George Lucas

NBA Draft Withdrawal Deadline Updates

The deadline for college underclassmen to pull out of the draft and retain NCAA eligibility was way back on April 12th, but the NBA’s deadline isn’t until 4:00pm Central time today. That means that prospects from overseas who aren’t automatically draft-eligible finally have a decision to make. It’s possible that an early entrant from college or two will pull out, too, though that would force them to play in the D-League or overseas next season.

We’ll be tracking news of each player withdrawing from the draft today with this post, and we’ll pass along news about players deciding to stay in the draft here, too. A few reports came in over the recent days and weeks — Cyprus-born small forward Aleksandar Vezenkov is expected to withdraw, and so will German forward Paul Zipser, while South Korean center Jong-Hyun Lee is staying in the draft — but if the narrative changes on them, we’ll note it.

A few prospects changed their minds in the hours leading up to the deadline last year, so we’ll transfer names from one list below to the other if that happens again. Once it’s all settled, we’ll update our early entrants list with the final account as the draft, set for a week from Thursday, approaches.

So, here’s our list as it stands now. We’ll update it and bump it to the top of our home page as new information comes in.

Withdrawing from the draft

  • Brazilian point guard George de Paula, aka George Lucas, has left the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Rade Zagorac, a Serbian small forward is out of the draft, agent Misko Raznatovic says, as Givony reports (Twitter link).
  • Russian center Andrey Desyatnikov will withdraw from the draft, according to the ASM Sports Agency, Givony tweets.
  • Nedim Buza, a small forward from Bosnia and Herzegovina, will pull out of the draft, Givony tweets.
  • Combo forward Lucas Dias, aka Lucas Dias Silva, and small forward Humberto Gomes, both from Brazil, have withdrawn from the draft, according to their agent, as Givony tweets.
  • Point guard Miroslav Pasajlic, shooting guard Dusan Kutlesic and center Djoko Salic, all from Serbia, are pulling out of the draft, agent Alex Raskovic tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Another Serbian, center Marko Tejic, will also withdraw from the draft, Raznatovic tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Vladislav Korenyuk, a Ukrainian center, will pull out of the draft, agent Saulius Svetkauskas confirmed to Oleksandr Proshuta of (Twitter link; hat tip to Givony).
  • Brazilian shooting guard Danilo Fuzaro will withdraw, agent Vinicius Fontana tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Moussa Diagne, a center from Senegal, is out of the draft, according to agent Herb Rudoy, as Givony tweets.
  • French power forward Alexandre Chassang will pull out of the draft, according to agent Pedja Materic, Givony tweets.
  • Big man Alpha Kaba of France won’t keep his name in, either, Materic says, as Givony relays (Twitter link).
  • Swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, another Frenchman, is also coming off the early-entrant list, Materic tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Simone Fontecchio, a small forward from Italy, is pulling out of the draft, a source told Daniele Labanti of Corriere di Bologna (Twitter link).
  • French small forward Kevin Harley has decided to come off the draft board, agent Olivier Mazet tweets (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
  • Latvian center Andzejs Pasecniks is withdrawing from the draft, agent Artūrs Kalnītis tweets (hat tip to Givony).

Remaining in the draft

  • It’s no surprise, but Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis and Croatian shooting guard Mario Hezonja, both candidates to become top-10 picks, will stay in the draft, tweets Chad Ford of
  • Guillermo Hernangomez, a center from Spain, will stick on this year’s early entrants list, according to the ASM Sports Agency, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Serbian point guard Nikola Radicevic is staying in the draft, agent Alex Raskovic said to Givony (Twitter link).
  • Mouhammadou Jaiteh, a center from France, will remain draft-eligible, agent Herman Manakyan tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Serbian center Nikola Milutinov will stay in the draft, agent Marc Fleisher says, according to Givony (on Twitter).
  • Satnam Singh, a center from India, is keeping his name on the draft list, agent Travis King tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Macedonian-born small forward Cedi Osman will stay in the draft, tweets Can Pelister of Trendbasket.
  • Greek power forward Dimitrios Agravanis is staying in the draft, tweets agent Georgios Dimitropoulos (hat tip to Givony).

