Blake Hinson

44 Prospects Invited To G League Elite Camp

Forty-four prospects for the 2024 NBA draft were invited to the NBA’s G League Elite Camp, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link).

The list of players is as follows:

The field of draft prospects scrimmage for two days in Chicago starting on May 11 ahead of the NBA’s annual draft combine. If players perform well enough, they’re often promoted to the larger combine immediately following the G League Elite Camp. Typically, at least a half dozen players move on.

While the combine usually focuses on the top-ranked players in each draft class, the G League Elite Camp offers opportunity to prospects further down boards who are more likely to go undrafted. Of the 44 names invited to the G League Elite Camp, only 16 rank among ESPN’s top 100 prospects. No prospect ranks higher than No. 48 (Onyenso) on ESPN’s board.

Nine of ESPN’s top 100 prospects have not been invited to Chicago for either event: Armel Traore (France), Zacharie Perrin (France), Andrija Jelavic (Croatia), Yannick Kraag (Netherlands), Tre Mitchell (Kentucky), Ilias Kamardine (France), Dylan Disu (Texas), Riley Minix (Morehead State) and Jonas Aidoo (Tennessee). According to Givony (Twitter link), the NBA might not announce the official list until Monday, so there’s a chance it’s amended.

The G League Elite Camp will give invitees who declared for the draft as early entrants an opportunity to see where they stand ahead of the draft withdrawal deadline on May 29. Not all of the players who participate in this event will remain in the draft pool.

Last year, future NBA players like Hornets forward Leaky Black, Pistons forward Tosan Evbuomwan, Mavericks forward Alex Fudge, Celtics guard Drew Peterson and Nets guard Jaylen Martin all participated in the event. Other recent notable alums of the event include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado and Clippers guard Terance Mann.

Draft Decisions: Murrell, Baker, Broome, Cross, Cryer, More

Ole Miss guard Matthew Murrell is pulling out of the 2023 NBA draft and returning to school for at least one more year, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Murrell, who will be a senior in 2023/24, sounds intent on re-entering the draft next spring.

“After gathering feedback from my workouts and team personnel, I am going to continue to build my game at Ole Miss, so I am in the position I want to be in for the 2024 NBA draft,” he said. “I know who I am as a player and how that can translate to the NBA.”

Murrell’s shooting percentages dipped in his junior season, as he made just 36.5% of his shots from the floor, including 30.4% of his three-pointers. But he established new career highs in points (14.4), rebounds (3.5), and assists (2.6) per game and looks like a potential All-SEC player and 2024 second-round pick, according to Givony, who says the “physically gifted” wing impressed NBA executives at a pro day in Chicago earlier this month.

Like Murrell, several other early entrants have opted to remove their names from this year’s draft as the withdrawal deadline for early entrants nears. Here are several of the other players who are headed back to school:

Draft Notes: Phillips, James, Vukcevic, Hifi, Alexander, More

A pair of Tennessee prospects will enter the 2023 NBA draft while preserving their remaining NCAA eligibility, Vols head coach Rick Barnes told reporters on Thursday. As Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports relays (via Twitter), freshman forward Julian Phillips and senior wing Josiah-Jordan James both intend to test the draft waters.

Phillips, the No. 52 player on ESPN’s big board, had an underwhelming freshman season, averaging just 8.3 PPG and 4.7 RPG on .411/.239/.822 shooting in 32 games (24.1 MPG). However, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony suggests Phillips has good size and length for his position and has the frame of a prototypical small forward. He could boost his stock with strong workouts this spring, but may benefit from another year in college, Givony adds.

James, meanwhile, averaged 10.0 PPG and 4.7 RPG with a .372/.313/.861 shooting line in his fourth year at Tennessee. He ranks 61st on ESPN’s board, with Givony lauding his toughness and defensive versatility, but is far from a lock to be drafted if he opts to go pro.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for the draft:

  • Tristan Vukcevic, a 20-year-old forward/center playing for Partizan Belgrade in Serbia, has declared for the draft, a source tells Givony (Twitter link). Vukcevic is a talented three-point shooter who is a candidate to be drafted in the second round, currently ranking 53rd overall on ESPN’s top 100.
  • Nadir Hifi, a 20-year-old French-Algerian wing having a big year for Le Portel in LNB Pro A (France’s top league), is entering the draft, agent Olivier Mazet tells Givony (Twitter link). Hifi comes in at No. 78 on ESPN’s board.
  • Creighton sophomore guard Trey Alexander will test the draft waters this spring, he announced on Twitter. Alexander boosted his numbers across the board in his second college season, averaging 13.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 2.6 APG with an impressive .410 3PT% in 37 games (32.1 MPG). He’s the No. 89 prospect on ESPN’s list.
  • Auburn senior forward Jaylin Williams (Twitter link via Rothstein), Pitt redshirt junior guard Blake Hinson (press release), and UConn senior guard Tristen Newton (Instagram link) are among the other early entrants who have recently declared for the draft. All three will test the waters while maintaining their NCAA eligibility.