Ege Arar

Draft Notes: Early Entrants, Fultz, Ferguson

The deadline for early entrants to withdraw from the NBA draft came and went on Monday evening, with several more international prospects pulling their names out of the 2017 draft pool. The NCAA’s deadline to withdraw from the draft and retain college eligibility passed in May, so NCAA underclassmen generally weren’t affected by this week’s deadline, but it was a key date for international early entrants.

As agent Misko Raznatovic tweets, a handful of his clients withdrew from the draft on Monday — Ege Arar and Aleksa Ilic will now be draft-eligible in 2018, while Borisa Simanic and Kostja Mushidi will have the option of declaring again next year. Israeli forward Leo Cizmic has also withdrawn from the draft, according to agent Gerard Darnes (Twitter link).

As we wait for official word from the NBA on this year’s list of early entrants, let’s round up a few more draft-related items…

  • Probable No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz has hired an agent, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that Raymond Brothers will represent the former Washington point guard. The new client of IAM Sports & Entertainment is expected to meet with the Lakers this week.
  • Speaking to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, first-round prospect Terrance Ferguson explained why he circumvented the usual path to the NBA, criticizing the NCAA system. “At college, the only people making money off you are the coaches,” said Ferguson, who claims he’s more prepared for the NBA after playing international pro ball out of high school. “You’re not making anything off your jersey sales, ticket sales. Not anything. So go overseas, the way I did, and get your money’s worth. Get paid for what you’re doing.”
  • Pittsburgh’s Jamel Artis will work out this week for the Hornets on Wednesday and the Nets on Thursday, a source tells Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • South Carolina prospect P.J. Dozier, who worked out for the Hornets today, will audition for the Pelicans and Hawks next, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News (Twitter link) adds the Pistons, Jazz and Clippers to the list of teams that Michigan’s Derrick Walton has worked out for.

Draft Updates: Fall, Adams, Egbunu, Ilic, Arar

UCF sophomore Tacko Fall has decided to test the draft waters, announcing today (via Twitter) that he’ll enter his name into the draft pool without initially hiring an agent. Fall will have until May 24 to get a sense of his draft value and make a decision on whether or not to return to school for his junior year.

A 7’6″ center from Senegal with an eight-foot wingspan, Fall has earned a spot on DraftExpress’ big board, coming in at No. 96 on the site’s top 100 list. The 21-year-old ranks 112th on Chad Ford’s ESPN board. Fall remains a raw prospect, but nearly averaged a double-double in his second year at UCF, finishing the season with 10.9 PPG and 9.5 RPG to go along with a .715 FG%.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Ford’s fourth mock draft is up at (Insider link), and there aren’t many changes at the top — Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson are still the first three prospects to come off the board. Still, there are a few interesting picks further down in Ford’s mock, including the Trail Blazers snagging multiple international players.
  • For agents who represent NBA players, this is one of the most interesting times of year, as they look to lock up potential lottery picks. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News has some details on which agencies this year’s top prospects are choosing for representation.
  • St. Bonaventure junior guard Jaylen Adams has opted to declare for the 2017 draft without hiring an agent, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Florida head coach Mike White said this week that he anticipates junior center John Egbunu will also test the draft waters. Neither player is on DraftExpress’ top 100 list, though Egbunu ranks 24th on the site’s list of juniors.
  • A pair of international prospects have entered the draft, according to agent Misko Raznatovic, who tweets that Buducnost power forward Aleksa Ilic and Galatasaray big man Ege Arar will go through the process. Both players were born in 1996.

Draft Notes: Jackson, Sabonis, Zimmerman

Notre Dame junior point guard Demetrius Jackson, who declared for the draft last month, has signed with Priority Sports for his representation, tweets Jeff Goodman of Projections are divided for the 21-year-old who ranks as the 11th-best prospect according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress but comes in just 25th in the listings that Chad Ford of compiles.

Plenty of other news about the draft has emerged with the June 23rd event barely more than two months away. Here’s the latest.

  • Gonzaga sophomore forward/center Domantas Sabonis has hired the Wasserman agency, reports Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Twitter link), with Greg Lawrence and Jason Ranne to represent him, according to Liz Mullen of The Sports Business Journal (Twitter link). That closes off the possibility that he’d withdraw from the draft and return to school. The 6’10” 20-year-old is the 15th-best prospect in Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider rankings and No. 19 on Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress list.
  • Texas A&M senior combo guard Alex Caruso has signed with agent Greg Lawrence of the Wasserman agency, Mullen relays (on Twitter).
  • UNLV freshman center Stephen Zimmerman has also signed with the Wasserman Media Group, D’Bria Bradshaw of The Sports Agent Blog relays. Agent Darren ‘Mats’ Matsubara will represent Zimmerman, Bradshaw notes.
  • West Virginia junior power forward Devin Williams has signed with agent Aaron Turner of Verus Management, Goodman reports (Twitter link). The 6’9″ 21-year-old is the 94th-best prospect in Ford’s rankings, while Givony has him outside the top 100, simply listing him as the 35th-best junior.
  • Florida Gulf Coast University junior Marc-Eddy Norelia will enter the draft without hiring an agent, the school announced. He’s a long-shot prospect, falling outside Ford’s and Givony’s rankings. The 6’8″ forward can retain his college eligibility if he withdraws from the draft by May 25th and doesn’t sign with an agent.
  • Czech power forward Adam Pechacek is entering the draft, his representatives at SigmaSports announced (via Twitter). The 21-year-old averaged 13.1 points and 5.2 rebounds playing in Poland last season.
  • Greek center Georgios Papagiannis, Turkish power forward/center Ege Arar and Slovenian point guard Aleksej Nikolic will all enter the draft, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express relays in a series of tweets. Of the trio, Papagiannis is the most likely to be drafted, with the 7’2″ 18-year-old coming in at No. 48 overall according to Givony. Neither Arar or Nikolic are locks to be selected, with Arar ranked as the No. 36 overall international prospect in his class by Givony, who slots Nikolic at No. 50.