Kameron Langley

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2021 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2021 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 353 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 296 are from colleges, while 57 are international early entrants.

That number obliterates the previous record of 236 early entrants, established in 2018. That had been expected, however, since the NCAA gave 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.

Since well over half of the college early entrants are seniors, there are actually fewer college underclassmen than usual in this initial group of early entrants.

This year’s total of 353 early entrants figures to shrink significantly by July 7 and again by July 19, 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 60, the number of picks in the draft.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2021 draft now includes seniors and is fully up to date. It can be found right here. It doesn’t include players who are automatically draft-eligible this year. As Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets, that list of auto-eligible players includes the prospects who played for the G League Ignite, such as Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.

Here are the changes we made to our tracker today:

Newly-added players:

College players:

These players hadn’t previously been included on our unofficial list of underclassmen early entrants and weren’t on the list of senior early entrants that the NBA sent to teams last week.

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.

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could mean a number of things — they may have decided against entering the draft; they may have entered the draft, then withdrawn; they may have incorrectly filed their paperwork; or the NBA may have accidentally omitted some names.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 for the time being.

Draft Notes: Combine, Interviews, Langley, Wings

If there’s a draft combine in 2020, it won’t take on its usual form, but preliminary discussions are underway for “some type of prospect gathering” in Orlando during the final week of August, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

According to Givony, workouts or scrimmages are unlikely to take place at such an event, and it’s not clear how many players would be invited. But it could give teams an opportunity to interview players, conduct medical tests, and possibly get measurements.

The situation remains “fluid,” per Givony, who suggests that the NBA will want to see how the first few weeks in Orlando go before making plans to bring new people into the bubble. On the plus side, if a revamped combine takes place in late August, at least six teams would already have been eliminated by that point, reducing the number of total individuals in the bubble.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • Within that same ESPN story, Givony cites team sources who say it has been challenging to line up Zoom interviews with many of 2020’s projected first-round picks. Executives have instead been focusing on potential second-rounders or undrafted players — according to Givony, a number of players not listed in ESPN’s top 100 have been invited to interview with more than half of the league’s clubs.
  • North Carolina A&T guard Kameron Langley is withdrawing from the 2020 draft and return to school for his senior season, a source told Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Langley, who has started 93 of 98 in three years with the Aggies, filled the box score in 2019/20 with averages of 9.4 PPG, 8.0 APG, 5.2 RPG, and 2.1 SPG.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer took a closer look at some of the most intriguing two-way wings in the 2020 draft class, including Tyler Bey (Colorado), Robert Woodard II (Mississippi State), and Patrick Williams (Florida State), among others.

Draft Notes: Figueroa, H. Jones, Bishop, Langley

LJ Figueroa of St. John’s has announced on Instagram that he will enter the NBA draft. The sophomore guard averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 32 games this season.

“These past two years at St. John’s have presented me with tremendous opportunities for growth both on and off the court,” Figueroa wrote. “… After speaking with my family and coaching staff, I have decided to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft. I intend to keep all of my options open and look forward to the learning experience this process will offer.”

There are a few more early entries to catch up on:

  • Alabama’s Herbert Jones also declared his draft intentions with an Instagram post. The junior forward averaged 7.9 PPG and 6.4 RPG this year with the Crimson Tide. “For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to play in the NBA,” Jones wrote. “With that said and after much thought and discussions with those close to me, I have decided to enter my name in the 2020 NBA Draft process while maintaining my eligibility. I am excited to take this next step in reaching a dream that I’ve had since I first learned to dribble a basketball.”
  • Jermaine Bishop of Norfolk State is also entering the draft, announcing his decision on Twitter. Bishop, who averaged 15.6 PPG in his first season after transferring from St. Louis, called it a “lifelong dream for me and my family,” but is keeping his options open about returning for his senior season.
  • Kameron Langley of North Carolina A&T also tweeted that he will enter the draft. He averaged 9.4 points and 8.0 assists per game as a junior and will also consider coming back to college.
  • Ceasar DeJesus, a junior guard who averaged 9.5PPG at Central Florida, will also enter the draft pool.