Kouat Noi

LaMelo Ball Declares For NBA Draft

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball has declared for the NBA draft, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The declaration is simply a formality as Ball was expected to enter the 2020 draft for quite some time.

The 6’7″ point guard opted not to go the traditional route on his journey to the league, playing in Australia rather than suiting up for a team in the NCAA. Ball only appeared in 12 games while playing for the Illawarra Hawks because of a foot injury, though he did well enough to earn the league’s Rookie of the Year award.

Ball, who averaged 17.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 7.0 APG in the NBL, with multiple triple-doubles, is viewed as a near-lock to be a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA draft, as our own Luke Adams recently explained. He’s currently the No. 2 overall prospect on ESPN’s big board and has reportedly tabbed Roc Nation for his representation.

In total, 205 early entrants declared for the 2020 draft, according to the NBA, though more than half will likely withdraw before draft day. Ball and fellow NBL prospects RJ Hampton and Kouat Noi aren’t counted among those 205 early entrants, having been listed in an “also eligible” section in the memo sent to teams by the league, tweets ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Official Early Entrants List For 2019 NBA Draft

The NBA has officially announced that 98 early entrant prospects will be eligible to be selected in the 2019 NBA draft next Thursday. Of those early entrants, 86 are collegiate players, while the remaining 12 are international prospects.

Although the number of early entrants is much higher than the number of picks in the draft (60), the list of early entrants is still significantly smaller than it was at the initial entry deadline in April. At that point, 236 early entrants had declared for the draft. After testing the waters, 138 of those players have withdrawn.

Here’s the complete list of early entrant prospects eligible for the 2019 NBA draft:

College Underclassmen:

  1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech (sophomore)
  2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke (freshman)
  3. Tyus Battle, G, Syracuse (junior)
  4. Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS (OH) (N/A)
  5. Bol Bol, C, Oregon (freshman)
  6. Marques Bolden, C, Duke (junior)
  7. Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee (junior)
  8. Ky Bowman, G, Boston College (junior)
  9. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan (freshman)
  10. Oshae Brissett, F, Syracuse (sophomore)
  11. Armoni Brooks, G, Houston (junior)
  12. Charlie Brown, G, St. Joseph’s (sophomore)
  13. Moses Brown, C, UCLA (freshman)
  14. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  15. Nicolas Claxton, F, Georgia (sophomore)
  16. Amir Coffey, G, Minnesota (junior)
  17. Tyler Cook, F, Iowa (junior)
  18. Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  19. Aubrey Dawkins, G, UCF (junior)
  20. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  21. Jason Draggs, F, Lee College (TX) (freshman)
  22. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue (junior)
  23. Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland (sophomore)
  24. Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  25. Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  26. Kyle Guy, G, Virginia (junior)
  27. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  28. Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  29. Jared Harper, G, Auburn (junior)
  30. Jaxson Hayes, F/C, Texas (freshman)
  31. Dewan Hernandez, F, Miami (junior)
  32. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  33. Amir Hinton, G, Shaw (junior)
  34. Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest (freshman)
  35. Daulton Hommes, F, Point Loma Nazarene University (junior)
  36. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State (freshman)
  37. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  38. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia (junior)
  39. Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  40. Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State (sophomore)
  41. Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman)
  42. V.J. King, F, Louisville (junior)
  43. Sagaba Konate, F, West Virginia (junior)
  44. Martin Krampelj, F, Creighton (junior)
  45. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana (freshman)
  46. Cameron Lard, F, Iowa State (sophomore)
  47. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas (junior)
  48. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (NH) (N/A)
  49. Jacob Ledoux, G, UTPB (junior)
  50. Nassir Little, F, UNC (freshman)
  51. Trevor Manuel, F, Olivet (MI) (junior)
  52. Charles Matthews, G, Michigan (junior)
  53. Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State (sophomore)
  54. Ja Morant, G, Murray State (sophomore)
  55. Zach Norvell Jr., G, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  56. Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington (sophomore)
  57. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn (sophomore)
  58. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford (sophomore)
  59. Miye Oni, G/F, Yale (junior)
  60. Lamar Peters, G, Mississippi State (junior)
  61. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s (junior)
  62. Jordan Poole, G, Michigan (sophomore)
  63. Jontay Porter, F, Missouri (sophomore)
  64. Kevin Porter Jr, G, USC (freshman)
  65. Brandon Randolph, G, Arizona (sophomore)
  66. Cam Reddish, F, Duke (freshman)
  67. Isaiah Reese, G, Canisius (junior)
  68. Naz Reid, C, LSU (freshman)
  69. Austin Robinson, G, Kentucky Christian (sophomore)
  70. Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska (junior)
  71. Ayinde Russell, G, Morehouse (junior)
  72. Samir Sehic, F, Tulane (junior)
  73. Simisola Shittu, F, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  74. Justin Simon, G, St. John’s (junior)
  75. D’Marcus Simonds, G, Georgia State (junior)
  76. Jalen Sykes, F, St. Clair College (Canada) (junior)
  77. Rayjon Tucker, G, Little Rock (junior)
  78. Nick Ward, F, Michigan State (junior)
  79. P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky (sophomore)
  80. Tremont Waters, G, LSU (sophomore)
  81. Coby White, G, UNC (freshman)
  82. Lindell Wigginton, G, Iowa State (sophomore)
  83. Kris Wilkes, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  84. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee (junior)
  85. Zion Williamson, F, Duke (freshman)
  86. Kenny Wooten, F, Oregon (sophomore)

International Early Entrants:

  1. Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia (born 1999)
  2. Yago Mateus Dos Santos, G, Brazil (born 1999)
  3. Sekou Doumbouya, F, France (born 2000)
  4. Matas Jogela, G, Lithiuania (born 1998)
  5. Marcos Louzada Silva, G/F, Brazil (born 1999)
  6. William McDowell-White, G, Germany (born 1998)
  7. Adam Mokoka, G, France (born 1998)
  8. Joshua Obiesie, G, Germany (born 2000)
  9. David Okeke, F, Italy (born 1998)
  10. Luka Samanic, F, Croatia (born 2000)
  11. Deividas Sirvydis, G, Lithuania (born 2000)
  12. Yovel Zoosman, G/F, Israel (born 1998)

The NBA’s final list of early entrants doesn’t include North Carolina State junior forward Sacha Killeya-Jones or TCU sophomore forward Kouat Noi. Because those players pulled out of the draft between the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline (May 29) and the NBA’s deadline (June 10), they won’t be draft-eligible yet, but also won’t be able to continue their college careers. They can begin their professional careers in the G League or in an international league.

For details on which prospects originally declared for the draft, then withdrew their names, be sure to check out our previous unofficial early entrant list.

Pacific Notes: Barnes, Suns, Rajakovic, Kings

Harrison Barnes can hit the open market if he turns down his $25.1MM player option and the Kings would like to have him on the roster next season one way or another. If Barnes stays with Sacramento, it could be an indicator that the organization is on the upswing after years of perceived dysfunction, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes.

Kings’ management envisioned Barnes playing the small forward position when they traded for him at last season’s deadline. Dave Joerger had different plans, playing Barnes heavy minutes at the four spot next to Bogdan Bogdanovic at the three. Barnes at power forward also took time away from Marvin Bagley and made it more difficult for the rookie to rise to the starting lineup. Joerger has since been fired.

The Kings are hoping that their switch to Luke Walton as well as a renewed alignment between the coaching staff and front office will be viewed favorably around the league, particularly with agents. Here’s more from around the Kings and the Pacific Division:

Draft Decisions: Noi, Mack, German, Carvacho, Bolden

TCU forward Kouat Noi will remain in the draft, Jeff Goodman of WatchStadium.com tweets. The 6’7” Noi averaged 13.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG during his sophomore season. He has workouts upcoming with the Bucks, Kings and Clippers, Goodman adds. Teammate Desmond Bane will return to school, Goodman adds (Twitter link).

We have more draft news.

  • Alabama swingman Tevin Mack has decided to withdraw from the draft, Goodman reports in another tweet. Mack averaged 9.0 PPG in his junior season.
  • Northern Illinois guard Eugene German will return to school, Goodman adds in another tweet. The point guard averaged 20.4 PPG and 2.9 APG in his junior year.
  • Indiana University guards Devonte Green and Aljami Durham and forward Justin Smith are all expected to return to school, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).
  • Colorado State’s Nico Carvacho will return to school, Rothstein reports in another tweet. The 6’11” center averaged 16.1 PPG and 12.9 RPG as a junior last season.
  • Duke center Marques Bolden will remain in the draft, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. He averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.5 RPG as a junior.

Eastern Notes: Simmons, Dolan, Wizards, Hawks Workouts

Sixers guard Ben Simmons has been assessed a Flagrant One foul and fined $20K for striking Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry in the groin on Thursday, according to a tweet from the league’s PR department. The incident occurred during the second quarter of Game 3, which Philadelphia won 116-95. Simmons, who had 10 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in the game, was whistled for three common fouls.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Shareholders of Madison Square Garden Company have filed a suit against Knicks owner James Dolan, its executive chairman and CEO, for being grossly overpaid, Pitchfork.com reports. Over the last three fiscal years, MSG has paid Dolan $75.6MM, according to company filings. MSG’s peer companies have paid their CEOs an average of $17MM over the same period, according to the lawsuit. The filing also claims that Dolan “works at MSG only part time,” with much of his focus going toward touring and recording for his band JD & the Straight Shot. MSG has labelled the lawsuit “nothing more than corporate harassment.”
  • Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and Wizards interim GM Tommy Sheppard are potential candidates, along with Danny Ferry, for Washington’s top executive post, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said in a Wizards Talk Podcast relayed by NBC Sports Washington’s Caroline Brandt. Ferry, who most recently was interim GM with the Pelicans, interviewed for the job this week. Windhorst also indicated there’s at least one mystery candidate the Wizards will pursue. “There may be another name or two that I’m not willing to say just yet who may be on the Wizards’ list,” Windhorst said.
  • The Hawks brought in six players for pre-draft workouts on Friday, according to a team press release. Forward/center Nathan Knight of William & Mary, forwards Anthony Lamb (Vermont), Kouat Noi (TCU) and Killian Tillie (Gonzaga) and guards Andrew Nembhard (Florida) and D’Marcus Simonds (Georgia State) participated in the workout. Tillie is the highest-ranked prospect in the group, currently rated No. 82 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Kentucky’s Tyler Herro Enters 2019 NBA Draft

Freshman guard Tyler Herro has become the latest Kentucky prospect to announce that he’s entering his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool, posting a message on Twitter to confirm his intentions. While Herro is leaving his options open, he writes that he plans to go pro if he gets positive feedback during the pre-draft process.

Herro, who joins Wildcats teammates P.J. Washington and Keldon Johnson as potential first-round picks testing the draft waters, is currently the No. 17 prospect on ESPN’s big board. Scouts like the youngster’s “dynamic shooting stroke, feel for the game, and defensive energy,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony writes in his scouting report.

In his first – and possibly only – season at Kentucky, Herro averaged 14.0 PPG on .462/.355/.935 shooting. Although he was limited to seven points in the Wildcats’ overtime loss to Auburn in the Elite Eight, he had a big game vs. Houston in the Sweet 16, scoring 19 of Kentucky’s 62 points.

Here are several more early entrants who have declared their intent to join the 2019 NBA draft pool: