David Collette

Draft Notes: Blackmon, Ford, Fox, Colette

Indiana guard James Blackmon has decided to remain in the draft, Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports.com reports. Blackmon confirmed on his Twitter feed that he will sign with an agent. Blackmon, who averaged 17.3 PPG and shot 42.3% on 3-point attempts, is essentially betting on himself and could wind up overseas if not in the D-League. He is not ranked among the Top 100 by DraftExpress or ESPN Insider Chad Ford. Blackmon joins two other Hoosiers who have declared for the draft — forward OG Anunoby, a potential lottery pick, and center Thomas Bryant. Indiana junior guard Robert Johnson will decide this week whether to remain in the draft, Rothstein adds.

In other draft-related nuggets:

  • Washington guard Markelle Fultz remains atop Ford’s latest Big Board with UCLA’s Lonzo Ball holding the second spot. Gonzaga center Zach Collins moved from No. 11 to No. 9 and Duke guard Luke Kennard advanced from No. 17 to No. 15. Previously unranked Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell, who recently hired an agent, moved into the first round at No. 22.
  • Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox believes he’s the top defensive guard in the draft, as he told ESPN’s Chris B. Haynes in a Q&A session. “For me, it’s not about offensive scoring, I want to shut the other guy down,” Fox boasted to Haynes. Fox is considered a sure-fire Top 10 pick, ranked No. 5 by both DraftExpress and Ford.
  • A handful of NBA scouts and executives polled by Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox.com believe there are nine impact players in the draft. That front-office group named 21 potential lottery picks and generally view this draft as much deeper in quality than the 2016 version.
  • Utah forward David Collette is expected to return to school, Rothstein tweets. The junior forward averaged 13.6 PPG and 5.1 RPG last season. Collette, a Utah State transfer, did not make the Top 100 lists.

NBA Confirms 182 Early Entrants For 2017 Draft

With the deadline for early entrants to enter the 2017 NBA draft now behind us, the league has officially released the list of this year’s early entry candidates, and it’s a long one. According to the NBA’s announcement, 182 players have declared early for the draft — 137 college players and 45 international prospects. That’s a new record.

As was the case a year ago, NCAA rules changes allow underclassmen to “test the waters” before officially committing to the 2017 NBA draft. NCAA early entrants can withdraw their names any time up until May 24 while maintaining their NCAA eligibility, as long as they haven’t hired agents. That means that prospects testing the waters can take part in the NBA draft combine from May 9-14 – if invited – and they can work out for individual teams in the coming weeks.

International early entrants can also withdraw their names from the draft pool within the next several weeks. The final draft list will be set after the early entrant withdrawal deadline for international and other non-NCAA players passes on June 12.

A year ago, a whopping 162 NCAA and international players declared their intent to enter the draft early, but 91 of those players eventually withdrew. This year should follow a similar pattern, so the group of eligible draftees for 2017 figures to be reduced significantly by June 12.

Listed below are the current early entrants, according to the NBA. Players whose intent to declare wasn’t previously reported on Hoops Rumors are listed in italics.

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