Dillon Mitchell

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mean a number of things — they may have decided against entering the draft; they may have entered the draft, then withdrawn; they may have had no NCAA eligibility remaining, making them automatically draft-eligible; they may have incorrectly filed their paperwork; or the NBA may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

Chomche, Dadiet, Flowers, Onyenso Among Draft’s Latest Early Entrants

Ulrich Chomche, an 18-year-old Cameroon center at the NBA Africa Academy, is entering the 2024 NBA draft, his agents at Klutch Sports tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

While Chomche is ranked 39th overall on ESPN’s list of this year’s top 100 prospects, that’s not necessarily the consensus. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (Twitter link) says he didn’t get the impression at last week’s Hoop Summit that Chomche was “anywhere near ready” to enter for the NBA and says that many NBA evaluators had a similar take. Vecenie adds that the big man is No. 86 on his own big board.

The No. 40 prospect on ESPN’s board, French wing Pacome Dadiet, has also declared for the draft, agent Yann Balikouzou tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The 18-year-old made 36% of his three-pointers while playing for Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany’s top basketball league this past season, Givony notes.

Another draft prospect who spent the season overseas has announced his intentions to enter the 2024 draft, according to the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s National Basketball League, who say (via Twitter) that 6’9″ wing Trentyn Flowers is declaring.

Flowers is an American prospect who spent his first professional season in Australia as part of the NBL’s Next Stars program. He’s the No. 77 prospect on ESPN’s board.

Here are several more draft-related notes:

  • Kentucky sophomore center Ugonna Onyenso, an elite shot blocker who swatted 2.8 shots in just 18.8 minutes per game this season, will enter the draft and forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility, Givony reports at ESPN. Onyenso, the No. 47 prospect on ESPN’s board, averaged just 3.6 points per contest but told Givony he wants to show teams during the pre-draft process that he can shoot the ball and isn’t “just a defensive player.”
  • Texas sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell is entering both the NCAA portal and the NBA draft, reports Jeff Goodman of The Field of 68 (Twitter link). The No. 71 prospect on ESPN’s top-100 list, Mitchell averaged 9.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 29.0 minutes per game in 34 contests for the Longhorns in 2023/24.
  • Grand Canyon senior guard Tyon Grant-Foster, the WAC Player of the Year in 2023/24, is entering the draft rather than using his final year of NCAA eligibility, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Grant-Foster, who has now undergone multiple heart surgeries, made his return to the court this season after collapsing at halftime of a game at the start of the 2021/22 season.
  • The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a pre-draft event showcasing draft-eligible seniors, has announced its rosters for 2024 (Twitter links). This year’s PIT will tip off later this week and will run from April 17-20.
  • Michigan State senior guard A.J. Hoggard, who is taking part in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, is testing the draft waters while retaining his college eligibility (Twitter link via Kyle Austin of MLive.com). Hoggard is the very last prospect to crack ESPN’s big board, coming in at No. 100.
  • Senior guard Jordan Ivy-Curry (Twitter link via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports) and Wake Forest senior forward Andrew Carr (Twitter link) are also testing the draft waters. If he returns to school, Ivy-Curry is transferring from UTSA to Virginia Tech.

Draft Decisions: A. Jackson, Edey, Beekman, More

Andre Jackson Jr., who helped lead Connecticut to a national title, has opted to keep his name in the draft rather than return to the Huskies for another season, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Jackson is projected to be taken late in the first round or early in the second round, Wojnarowski adds. The junior shooting guard ranks 32nd on ESPN’s big board and is projected to go to the Pacers with the 32nd pick in the latest mock draft by Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

“My time at UCONN has been filled with ups and downs but through it all I built relationships with my teammates, coaches, friends and fans that will last forever,” Jackson wrote in a Twitter post. “I’ve made so many memories playing in that jersey and I will miss it. But I’ll always be a husky. Thank you.”

Jackson averaged 6.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.3 steals in six tournament games and was believed to have raised his draft stock significantly, although questions remain about his outside shooting. He took part in the draft combine and went through individual workouts with several teams, including the Hawks, Celtics, Nets, Pacers and Trail Blazers, according to Wojnarowski.

Dozens of draft decisions were announced Wednesday ahead of the 11:59 pm EDT deadline to return to school without losing eligibility. Most late deciders opted to pull out of the draft, but a few prominent names will remain in the pool. They are:

National Player of the Year Zach Edey will withdraw from the draft and return to Purdue for another year, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN. The 7’4″ center averaged 22.9 points and 12.9 rebounds as a junior while shooting 60.7% from the field. Even so, his draft status wasn’t certain as he’s No. 47 in the ESPN rankings.

Another prominent player pulling out of the draft is Virginia’s Reece Beekman, the ACC’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Givony reports. Beekman hopes to boost his draft stock for 2024 after coming in at 43rd in ESPN’s rankings. “I’ve decided to go back to UVA to work towards being a first-round draft pick next year and finish my degree,” he said.

