Walter Pitchford

And-Ones: Borrego, Draft, Crawford

Walter Pitchford, a center from Nebraska, and Gardner-Webb combo forward Jerome Hill are the two U.S. players who withdrew from the draft in advance of Monday’s deadline to do so, the league announced. The deadline to withdraw while still maintaining college eligibility was more than two months ago, so neither is able to return to NCAA ball. Neither had much chance to be drafted this year, so the outcome of their respective decisions Monday, at least as far as next season is concerned, is likely the same, with either the D-League or overseas play probably in the future for them. Still, both will have the chance to go through the draft process again next year, when they’ll be automatically draft-eligible.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Also withdrawing from the draft were Spanish small forward Alberto Abalde and Oriol Pauli, Ukrainian centers Vladislav Korenyuk and Sergiy Zagreba, Lebanese point guard Wael Arakji, Greek shooting guard Eleftherios Bochoridis, Georgian forward Beka Burjanadze, Senegalese center Moussa Diagne, Croatian shooting guard Ognjen Dobric, Spanish shooting guard Marc Garcia, Spanish forward Juan Alberto Hernangomez, Slovenian point guard Aleksej Nikolic and Kazakhstani power forward Alexandr Zhigulin, the league announced in the same press release. Several other overseas prospects also withdrew, according to Monday reports that the league confirmed.
  • Former University of Washington center Robert Upshaw has been cleared to resume workouts after his heart issue scare, Reid Forgrave of relays (Twitter link). Upshaw has already worked out for the Mavericks, and will show his wares for the Rockets on Wednesday, Forgrave adds.
  • Clippers guard Jamal Crawford has hired Wasserman Media Group to represent him, Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter link). Crawford was previously with Andy Miller of ASM Sports.
  • Former Magic interim coach James Borrego is finalizing a deal with the Spurs to join coach Gregg Popovich‘s staff as an assistant, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (via Twitter).
  • The Hornets held workouts today for Treveon Graham (VCU), Alan Williams (Santa Barbara), Trevor Lacey (NC State), Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s), Shannon Scott (Ohio State), and Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa), the team announced (Twitter links).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Walter Pitchford To Enter NBA Draft

Junior Walter Pitchford, a center for the University of Nebraska, intends to enter the 2015 NBA draft, Brian Rosenthal of The Lincoln Journal Star reports. “I have put my past frustration of this past year aside and will do what is in my best interest in life,” Pitchford wrote in his official statement. “Basketball is my life. Moving forward, I will be pursuing my lifelong goal of playing professional basketball and will be entering into the 2015 NBA Draft.” The center was presumably referring to a difficult junior season that saw his shooting percentages plummet. Pitchford said he’s in the process of finding an agent and will be filing necessary paperwork with the NBA next week, Rosenthal notes.

Pitchford enters an NBA draft loaded with talented big men, which doesn’t bode well for his chances to be selected in June. He is not among the top 100 prospects on Chad Ford of‘s (Insider subscription required) or Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress‘ rankings. The center appears ticketed for the NBA D-League or an overseas deal if he wishes to continue his professional career, though that is merely my speculation.

The 6’10, 22-year-old began his college career at Florida, appearing in 13 games during the 2011/12 season for coach Billy Donovan‘s Gators. He then transferred to Nebraska and appeared in 62 contests for the team after sitting out the 2012/13 season. Pitchford’s career stats are an underwhelming 6.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 0.4 blocks in 21.0 minutes per night. His career shooting numbers are .423/.343/.610.