Rob Perry

Draft Notes: Henderson, Miller, Combine, Mock Drafts

Victor Wembanyama is considered a lock to be taken with the No. 1 pick, but Scoot Henderson doesn’t want to give up without a fight, writes Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. Speaking to reporters Wednesday at the NBA Draft Combine, Henderson said he believes he’s just as valuable as the French big man and he’s willing to meet with the Spurs to make his case.

“I think I have the ability to go No. 1,” he said. “I believe in myself as any competitor should.”

Henderson added that he hasn’t met with any teams at the combine yet, but he expects to hold several meetings and workouts over the next few weeks. Even if San Antonio doesn’t take him up on his offer, the Hornets and Trail Blazers, who hold picks No. 2 and 3, should be very interested. Those teams already have established lead guards in LaMelo Ball and Damian Lillard, but Henderson believes he could be successful in either situation.

“I don’t have to be ball dominant,” he added. “When my time comes, I’ll kill.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Brandon Miller, who’s projected as a top-three pick, is willing to hold meetings with teams outside of that range, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Miller has already met with the Bulls, who lost their first-round pick to Orlando when they failed to move up in Tuesday’s lottery.
  • Five-on-five scrimmages are among the highlights of the combine, but the highest-rated players typically choose not to participate. Thirty-seven prospects are skipping this year’s scrimmages, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN. That list includes Leonard Miller of G League Ignite, who was a last-minute decision, according to Jeremy Woo of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Tuesday’s lottery resulted in a slew of new mock drafts from ESPN, The Ringer, The Athletic and Bleacher Report. Outside of Wembanyama at No. 1, there’s a lot of disagreement among the mocks, which reflects the uncertainty over many of the top prospects.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic offers his ranking of the top 20 players in this year’s draft class, along with a pair of sleepers from Creighton and Santa Clara.
  • Jordan Walsh of Arkansas appears to be leaning toward keeping his name in the draft after a strong first day at the combine, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Walsh has already worked out for the Nets and Celtics and is currently considered to be an early second-round pick.
  • Tyrece Radford will withdraw from the draft and return for his final year of eligibility at Texas A&M, according to The Dallas Morning News. Rob Perry will also leave the draft and return to Murray State next season, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2023 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2023 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 242 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 192 are from colleges, two played in the NBA G League, and 48 are international early entrants.

Those are big numbers, but they fall well short of the 353 early entrants who initially declared for the draft in 2021 and the 283 who entered last year. Beginning in 2021, the NCAA granted 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.

This year’s total of 242 early entrants figures to shrink significantly by May 31 and again by June 12, 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 58, the number of picks in the draft.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2023 draft is fully up to date and can be found right here.

Here are the changes we made to our tracker today:

Newly added players:

College players:

These players either didn’t publicly announce that they were entering the draft or we simply missed it when they did.

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.

  • Miguel Allen, F, Spain (born 2003)
  • Idrissa Ba, C, France (born 2002)
  • Elian Benitez, G, France (born 2003)
  • William Beugre-Kassi, G/F, France (born 2004)
  • Sasa Ciani, F, Croatia (born 2003)
  • Ege Demir, F/C, Turkey (born 2004)
  • Thijs De Ridder, F, Belgium (born 2003)
  • Nikola Djurisic, G/F, Serbia (born 2004)
  • Ruben Dominguez, G, Spain (born 2003)
  • Quinn Ellis, G, Italy (born 2003)
  • Juan Fernandez, F/C, Spain (born 2002)
  • Clement Frisch, F, France (born 2002)
  • Sananda Fru, F, Germany (born 2003)
  • Gloire Goma, G, Spain (born 2003)
  • Hassane Gueye, F, France (born 2003)
  • Ondrej Hanzlik, F, Spain (born 2002)
  • Ilias Kamardine, G, France (born 2003)
  • Konstantin Kostadinov, F, Spain (born 2003)
  • Oleksandr Kovliar, G, Estonia (born 2002)
  • Liutauras Lelevicius, G, Lithuania (born 2003)
  • Gilad Levy, C, Israel (born 2002)
  • Ruben Lopez, F, Spain (born 2002)
  • Assemian Moulare, G, France (born 2003)
  • Daniel Onwenu, G, Brazil (born 2002)
  • Ivan Perasovic, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  • Mantas Rubstavicius, G, Lithuania (born 2002)
  • Musa Sagnia, F/C, Spain (born 2003)
  • Marcio Santos, F/C, Brazil (born 2002)
  • Enzo Shahrvin, F, France (born 2003)
  • Birahima Sylla, G, France (born 2003)
  • Dez Andras Tanoh, G, Hungary (born 2002)
  • Hugo Toom, F, Estonia (born 2002)
  • Armel Traore, F, France (born 2003)
  • Ricards Vanags, G/F, Latvia (born 2002)

Other notable draft-eligible early entrants:

The NBA typically sends its teams a list of “also-eligible” names. That list isn’t public. However, we’re assuming that at least one projected top-three pick is on it: Scoot Henderson of the G League Ignite. Overtime Elite standouts Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson would also be on this list, as would Henderson’s Ignite teammate Leonard Miller.

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 had no NCAA eligibility remaining, making them automatically draft-eligible; 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, at least for the time being.