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Cam Christie, Jaylen Wells Staying In 2024 NBA Draft

Following his freshman season at Minnesota, Cam Christie has decided to go pro, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that the 6’6″ guard will remain in the 2024 NBA draft pool rather than heading back to school.

The No. 34 player on ESPN’s big board of 2024 prospects, Christie showed real promise as a shot-maker with size in his first and only college season, averaging 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game with a .391 FG%. NBA teams are intrigued by the youngster’s long-term upside, according to Givony, who observes (via Twitter) that Christie is still 18 years old.

Washington State forward Jaylen Wells will also keep his name in the NBA draft, forgoing his senior year at college, he tells Jamey Vinnick of Wells is currently the No. 60 player on ESPN’s board, making him a candidate to be selected in the second round of next month’s draft.

Wells, who spent his first two college seasons at Sonoma State before transferring to Washington State in 2023, averaged 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 29.2 minutes per game across 34 appearances last season, with a .436/.417/.814 shooting line. After deciding to test the draft waters this spring, he was initially invited to the G League Elite Camp before instead receiving an invite to the combine.

While Christie and Wells are staying in the draft, a number of his fellow NCAA early entrants are withdrawing in order to return to school. Here are several of those players, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports:

We expect more updates on draft decisions to come in over the course of the day, since the deadline for players to withdraw and retain their college eligibility is Wednesday night at 11:59 pm Eastern time.

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2024 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2024 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 195 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 138 are from colleges, 43 had been playing for teams internationally, and 14 were playing non-college ball stateside (ie. the G League or Overtime Elite).

While that early entrant total obviously far exceeds the number of players who will be selected in this year’s draft (58), it’s down significantly from the figures we’ve seen in recent years. A record 353 early entrants initially declared for the draft in 2021, but that number dropped to 283 in 2022 and 242 a year ago. The NCAA’s NIL policy, which allows college athletes to be paid based on their name, image, and likeness, has presumably been a major factor in that trend.

This year’s total of 195 early entrants figures to decline significantly by May 29 and again by June 16, the two deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it’s still likely that the eventual number of early entrants will exceed 58 players. That group will join the college seniors with no remaining eligibility and other automatically eligible players in this year’s draft pool.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2024 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.

Other players:

  • Abdullah Ahmed, C, Westchester Knicks (born 2003)
  • Somto Cyril, C, Overtime Elite (born 2005)
  • Reynan Dos Santos, G, Overtime Elite (born 2004)
  • Djordjije Jovanovic, F, Ontario Clippers (born 2003)
  • Jalen Lewis, F/C, Overtime Elite (born 2005)
  • Malique Lewis, F, Mexico City Capitanes (born 2004)
  • Babacar Sane, F, G League Ignite (born 2003)

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.

It seems that last possibility is a real one, as Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets that a “miscommunication or mishap’ at the league office may result in a dozen or more additional names being added to the NBA’s early entrant list.

We’ve still removed the following names from our early entrant list for the time being, but it sounds like some could be re-added soon.

Note: Some of these players may also be transferring to new schools.