Here are some more players who decided late Wednesday to take their names out of the draft:

Draft Notes: Jackson, Combine, Bates, Flagler

Andre Jackson Jr., one of the key players in UConn’s national championship run, has worked out for the Celtics and Nets, Tony East of SI.com tweets. Those workouts came prior to the combo guard’s workout with the Pacers on Friday. Currently at the NBA Combine, Jackson is ranked as the 30th-best prospect on ESPN’s Best Available list

We have more draft-related news:

  • Santa Clara guard Brandin Podziemski, Texas forward Dillon Mitchell and G League Ignite forward Leonard Miller are some of the players with the most at stake at this week’s draft combine, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo. The ESPN duo examines a number of storylines that will play out in Chicago this week.
  • Eastern Michigan forward Emoni Bates had an impressive shooting performance in the first day of the combine, according to Mike Curtis of the Detroit News. Bates tied for first in the shooting-off-the-dribble drill and was second in the 3-point star drill, making 19-of-25 (76%) attempts from beyond the arc. The Memphis transfer and former five-star recruit is ranked No. 56 by ESPN.
  • Another fringe second-round prospect, Baylor’s Adam Flagler, sat down with Draft Digest’s Bryce Simon and says he has the leadership skills to be an NBA point guard. “The point guard role was easier than expected because of who I am as a person, caring, compassionate,” Flagler said. “My voice is something I used to get my point across and doing what I can to help you. As a point guard you spend time off the court to know who they [teammates] are and how to push their buttons so you can demand those things on the court.” Flagler is ranked No. 68 by ESPN.

NBA Reveals Players Expected At 2023 Draft Combine

The NBA has announced 78 players that are expected to attend this year’s draft combine, scheduled for May 15-21 at in Chicago, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets.

Additionally, a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp, which takes place May 13-14 in Chicago, will be invited to participate in the combine.

Players will have interviews with NBA teams and participate in five-on-five scrimmages, as well as shooting, strength and agility drills. Some top prospects opt out of the scrimmages.

Victor Wembanyama, the projected top pick, is not on the list. His French League season is still ongoing.

The list of invitees is as follows:

Draft Notes: Mitchell, Shannon, Early Entrants, Mock Draft

Texas freshman Dillon Mitchell will test the NBA draft waters while maintaining his college eligibility. The 19-year-old small forward made the announcement this evening on his Twitter page.

Mitchell is ranked 34th on ESPN’s list of the best available players, but he was considered the No. 4 recruit in the nation coming into college, writes Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Mitchell played just 17 minutes per game in his first season with the Longhorns, averaging 4.3 points and 3.9 rebounds. Although he shot 64% from the field, Givony notes that Mitchell’s usage rate would be the lowest of any player drafted over the last 30 years.

Mitchell will have to rely on next month’s draft combine and workouts with individual teams to show that he’s ready for the NBA. Givony points out that his unique combination of physical skills could still make him attractive as a draft prospect.

There’s more on this year’s draft:

And-Ones: Wembanyama, 2023 Draft, Best Trade Assets, More

Victor Wembanyama led France to a pair of blowout victories in this month’s World Cup qualifiers, scoring 39 total points in 48 minutes as the French team beat Lithuania by 25 points and Bosnia and Herzegovina by 36. The performances on the international stage were the latest reminder why Wembanyama is ranked atop every draft expert’s big board for 2023.

That list of draft experts includes Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who unveiled his full top-100 list for the 2023 NBA draft on Thursday, with the usual suspects (Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson) leading the way.

Givony’s initial list features Overtime Elite’s Amen Thompson at No. 3, Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr. at No. 4, and Villanova’s Cam Whitmore at No. 5. Keyonte George, Ausar Thompson, Dillon Mitchell, Kel’el Ware, and Brandon Miller round out his top 10.

In an Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Givony also shared his impressions on this year’s Champions Classic, evaluating Duke’s Kyle Filipowski as a lottery prospect and taking a closer look at Gradey Dick‘s strong start to the season for Kansas.

  • Which NBA teams have the best collection of trade assets? Yossi Gozlan and the staff at HoopsHype rank the Thunder, Pelicans, and the Grizzlies as the top three due to their impressive mix of young talent and future draft picks. On the other end of the spectrum, the Wizards are considered the team with the least valuable trade assets.
  • Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today takes a look at nine players who are making an impact this season after changing teams in the summer, starting with Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland, while Frank Urbina of HoopsHype singles out nine players who appear to be taking a major leap forward, including Lauri Markkanen and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
  • In his latest look around the NBA, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer considers whether the Warriors and Bulls will have to turn to the trade market this season, explores Joel Embiid‘s ongoing evolution, and highlights some of the league’s most impressive three-point shooters.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic breaks out the “panic meter” to determine how concerned we should be about some would-be contenders who are off to slow starts. Hollinger isn’t too worried about the Sixers and Clippers, but has serious reservations about the Timberwolves, Nets, and Lakers, with the Heat and Warriors falling in the middle.

And-Ones: Bjelica, Offseason Business, 2023 Draft, More

Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica has been ruled out for this week’s World Cup qualifiers due to a calf injury and is considered questionable for the upcoming EuroBasket tournament, as Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops details.

Bjelica, who signed with Turkish club Fenerbahce this offseason after winning a title with Golden State, will miss Serbia’s contest against Greece today, as well as Sunday’s game vs. Turkey. Serbia’s EuroBasket schedule will tip off on Friday, September 2 against the Netherlands.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • With the Kevin Durant saga settled, at least for now, John Hollinger of The Athletic considers what leftover offseason business we could see addressed in the coming weeks. The Lakers, Pacers, Jazz, Heat, Raptors, and Nets are among the teams that may still have some roster moves to make, Hollinger writes.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report shares scouting reports for his top 15 prospects in the 2023 NBA draft class, breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of players like Texas big man Dillon Mitchell and Duke center Dereck Lively in addition to the usual suspects like Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson.
  • Exactly how much does an NBA win cost? Mike Vorkunov and Seth Partnow of The Athletic make an effort to answer that question, with Partnow outlining a “wins/dollars efficiency model” and then explaining why such a model has its shortcomings.
  • Katie Heindl of GlobalSportMatters.com takes a look at how the NBA has increased the diversity in its coaching ranks without the need for a rule like the NFL’s “Rooney Rule.”