Gideon George

Draft Notes: Jones, Welch, George

Rutgers guard Jaden Jones will remain in the 2022 NBA draft, he tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Jones’ college numbers have been fairly modest. The 6’8″ Dallas native averaged 3.6 PPG and 1.2 RPG in 17 contests for Rutgers during the 2021/22 college season.

Take a look at our full list of early draft entrants here.

Other early entrants have made decisions on their draft status prior to the NCAA’s June 1 withdrawal deadline:

  • Former St. Bonaventure guard Dominick Welch has decided to withdraw from NBA draft consideration this year and will transfer to Alabama in the fall, per Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). During the 2021/22 season, the 6’5″ fourth-year wing averaged 12.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.6 APG and 1.3 SPG across 33 games for St. Bonaventure, all starts.
  • BYU forward Gideon George plans to withdraw from the 2022 draft pool and will return to college for the 2022/23 NCAA season, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. After two seasons at New Mexico Junior College, the 6’6″ guard transferred to BYU ahead of the 2020/21 season. Last year, he averaged 8.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 1.2 APG in 33 games, starting in 18.
  • In case you missed it, Arkansas sophomore big man Jaylin Williams, a 2022 All-SEC honoree, will remain in the 2022 draft pool. Williams is ranked as the No. 42 pick on ESPN’s big board.

Western Notes: Ham, LeBron, Russell, Jazz, George

New Lakers coach Darvin Ham has already secured his first win, Bill Oram of The Athletic contends, by receiving the support of star forward LeBron James, an important first step in his head coaching journey.

“So damn EXCITED!!!!!!!! Congrats and welcome Coach DHam!” James tweeted after word broke on Friday night that Ham is being hired by the Lakers.

The Lakers are coming off a 33-49 season in which they missing the playoffs after dealing with several key injuries to star players. The front office hopes Ham can guide the team back to contention.

There’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:

  • Nekias Duncan of Basketball News considers possible trade destinations for Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell. In 65 games this season, Russell averaged 18.1 points, 7.1 assists and 1.0 steals per contest, shooting 41% from the floor and 34% from three-point range. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
  • Tony Jones of The Athletic continues analyzing the Jazz roster by examining the forwards, taking a closer look at Bojan Bogdanovic and Eric Paschall, among others. Utah is coming off another disappointing postseason, having lost to the Mavericks in six games during the first round.
  • The Jazz will work out BYU forward Gideon George on Sunday, Tony Jones tweets. Utah doesn’t own a draft pick this year, but it still plans to hold workouts and conduct its due diligence. The team could acquire a pick or prepare for undrafted players. George averaged 8.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 22.1 minutes last season.

Draft Notes: Ellis, Murray, Roberts, Early Entrants

Alabama guard Keon Ellis, who has one year of college eligibility remaining, will go pro rather than staying in school for another year. Ellis has hired EZ Sports Group for representation, the agency announced earlier this week (via Instagram), making him draft-eligible this June.

The No. 48 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Ellis averaged 12.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 1.9 SPG in 33 games (30.9 MPG) in 2021/22 for the Crimson Tide and earned a spot on the SEC’s All-Defense team.

Another prospect in ESPN’s top 100, Iowa sophomore forward Kris Murray, has also declared for the 2022 NBA draft, but he’ll maintain his college eligibility and just test the waters for now, he announced on Twitter.

Murray, who comes in at No. 98 on ESPN’s board, barely played in his freshman year, but emerged as a rotation player in 2021/22, averaging 9.7 PPG and 4.3 RPG on .479/.387/.645 shooting in 35 games (17.9 MPG). His twin brother Keegan Murray, a projected top-10 pick, declared for the draft last month.

Here’s more on the draft: