A.J. Hoggard

Draft Decisions: Bona, J. James, Da Silva, More

College players who declared for the 2023 NBA draft as early entrants while maintaining their NCAA eligibility have until the end of the day on Wednesday to either withdraw from the draft or forgo their remaining eligibility. Players who take the latter route could still technically pull out of the draft before the NBA’s June 12 deadline, but wouldn’t have the option of returning to school if they miss the NCAA’s May 31 deadline.

As a result, we’re getting a flurry of updates today on prospects who had been testing the draft waters.

UCLA’s Adem Bona, for instance, has decided to remove his name from the draft pool and rejoin the Bruins for his sophomore year, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Bona, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, had been the No. 48 player on ESPN’s 2023 big board.

Tennessee wing Josiah-Jordan James, the No. 77 player on ESPN’s board, has also decided to pull out of the 2023 draft and will take advantage of his final year of college eligibility, he announced on Twitter. Colorado forward Tristan Da Silva – ESPN’s No. 83 prospect – will head back to school too, as he tells Givony.

While most players announcing decisions today are withdrawing from the draft, that’s not the case for everyone. Memphis forward Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu, for instance, has opted to keep his name in the draft and go pro, agent Scott Nichols tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

In our latest batch of updates, however, Akobundu-Ehiogu is a rarity. Here are several more early entrants who are withdrawing from the draft:

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2023 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2023 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 242 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 192 are from colleges, two played in the NBA G League, and 48 are international early entrants.

Those are big numbers, but they fall well short of the 353 early entrants who initially declared for the draft in 2021 and the 283 who entered last year. Beginning in 2021, the NCAA granted players an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in seniors having to decide between staying at college for one more season or declaring for the draft as an “early” entrant.

This year’s total of 242 early entrants figures to shrink significantly by May 31 and again by June 12, the two deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it still looks like the pool will remain extremely crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants certain to exceed 58, the number of picks in the draft.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2023 draft is fully up to date and can be found right here.

Here are the changes we made to our tracker today:


Newly added players:

College players:

These players either didn’t publicly announce that they were entering the draft or we simply missed it when they did.

International players:

These players weren’t previously mentioned on our list of international early entrants. The country listed here indicates where they last played, not necessarily where they were born.

  • Miguel Allen, F, Spain (born 2003)
  • Idrissa Ba, C, France (born 2002)
  • Elian Benitez, G, France (born 2003)
  • William Beugre-Kassi, G/F, France (born 2004)
  • Sasa Ciani, F, Croatia (born 2003)
  • Ege Demir, F/C, Turkey (born 2004)
  • Thijs De Ridder, F, Belgium (born 2003)
  • Nikola Djurisic, G/F, Serbia (born 2004)
  • Ruben Dominguez, G, Spain (born 2003)
  • Quinn Ellis, G, Italy (born 2003)
  • Juan Fernandez, F/C, Spain (born 2002)
  • Clement Frisch, F, France (born 2002)
  • Sananda Fru, F, Germany (born 2003)
  • Gloire Goma, G, Spain (born 2003)
  • Hassane Gueye, F, France (born 2003)
  • Ondrej Hanzlik, F, Spain (born 2002)
  • Ilias Kamardine, G, France (born 2003)
  • Konstantin Kostadinov, F, Spain (born 2003)
  • Oleksandr Kovliar, G, Estonia (born 2002)
  • Liutauras Lelevicius, G, Lithuania (born 2003)
  • Gilad Levy, C, Israel (born 2002)
  • Ruben Lopez, F, Spain (born 2002)
  • Assemian Moulare, G, France (born 2003)
  • Daniel Onwenu, G, Brazil (born 2002)
  • Ivan Perasovic, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  • Mantas Rubstavicius, G, Lithuania (born 2002)
  • Musa Sagnia, F/C, Spain (born 2003)
  • Marcio Santos, F/C, Brazil (born 2002)
  • Enzo Shahrvin, F, France (born 2003)
  • Birahima Sylla, G, France (born 2003)
  • Dez Andras Tanoh, G, Hungary (born 2002)
  • Hugo Toom, F, Estonia (born 2002)
  • Armel Traore, F, France (born 2003)
  • Ricards Vanags, G/F, Latvia (born 2002)

Other notable draft-eligible early entrants:

The NBA typically sends its teams a list of “also-eligible” names. That list isn’t public. However, we’re assuming that at least one projected top-three pick is on it: Scoot Henderson of the G League Ignite. Overtime Elite standouts Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson would also be on this list, as would Henderson’s Ignite teammate Leonard Miller.

Players removed:

Despite reports or announcements that the players below would declare for the draft, they didn’t show up on the NBA’s official list.

That could mean a number of things — they may have decided against entering the draft; they may have entered the draft, then withdrawn; they may have had no NCAA eligibility remaining, making them automatically draft-eligible; they may have incorrectly filed their paperwork; or the NBA may have accidentally omitted some names.

In any case, we’ve removed the following names from our early entrant list, at least for the time being.