Eastern Notes: Kirk, Boylen, Porzingis

The Pistons got an early jump on their offseason today, acquiring Ersan Ilyasova from the Bucks in exchange for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams. Milwaukee GM John Hammond had nothing but praise for the departed big man, Charles F. Gardner and Matt Velazquez of The Journal Sentinel write. “Ersan always represented this organization and this community in a first-class manner,” Hammond said. “He gave 100% night in and night out. We wish Ersan nothing but the best as he continues his career in Detroit.” Here’s more out of the East:

  • The Bulls are pursuing San Antonio assistant Jim Boylen to become the top assistant on coach Fred Hoiberg‘s staff, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. Chicago has received permission from the Spurs to speak to Boylen, league sources told Wojnarowski. Chicago has expressed a willingness to discuss the title of associate head coach with Boylen, the Yahoo! scribe adds.
  • The Nets held pre-draft workouts today for Dakari Johnson (Kentucky), George Lucas (Brazil), Lucas Dias Silva (Brazil), Josh Gasser (Wisconsin), and Luis Montero (Westchester CC), Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops tweets.
  • Center Alex Kirk worked out for the Knicks today with the hope he can earn an invite to training camp, Adam Zagoria of writes. “I’m not going to come in and try to score 30 points and try to do some of these amazing things that these other guys are going to try to do,” Kirk told Basketball Insiders (video link). “I just want to come in and be Alex Kirk and try to play as hard as I possibly can and hopefully that turns into some training camp offers and just see where that goes from there.” Kirk was waived by New York shortly after being acquired from the Cavaliers this past season.
  • The Knicks will be one of a number of teams attending a workout for Kristaps Porzingis in Las Vegas this Friday, Ian Begley of relays (Twitter links). This is likely to be Prozingis’ only pre-draft showcase, Begley notes. Also participating in the workout will be Myles Turner (Texas) and Jarell Martin (LSU), the ESPN scribe relays.
  • Kansas swingman Kelly Oubre plans to work out for the Heat in the near future, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel relays. You can see our full prospect profile for Oubre here.

Pacific Notes: Hornacek, Curry, Lakers, Draft

Three Pacific Division teams hold three lottery picks this year, giving the Lakers, Kings and Suns weapons to try to chase down the power axis of the Warriors and Clippers in the next few years. The Clips are without a pick, while Golden State has only the final selection of the first round. The Lakers, in particular, can add plenty of young talent with picks Nos. 2, 27 and 34, though whether they’ll have the patience to let all of them develop remains to be seen. Here’s the latest from the division:

  • Jeff Hornacek is heading into the final guaranteed season of his contract, but he’s made the Suns better, and even though he’s dismissed the idea that he would leave Phoenix for Iowa State, his alma mater, the Suns need to resolve his lame duck status, argues Paula Boivin of the Arizona Republic. Boivin calls for the Suns to either pick up Hornacek’s 2016/17 team option or grant him an extension.
  • More than four dozen NBA players drew higher salaries this season than MVP Stephen Curry did, a key to helping the Warriors build their Finals roster, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders examines. Curry’s bargain deal runs two more years, so Golden State will continue to benefit, but the point guard is set for free agency in 2017, just as preliminary projections show the salary cap hitting its peak, so he’ll eventually rake in the cash, Kennedy writes.
  • Brazilian point guard George Lucas, Nebraska swingman Terran Petteway, Syracuse big man Rakeem Christmas, Eastern Washington shooting guard Tyler Harvey, North Carolina shooting guard J.P. Tokoto and Arizona power forward Brandon Ashley worked out for the Lakers in the first of two sessions Monday, the team announced (Twitter link). We passed along the participants in session two in the post linked here.
  • Adam Zagoria of adds the Suns to the list of teams working out Arizona small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Twitter link).

Eastern Notes: Curry, Celtics, Perkins

The Hornets announced today that former player and current broadcaster Dell Curry has expanded his role with the organization, becoming a team Ambassador and Special Projects Advisor. Curry will serve as an ambassador for the team at events related to both basketball and business operations, such as community programs, charity outings, speaking engagements and fundraising galas. “We are pleased that Dell has agreed to expand his role with our organization,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield.  “Dell’s name is synonymous with the words ‘Charlotte Hornets.’  Our fans know him well from both his history as a player and his six seasons as our TV analyst.  We are excited that he will be strengthening his relationship with our franchise.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern Conference:

