Jalen Cook

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: McCullar, Cook, Clingan, Early Entrants

Kansas guard Kevin McCullar announced this week that he’ll enter his name in the 2023 NBA draft pool while maintaining his NCAA eligibility, as Michael Swain of Phog.net writes.

McCullar, who played his first three college seasons at Texas Tech before transferring to the Jayhawks, averaged 10.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 2.0 SPG in 34 games (30.6 MPG) as a senior in 2022/23, earning spots on the All-Big 12 third team and the conference’s All-Defensive squad.

McCullar has one year of college eligibility left due to COVID-19, but is a candidate to be drafted in 2023 if he decides to go pro. He currently ranks 59th overall on ESPN’s big board.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Junior guard Jalen Cook, who intended to declare for the draft coming off his second consecutive All-AAC season at Tulane, has decided to transfer back to LSU, where he began his college career, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN. It sounds like Cook intends to use at least one more season of college eligibility rather than going pro this year.
  • After winning a national championship with UConn as a freshman, center Donovan Clingan will remain at school rather than going pro, he announced on Twitter. Clingan’s numbers as a reserve in 2022/23 were modest (6.9 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 13.1 MPG), but Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) said multiple NBA evaluators believe the big man would’ve been selected in the 25-40 range if he’d entered the draft.
  • The following players have declared for the 2023 NBA draft and will test the waters as early entrants:

Draft Notes: Clark, Miles, Cryer, Cook, Wahab, Pullin

Following a breakout junior season, UCLA guard Jaylen Clark has decided to declare for the 2023 NBA draft, he announced today on Instagram.

After coming off the bench in 54 of 60 games during his first college seasons, Clark was a full-time starter in 2022/23, averaging 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game in 30 contests (30.5 MPG). More notably, he was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the Pac-12 and was also a member of the All-Pac-12 team.

Clark is currently just outside the top 60 on ESPN’s big board, so he’s no lock to be drafted. He has the option of maintaining his college eligibility while testing the draft waters, but his Instagram statement gives no indication that’s the plan — our assumption for now is that he intends to keep his name in the draft and go pro.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for the 2023 draft:

  • TCU junior guard Mike Miles, who comes in five spots below Clark on ESPN’s top-100 list, has also declared for the draft, he announced today on Twitter. Miles averaged 17.9 PPG on .497/.362/.749 shooting in 27 games (31.9 MPG) in 2022/23. Like Clark, he doesn’t say anything in his announcement about maintaining his NCAA eligibility through the draft process.
  • Baylor junior guard LJ Cryer will test the draft waters, according to an announcement on Twitter. Cryer won a national title with the Bears in 2021 and became a full-time starter in 2022/23, averaging 15.0 PPG with a .415 3PT% and earning All-Big 12 honors.
  • Tulane junior guard Jalen Cook is entering both the transfer portal and the NBA draft pool, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Cook is coming off his second consecutive All-AAC season and upped his scoring average to 19.9 PPG.
  • Georgetown senior center Qudus Wahab tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link) that he’s entering the draft while maintaining his final year of NCAA eligibility. Wahab spent his first two college seasons at Georgetown, transferred to Maryland for his junior season, then returned to the Hoyas last year.
  • Zyon Pullin, a senior guard at UC-Riverside, is entering the draft after averaging a team-leading 18.3 PPG in 2022/23, he tells Jeff Borzello of ESPN (Twitter link). Pullin, who also tested the draft waters in 2022, is signing with an NCAA-certified agent, so he’ll have the option of withdrawing later this spring.

Draft Decisions: Ndefo, Cook, Hutcherson, J. Brown

Senior forward KC Ndefo, one of the standout players on the St. Peter’s squad that made an unexpected Elite Eight run this spring, will be withdrawing from the 2022 NBA draft to use his last year of NCAA eligibility, a source tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

However, Ndefo won’t be returning to St. Peter’s, instead opting to transfer to Seton Hall for his final college season, says Rothstein. Ndefo isn’t a big-time scorer, averaging just 10.5 PPG last season, but he fills up the box score on defense — he has registered an impressive 2.9 blocks and 1.3 steals per game in his last three college seasons.

Here are a few more updates on the early entrants for the NBA draft:

  • Tulane sophomore guard Jalen Cook is withdrawing from the 2022 draft and returning to school for at least one more season, tweets Rothstein. Cook had a breakout year after transferring from LSU, putting up 18.0 PPG on .429/.391/.795 shooting in 24 games (33.8 MPG) for the Green Wave in 2021/22.
  • Despite appearing in just four games for Illinois due to health issues after transferring from Wesleyan, junior guard Austin Hutcherson has decided to remain in the draft pool and go pro, he tells Rothstein (Twitter link).
  • Louisiana junior forward Jordan Brown is expected to withdraw from the draft and spend at least one more season in college, a source tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Brown was the Ragin’ Cajuns’ leading scorer (15.3 PPG) and rebounder (8.6 RPG) 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: