Jonathan Mogbo

Northwest Notes: Markkanen, Thunder, Wallace, Wolves

Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen won’t play for Finland in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Spain, Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops.net reports. Markkanen aggravated an impingement to his right shoulder in late March and the injury has still not fully healed.

“Certainly, this is tough,” the Jazz forward said in a statement. “Representing Finland and playing for the national team is an honor for me. Along with my teammates, we have been talking all season about how sweet it would be to advance to the Olympic Games.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Thunder had an overload of players on their roster last offseason but that won’t be the case this time around, Rylan Stiles of SI.com notes. Oklahoma City will have four open standard contract roster spots available with Gordon Hayward, Bismack Biyombo, Mike Muscala and possibly Lindy Waters III (club option) headed to free agency. They will also have at least one two-way spot available with Olivier Sarr tearing his Achilles late last season. He’s expected to be out all of next season.
  • Cason Wallace exceeded expectations in his rookie season with the Thunder, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. Wallace, the No. 10 pick of last year’s draft, appeared in every game and make the All-Rookie Second Team. He also shot 41.9% from 3-point range and displayed strong defensive skills.
  • In draft news, Melvin Ajinca (France), Jalen Bridges (Baylor), Tristan Enaruna (Cleveland State), Ajay Mitchell (UC Santa Barbara), Jonathan Mogbo (San Francisco) and Baylor Scheierman (Creighton) worked out for the Timberwolves on Monday, the team’s PR department tweets. Scheierman is currently ranked No. 26 on ESPN’s Best Available list.

Draft Notes: Carrington, Mogbo, Butler, Carr, Coward, Pryor, Burnett

Carlton Carrington played one season at Pittsburgh, then opted to go pro. The potential first-round pick said he’s capable of playing three positions in the NBA, he told Cyro Asseo de Choch of HoopsHype.

“Someone asked me what position I play, and I said point guard,” he said. “But that’s not all I’m limited to. I feel like the biggest part of my game is my versatility. I can play one, two, and three sometimes, so it doesn’t really matter to me. As long as I can be on the court, I can contribute.”

Carrington averaged 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 33 games with the Panthers. He’s currently listed at No. 22 on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more draft-related news:

  • After a solid showing in the combine, forward Jonathan Mogbo has decided to keep his name in the draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweets. Mogbo averaged 14.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for San Francisco last season. He’s currently the No. 42 prospect on ESPN’s list.

Also, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein passes along some players removing their names from the draft ahead of Wednesday’s withdrawal deadline:

NBA Announces 78 Invitees For 2024 Draft Combine

The NBA announced today (via Twitter) that 78 prospects have been invited to attend this year’s draft combine, which will take place in Chicago from May 12-19.

In addition to those 78 players, a handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp, which is also held in Chicago just before the combine begins, are expected to receive invites to stick around for the main event.

Not all of the prospects invited to the combine will end up remaining in the 2024 draft pool, since some are early entrants who are testing the waters while retaining their NCAA eligibility. College players must withdraw from the draft by the end of the day on May 29 if they wish to preserve that eligibility, while non-college players face a decision deadline of June 16. The feedback they receive from NBA teams at the combine may be a deciding factor for players who are on the fence.

Here’s the list of players who have been invited to the 2024 draft combine:

(Note: For players in international leagues, the country listed is where they had been playing, not necessarily where they’re from.)

