Eli Ndiaye

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2023 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2023 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 242 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 192 are from colleges, two played in the NBA G League, and 48 are international early entrants.

Those are big numbers, but they fall well short of the 353 early entrants who initially declared for the draft in 2021 and the 283 who entered last year. Beginning in 2021, the NCAA granted players an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in seniors having to decide between staying at college for one more season or declaring for the draft as an “early” entrant.

This year’s total of 242 early entrants figures to shrink significantly by May 31 and again by June 12, the two deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it still looks like the pool will remain extremely crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants certain to exceed 58, the number of picks in the draft.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2023 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.

  • Miguel Allen, F, Spain (born 2003)
  • Idrissa Ba, C, France (born 2002)
  • Elian Benitez, G, France (born 2003)
  • William Beugre-Kassi, G/F, France (born 2004)
  • Sasa Ciani, F, Croatia (born 2003)
  • Ege Demir, F/C, Turkey (born 2004)
  • Thijs De Ridder, F, Belgium (born 2003)
  • Nikola Djurisic, G/F, Serbia (born 2004)
  • Ruben Dominguez, G, Spain (born 2003)
  • Quinn Ellis, G, Italy (born 2003)
  • Juan Fernandez, F/C, Spain (born 2002)
  • Clement Frisch, F, France (born 2002)
  • Sananda Fru, F, Germany (born 2003)
  • Gloire Goma, G, Spain (born 2003)
  • Hassane Gueye, F, France (born 2003)
  • Ondrej Hanzlik, F, Spain (born 2002)
  • Ilias Kamardine, G, France (born 2003)
  • Konstantin Kostadinov, F, Spain (born 2003)
  • Oleksandr Kovliar, G, Estonia (born 2002)
  • Liutauras Lelevicius, G, Lithuania (born 2003)
  • Gilad Levy, C, Israel (born 2002)
  • Ruben Lopez, F, Spain (born 2002)
  • Assemian Moulare, G, France (born 2003)
  • Daniel Onwenu, G, Brazil (born 2002)
  • Ivan Perasovic, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  • Mantas Rubstavicius, G, Lithuania (born 2002)
  • Musa Sagnia, F/C, Spain (born 2003)
  • Marcio Santos, F/C, Brazil (born 2002)
  • Enzo Shahrvin, F, France (born 2003)
  • Birahima Sylla, G, France (born 2003)
  • Dez Andras Tanoh, G, Hungary (born 2002)
  • Hugo Toom, F, Estonia (born 2002)
  • Armel Traore, F, France (born 2003)
  • Ricards Vanags, G/F, Latvia (born 2002)

Other notable draft-eligible early entrants:

The NBA typically sends its teams a list of “also-eligible” names. That list isn’t public. However, we’re assuming that at least one projected top-three pick is on it: Scoot Henderson of the G League Ignite. Overtime Elite standouts Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson would also be on this list, as would Henderson’s Ignite teammate Leonard Miller.

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.

In any case, we’ve removed the following names from our early entrant list, at least for the time being.

Draft Notes: Miller, Henderson, Black, Early Entrants

Alabama freshman Brandon Miller has become a legitimate contender to be taken with the second pick in this year’s draft, writes Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. French center Victor Wembanyama remains a clear favorite as the top choice, but in conversations with NBA executives and scouts, Vecenie finds that teams are considering Miller alongside G League guard Scoot Henderson, who had been ranked second in most mock drafts since the season began.

Vecenie still has Henderson second on his list, calling him “an elite-level competitor with elite athleticism” and comparing him to Anthony Edwards and Derrick Rose. But Miller has steadily worked his way up NBA draft boards throughout the season while leading the Crimson Tide to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

The 6’9″ wing has drawn comparisons to Paul George while averaging 19.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He’s also shooting 45% from the field and 40% from three-point range and is viewed as a solid defender. Miller has improved his ability to create shots off the dribble and has shown an ability to score through contact that scouts had originally doubted. There are obvious questions surrounding the role he played in a January shooting, but Vecenie doesn’t believe that will affect his draft status as long as he’s not charged in the case.

There’s more on the NBA draft:

  • Miller gave brief answers during the SEC Tournament when he was asked about his involvement in the incident, but Alabama coach Nate Oats talked it more in depth with Kyle Tucker of The Athletic. “Based on everything we know, Brandon didn’t break any laws, he didn’t violate any school policy and he’s a fully cooperating witness,” Oats said. “Based on all that, we made the decision to let him keep playing.”
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic also touches on the Miller vs. Henderson debate, suggesting that Miller may be the best perimeter player in college basketball. Hollinger, who attended the SEC Tournament last week, identifies Arkansas as a team to watch in the NCAA Tournament, stating that the Razorbacks may have five players who will get drafted. Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black are considered potential lottery picks, and Hollinger sees Black as a candidate for the No. 4 pick, even though he hasn’t shot well in his freshman season.
  • Belmont senior guard Ben Sheppard will give up his final year of eligibility and enter the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Sheppard was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and an All-Defensive team choice this year.
  • Real Madrid’s Eli Ndiaye, an 18-year-old center out of Senegal, has also declared for the draft, according to Givony (Twitter link).