Lovro Mazalin

NBA Confirms 182 Early Entrants For 2017 Draft

With the deadline for early entrants to enter the 2017 NBA draft now behind us, the league has officially released the list of this year’s early entry candidates, and it’s a long one. According to the NBA’s announcement, 182 players have declared early for the draft — 137 college players and 45 international prospects. That’s a new record.

As was the case a year ago, NCAA rules changes allow underclassmen to “test the waters” before officially committing to the 2017 NBA draft. NCAA early entrants can withdraw their names any time up until May 24 while maintaining their NCAA eligibility, as long as they haven’t hired agents. That means that prospects testing the waters can take part in the NBA draft combine from May 9-14 – if invited – and they can work out for individual teams in the coming weeks.

International early entrants can also withdraw their names from the draft pool within the next several weeks. The final draft list will be set after the early entrant withdrawal deadline for international and other non-NCAA players passes on June 12.

A year ago, a whopping 162 NCAA and international players declared their intent to enter the draft early, but 91 of those players eventually withdrew. This year should follow a similar pattern, so the group of eligible draftees for 2017 figures to be reduced significantly by June 12.

Listed below are the current early entrants, according to the NBA. Players whose intent to declare wasn’t previously reported on Hoops Rumors are listed in italics.

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And-Ones: Mudiay, Bhullar, Alexander

Emmanuel Mudiay has shown significant physical development during his injury shortened season in China, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. According to Knicks radio broadcaster Mike Crispino, who came away unimpressed when he checked out Mudiay at the beginning of the CBA season, said that Mudiay has developed more of an NBA body, Berman relays. “He looked totally different, he filled out, hit the weight room, he looked more like a grown man — if you can say that about a 19-year-old,’’ Crispino said. “He was more confident. But he’s still doing a lot of things that are just mistakes — that you wouldn’t do if you had experience under your belt. He’s still very inexperienced as a basketball player on the professional level.’’ Mudiay is one of the players who New York will consider selecting with its first round draft pick, Berman notes.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Sim Bhullar, the 7’5” center of the Reno Bighorns, the Kings’ D-League affiliate, who leads the D-league in field goal percentage and blocks per game, said he is surprised by his quick success in an exchange with the Indian media relayed by Jason Wise of NBA.com. The big man was in training camp with the Kings this season but failed to make Sacramento’s regular season roster.
  • NBA draft prospect Lovro Mazalin has committed to a long-term deal with Cedevita Zagreb of the Euroleague, David Pick of Eurobasket.com reports (Twitter link). Mazalin,17, is a 6’6″ small forward from Croatia. It isn’t clear if Mazalin’s deal overseas includes any NBA out provisions.
  • The Mavs have re-assigned Dwight Powell to the Texas Legends, their D-League affiliate, the team announced in a press release.Powell has appeared in 19 games for Dallas this season and is averaging 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per game.
  • 2015 draft prospect Cliff Alexander will be sidelined indefinitely as the NCAA investigates the Kansas freshman for allegations that his family members received impermissible benefits from an NBA agent, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports reports. Alexander is the No. 25 prospect according to DraftExpress and ESPN.com ranks him 34th.

Will Joseph contributed to this post.