Mihailo Boskovic

Draft Notes: Bates, Early Entrants, NTX Combine

Eastern Michigan’s Emoni Bates, the nation’s top high school recruit in 2021, has decided to enter the NBA draft, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“What I been dreaming for my whole life,” Bates wrote on his Instagram account this morning.

The 19-year-old swingman spent his first collegiate season at Memphis before transferring to the Eagles last summer. He averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30 games as a sophomore while shooting 40.5% from the field and 33% from three-point range.

Bates has slipped to 56th on ESPN’s latest big board of the top 100 draft prospects, so he’s not a sure thing to be selected. EMU is coming off an 8-23 season, and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony speculated last month that Bates might have hurt his draft stock by staying in school.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Kansas State’s Keyontae Johnson (Twitter link), Missouri’s Kobe Brown (Instagram link), and Baylor’s Jalen Bridges (Twitter link) have all declared for the draft while retaining their college eligibility. Johnson ranks 40th on ESPN’s big board, while Brown is 43rd and Bridges is 69th. The deadline to withdraw from the draft and still be eligible to play in college next season is May 31 at 11:59 pm ET.
  • Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma announced on his Twitter page that he’ll be entering the draft, making no mention of possibly returning to college. The sophomore power forward is 90th in ESPN’s rankings.
  • Serbia’s Mihailo Boskovic has also put his name in the draft, according to Misko Raznatovic (Twitter link).
  • The NTX Combine expects to host 32 draft prospects from May 2-4 with representatives of more than 20 NBA team in attendance, tweets Marc J. Spears of Andscape. He notes that past participants have landed Exhibit 10, summer league and G League contracts. Former NBA players Maurice Evans, Mike James and Shawn Respert will be among the coaches at the combine.