  • The Celtics held workouts today for David Kravish (California), Cliff Alexander (Kansas), Chasson Randle (Stanford), George Lucas (Brazil), Maxie Esho (UMass), and Satnam Singh (IMG Academy), Chris Forsberg of relays (via Twitter).
  • Kendrick Perkins had a choice to sign with either the Clippers or the Cavaliers after parting ways with the Jazz at midseason via a buyout arrangement, and the big man is thrilled that he ultimately decided on Cleveland, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media writes. “Just to come and have a chance to win a title is beautiful,” Perkins told Haynes. “Anytime you have that chance to make it to The Finals, you’re definitely a championship-type team. … We’re proving it every night.
  • The Nets have three sets of workouts scheduled for next week, the team announced. The group on Monday will consist of Terry Rozier (Louisville), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), Treveon Graham (VCU), Aaron Thomas (FSU), Mike Myers (MD-Eastern Shore), and Kendall Gray (Delaware State). Tuesday’s crop will consist of Phil Greene (St. John’s), Darrick Marks (Boise State), Darrun Hilliard (Villanova), Greg Whittington (Georgetown), Aaron White (Iowa), and David Laury (Iona). And on Wednesday the team will work out Jarvis Summers (Mississippi), Quinn Cook (Duke), Jesse Morgan (Temple), J.P. Tokoto (North Carolina), Jonathan Holmes (Texas), and JayVaughn Pinkston (Villanova).

Atlantic Notes: Marks, Hodges, Hollis-Jefferson

The Nets and assistant GM Bobby Marks have parted ways, as Marks confirmed via his Twitter account (hat tip to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports). It’s believed the Nets are set on cutting costs across the board and staff cuts are underway, Wojnarowski tweets. Indeed, the austerity measures have been ongoing for months and the Nets progressively reduced their player payroll throughout the season, NetsDaily’s Tom Lorenzo writes. Brooklyn is poised to pay the luxury tax for the fourth straight season, triggering repeater penalties, if it keeps Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young as GM Billy King has said the team wants to do.

The team appears ready to explore moves to reduce salary elsewhere on the roster, as Marc Stein and Mike Mazzeo of wrote earlier today. The well-respected Marks, who drew praise today from agent Brian Bass (Twitter link), among others, was a Nets employee for two decades. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks interim D-League coach Craig Hodges is expected to be back with the Westchester team as an assistant coach next season, returning to the role in which he spent most of this past season under now-fired head coach Kevin Whitted, reports Adam Johnson of D-League Digest. Still, there’s been no formal decision, a league source tells Johnson. Hodges, who spoke with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors this past fall, would like to come back, and the ball is in the Knicks’ court, a source tells Links (Twitter link). The name of Joel Abelson, director of basketball ops for New York’s D-League affiliate, keeps coming up as a potential head coaching candidate for the team, Johnson adds.
  • Arizona small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brazilian point guard George Lucas are among the draft prospects to whom the Nets have spoken, notes Robert Windrem of NetsDaily (Twitter link).
  • Maryland shooting guard Dez Wells has worked out for the Celtics, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Draft Notes: Okafor, Upshaw, Vezenkov

Duke center Jahlil Okafor is more concerned about finding the right fit than what draft spot he is selected at, Ian Begley of relays. “I don’t know that I should go No. 1,” Okafor said to SI Now’s Maggie Gray. “I don’t care. I just want to go to the right environment for me and the right team. I think the hype about No. 1 is more for the fans.” With the recent report that Okafor prefers to go to the Lakers rather than the Wolves, Okafor’s statement could potentially be construed as the player angling to be bypassed by Minnesota in June’s draft in favor of Los Angeles, who holds the No. 2 overall pick, though that is merely my speculation.