  1. Michael Ajayi, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  2. Melvin Ajinca, G/F, France (born 2004)
  3. Trey Alexander, G, Creighton (junior)
  4. Izan Almansa, F, G League Ignite (born 2005)
  5. Reece Beekman, G, Virginia (senior)
  6. Adem Bona, F/C, UCLA (sophomore)
  7. Trevon Brazile, F, Arkansas (sophomore)
  8. Jalen Bridges, F, Baylor (senior)
  9. Matas Buzelis, F, G League Ignite (born 2004)
  10. Carlton Carrington, G, Pitt (freshman)
  11. Devin Carter, G, Providence (junior)
  12. Stephon Castle, G, UConn (freshman)
  13. Ulrich Chomche, C, NBA Academy Africa (born 2005)
  14. Cam Christie, G, Minnesota (freshman)
  15. Nique Clifford, G, Colorado State (senior)
  16. Donovan Clingan, C, UConn (sophomore)
  17. Isaiah Collier, G, USC (freshman)
  18. Tristan Da Silva, F, Colorado (senior)
  19. Pacome Dadiet, G/F, Germany (born 2005)
  20. N’Faly Dante, C, Oregon (super-senior)
  21. Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  22. Nikola Djurisic, G/F, Serbia (born 2004)
  23. Ryan Dunn, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  24. Zach Edey, C, Purdue (senior)
  25. Justin Edwards, G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  26. Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke (sophomore)
  27. Trentyn Flowers, G/F, Australia (born 2005)
  28. Johnny Furphy, G/F, Kansas (freshman)
  29. Kyshawn George, G/F, Miami (FL) (freshman)
  30. Tyon Grant-Foster, G, Grand Canyon (senior)
  31. PJ Hall, C, Clemson (senior)
  32. Coleman Hawkins, F, Illinois (senior)
  33. Ron Holland, F, G League Ignite (born 2005)
  34. DaRon Holmes II, F, Dayton (junior)
  35. Ariel Hukporti, C, Germany (born 2002)
  36. Oso Ighodaro, F, Marquette (senior)
  37. Harrison Ingram, F, UNC (junior)
  38. Bronny James, G, USC (freshman)
  39. A.J. Johnson, G, Australia (born 2004)
  40. Keshad Johnson, F, Arizona (super-senior)
  41. David Jones, F, Memphis (senior)
  42. Dillon Jones, F, Weber State (senior)
  43. Ryan Kalkbrenner, C, Creighton (senior)
    • Note: Kalkbrenner indicated this week that he intends to return to school, so it’s unclear if he’ll continue to go through the pre-draft process.
  44. Alex Karaban, F, UConn (sophomore)
  45. Bobi Klintman, F, Australia (born 2003)
  46. Dalton Knecht, G, Tennessee (super-senior)
  47. Tyler Kolek, G, Marquette (senior)
  48. Pelle Larsson, G, Arizona (senior)
  49. Jared McCain, G, Duke (freshman)
  50. Kevin McCullar, G, Kansas (super-senior)
  51. Yves Missi, C, Baylor (freshman)
  52. Ajay Mitchell, G, UC Santa Barbara (junior)
  53. Jonathan Mogbo, F/C, San Francisco (senior)
  54. Tristen Newton, G, UConn (super-senior)
  55. Juan Nunez, G, Germany (born 2004)
  56. Quinten Post, F/C, Boston College (super-senior)
  57. Antonio Reeves, G, Kentucky (super-senior)
  58. Zaccharie Risacher, F, France (born 2005)
  59. Jaxson Robinson, G/F, BYU (senior)
  60. Tidjane Salaun, F, France (born 2005)
  61. Hunter Sallis, G, Wake Forest (junior)
  62. Payton Sandfort, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  63. Alexandre Sarr, F/C, Australia (born 2005)
  64. Baylor Scheierman, G/F, Creighton (super-senior)
  65. Mark Sears, G, Alabama (senior)
  66. Terrence Shannon, G, Illinois (super-senior)
  67. Jamal Shead, G, Houston (senior)
  68. Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. KJ Simpson, G, Colorado (junior)
  70. Tyler Smith, F, G League Ignite (born 2004)
  71. Cam Spencer, G, UConn (super-senior)
  72. Nikola Topic, G, Serbia (born 2005)
  73. JT Toppin, F, New Mexico (freshman)
  74. Jaylon Tyson, G, California (junior)
  75. Ja’Kobe Walter, G, Baylor (freshman)
  76. Kel’el Ware, C, Indiana (sophomore)
  77. Jamir Watkins, G/F, Florida State (junior)
  78. Cody Williams, F, Colorado (freshman)

It’s worth noting that the NBA and the NBPA agreed to a few combine-related changes in their latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. Here are a few of those changes:

  • A player who is invited to the draft combine and declines to attend without an excused absence will be ineligible to be drafted. He would become eligible the following year by attending the combine. There will be exceptions made for a player whose FIBA season is ongoing, who is injured, or who is dealing with a family matter (such as a tragedy or the birth of a child).
  • Players who attend the draft combine will be required to undergo physical exams, share medical history, participate in strength, agility, and performance testing, take part in shooting drills, receive anthropometric measurements, and conduct interviews with teams and the media. Scrimmages won’t be mandatory.
  • Medical results from the combine will be distributed to select teams based on where the player is projected to be drafted. Only teams drafting in the top 10 would get access to medical info for the projected No. 1 pick; teams in the top 15 would receive medical info for players in the 2-6 range, while teams in the top 25 would get access to info for the players in the 7-10 range.

Regarding that last point, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link) has the details on the top 10 played out this year, noting that the composite ranking was generated based on a combination of publicly available rankings and feedback from a panel of experts, as well as a retained-scouting service.

Sarr is considered the No. 1 overall prospect, per Givony, so only teams drafting in the top 10 will get access to his medicals. Buzelis, Castle, Clingan, Risacher, and Topic are in the 2-6 range, while Dillingham, Holland, Knecht, and Sheppard round out the top 10.

Draft Notes: Mogbo, Bal, Agbo, Gaines, Da Silva, Edey

San Francisco senior forward/center Jonathan Mogbo announced on Twitter that he has decided to enter his name in the 2024 NBA draft pool while maintaining his final year of college eligibility.

The No. 70 prospect on ESPN’s list of the top 100 players in the 2024 draft class and a member of the All-WCC first team, Mogbo has played at four different programs in his four college seasons. He transferred to San Francisco from Missouri State in 2023 and had a big year for the Dons, averaging a double-double (14.2 PPG, 10.1 RPG) in 34 games (28.9 MPG).

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Another member of the All-WCC first team, Santa Clara junior wing Adama-Alpha Bal, has also declared for the draft, announcing on Instagram that he’ll be testing the waters this spring. After playing a modest role off Arizona’s bench in his first two college seasons, Bal put up 14.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 3.1 APG on .433/.354/.821 shooting as a full-time starter at Santa Clara in 2023/24.
  • Boise State senior swingman Chibuzo Agbo will enter the draft while maintaining his final year of college eligibility, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Agbo averaged 13.7 PPG and 5.1 RPG with a .409 3PT% in 33 games (all starts) in ’23/24.
  • UAB senior guard Eric Gaines announced on Instagram that he’ll be putting his “full focus” on the NBA draft process, which suggests he’s planning to go pro rather than leaving the door open to one more year of college ball. Gaines averaged 12.3 PPG, 5.5 APG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.3 SPG in 35 games (33.7 MPG) for the Blazers this season.
  • Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN (Insider link) share their updated prospect rankings for 2024, highlighting risers like Colorado forward Tristan Da Silva, who is all the way up to No. 18 after previously being ranked 40th. Another NCAA Tournament standout, Purdue big man Zach Edey has moved into lottery territory in ESPN’s latest rankings, at No. 13.