few of the latest early entrant draft withdrawals are noted below. These players won’t go pro yet, opting instead to continue their respective college careers:

Draft Notes: Washington, Ward, Brown, Hudson

Kentucky freshman forward PJ Washington is working out for the Clippers this week and will meet with the Timberwolves and Bucks before next week’s draft combine, Fletcher Page of the Louisville Journal Courier reports. Washington, who has already visited the Celtics and Nets, has a pinky finger injury that will require surgery, Page continues. Father Paul Washington told Page that his son isn’t assured of staying in the draft.

“It’s real simple — if he’s guaranteed a first round pick, then he’ll stay in the draft,” Paul Washington said. “If he doesn’t get that, we’ll have to make a decision. It’s PJ’s decision.”

The 6’8” Washington is listed at No. 51 among Jonathan Givony’s top 100 prospects at ESPN.com. He averaged 10.8 PPG and 5.7 RPG for the Wildcats.

In other draft developments:

  • Michigan State sophomore center Nick Ward will work out for the Pistons this weekend, Brendan Quinn of The Athletic tweets. Ward has already worked out for the Knicks and Thunder and at least eight other teams are interested in bringing him in, Quinn adds. He averaged 12.4 PPG and 7.1 RPG for the Spartans. He is not listed among Givony’s top 100 prospects.
  • The Hawks are bringing in six prospects on Wednesday, according to a team press release. South Carolina forward Brian Bowen, Auburn guard Bryce Brown, Purdue guard Nojel Eastern, Maryland forward Bruno Fernando, Florida shooting guard Jalen Hudson and Utah Valley center Akolda Manyang are the players visiting Atlanta. Hudson, ranked No. 45 by Givony, is the most prominent member of the group.

Draft Updates: Wagner, Eastern, Hlinason, Birutis

Michigan center Moritz Wagner is going pro, announcing his decision over the weekend with an essay on The Players’ Tribune. Within an in-depth piece explaining his decision, Wagner indicated that he’ll hire an agent, forgoing his final year of NCAA eligibility.

A 6’11” junior, Wagner was a key piece of a Wolverines squad that made a run to the NCAA Final Four this year, losing to Villanova in the title game. For the 2017/18 season, Wagner averaged 14.6 PPG and 7.1 RPG with a shooting line of .528/.394/.694. He’s considered a top-50 prospect by ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony, coming in at No. 48 on ESPN’s big board.

Here are more draft-related updates:

  • Purdue guard Nojel Eastern didn’t play a major role for the Boilermakers during his freshman year, averaging just 12.6 minutes per game in 37 contests. Nonetheless, he’ll test the draft waters this spring, entering the 2018 pool without an agent, according to a press release from the program.
  • Icelandic big man Tryggvi Hlinason is declaring for the 2018 NBA draft, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The 7’1″ center hasn’t played much for Valencia in Spain this season, but comes in at No. 75 on Givony’s big board of 2018 prospects and is considered a potential second-round pick by NBA teams.
  • Lithuanian center Laurynas Birutis has entered the 2018 NBA draft, his agent confirmed to Givony. “The NBA has always been my dream,” Birutis said. “Therefore, I would like to try my chances there. This was not a difficult decision, because I want to try to compete against the best players in the world.” Birutis is just 20 years old, but is having a productive season in Lithuanian, averaging 15.1 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 25 MPG for BC Siauliai.