Here’s the latest regarding the 2015 NBA Draft:

  • Big man Robert Upshaw has a wealth of potential, but him having been dismissed from two college teams due to substance abuse issues has put a damper on his draft stock, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes in his profile of the player. Upshaw is currently ranked as the No. 29 overall prospect by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and Chad Ford of (Insider subscription required) places him 38th.
  • Early second-round prospect Aleksandar Vezenkov, who is expected to withdraw from this year’s draft, is garnering interest from a number of European teams, Vezenkov’s agent Nick Lotsos told (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). “So far some teams showed interest in Vezenkov but there are no concrete proposals yet. We are not in a hurry to decide the future. We’ll consider carefully what is the best for him to develop as a player. Barcelona? It is one of the teams interested and Aleksandar is interested as well, but as I’ve said it is too early,” Lotsos relayed.
  • A. Sherrod Blakely of looked at a number of players, including Jerian Grant, Kristaps Porzingis, and Willie Cauley-Stein, who have improved their draft stock over the past year.
  • Draft prospect George Lucas, who is also known as George de Paula, said the hardest part of the draft combine was the interviews since he is still learning English, Kennedy writes in his profile of the player. “The language is the most hard,” Lucas said. “I’m trying to learn English the best that I can, so it’s a long process for me and I’m trying to communicate with other people. I’ve always had an English class since high school, but I haven’t had a lot of conversations with other people.”

Draft Combine Latest: Upshaw, Russell, Booker

Former University of Washington center Robert Upshaw registered perhaps the most impressive numbers as the NBA measured prospects today at the predraft combine in Chicago. He checked in a 7 feet tall and had the greatest standing reach (9’5″), wingspan (7’5.5″), hand length and hand width, notes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter links). Washington dismissed Upshaw in January for a violation of team rules, but his size will surely make teams think twice. The 21-year-old is the No. 30 prospect with both Chad Ford of and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. Here’s more from the combine:

  • D’Angelo Russell is interviewing with the Lakers and Pacers today and the Sixers on Thursday, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links). The combo guard told Pompey he prefers to play the point and would love to play for the Sixers.
  • Stanley Johnson, whom the Sixers are hesitant to peg as either a shooting guard or small forward, already interviewed with Philadelphia today, Pompey tweets.
  • Shooting guard Devin Booker and center Myles Turner are also speaking with the Pacers today, tweets Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. Check out our full profile on Booker here and our profile on Turner here.
  • Sam Dekker‘s athleticism stood out as he went through ball-handling and shooting drills Tuesday, as Ford observes in an Insider-only piece. His shooting was solid but not overwhelming, according to Ford, who sees the small forward from Wisconsin going between the 10th and 15th picks.
  • GMs who spoke with Ford on Tuesday have shooting guard R.J. Hunter ranked as high as No. 12 and as low as No. 21, as Ford writes in the same piece. The NCAA tournament hero is No. 21 in Ford’s ranking.
  • Brazilian prospect George Lucas registered a 7-foot wingspan today, the longest ever recorded for a point guard in the DraftExpress database, as DraftExpress contributor Derek Bodner points out (Twitter link). Lucas, who also goes by George de Paula, is slated to be one of the participants in five-on-five drills this week, as shown on the full list of five-on-five participants that Ford shared via Twitter.

George Lucas To Enter Draft

Brazilian point guard George Lucas will enter this year’s draft, agent Alex Saratsis tells Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). Lucas, aka George de Paula, is the 30th-best prospect in this year’s draft according to Givony, but he’s only 59th in Chad Ford’s rankings. Lucas joins two more prospects from overseas entering the draft — fellow Brazilian Lucas Dias, also known as Lucas Dias Silva, and German-born Paul Zipser, both combo forwards, as Givony also reports (Twitter links).

Lucas, who’ll turn 19 next month, has a decent chance to follow the footsteps of Bruno Caboclo from the Brazilian team Pinheiros/Sky to the first round of the draft. The 6’6″ Lucas has size, but he’s played only a total of 26 minutes across six games for Pinheiros/Sky this season, scoring 15 points. He put up three points in nearly 13 minutes of action at the recent Nike Hoops Summit.

Zipser is an athletic small forward who can shoot and defend well, according to Givony, who lists power forward as another NBA positional fit. At 6’8″ and 21 years old, he’s the No. 73 prospect on Givony’s list, while Ford ranks him 99th.

Dias, another Pinheiros/Sky player, saw more action for the team, averaging 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game. The 6’9″ 19-year-old is this year’s 75th-best prospect, according to Givony, while Ford doesn’t have him within his top 100.

International prospects have until June 15th to withdraw from the draft, as our list of draft-related deadlines shows. It wouldn’t be surprising if one or more of these three entrants decide to pull out after taking part in workouts and showcases, though that’s just my speculation. Lucas and Dias intend to participate in the NBA combine and the Adidas EuroCamp if invited, Givony tweets.