Santi Aldama

Grizzlies To Acquire 30th Pick, Draft Santi Aldama

The Jazz will send the 30th pick to the Grizzlies, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Memphis will select Loyola Maryland forward Santi Aldama, Woj adds (via Twitter).

Utah will receive the 40th pick and two future second-rounders in return, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (Twitter link). The 40th pick was part of a trade with the Pelicans earlier this week that won’t become official until the moratorium ends.

The Grizzlies believed the Thunder were targeting Aldama in the second round, so they thought they had to trade up ahead of the 34-36 range to make sure he didn’t go to OKC, tweets Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated.

The 6-11 Aldama turned down an invitation to the combine and didn’t conduct any publicly-known workouts before the draft, notes Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Aldama said he preferred to play in his native Spain and discouraged teams from drafting him. That led many people around the league to believe he had a promise from somebody, and Memphis likely shut him down several months ago.

Draft Notes: Early Entrant Decisions, Bleijenbergh, K. Johnson

July 7 is the deadline for college early entrants who declared for the 2021 NBA draft to withdraw and maintain their NCAA eligibility. The NBA’s own withdrawal deadline for early entrants is July 19, but a college player who removes his name from the draft after today wouldn’t be able to play college ball next season.

With that in mind, we’re expecting several more updates before the end of the day on which players are going pro and which are returning to college.

Italian wing Gabriele Procida, Marquette forward Dawson Garcia, Southern Utah guard John Knight III, and Louisiana forward Dou Gueye are among the players withdrawing from the draft, according to reports from Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, and Jeff Goodman of Stadium (all links go to Twitter). Garcia may transfer, with UNC, Arizona, and Illinois in the mix for his services, per Rothstein.

Conversely, Boston College forward Steffon Mitchell tells Rothstein (Twitter link) that he intends to remain in the draft, forgoing his final year of NCAA eligibility. Loyola Maryland forward Santi Aldama will also go pro rather than returning to college, a source tells Rothstein (Twitter link).

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Belgian wing Vrenz Bleijenbergh will keep his name in the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Bleijenbergh, who will take part in the upcoming group workout in Minnesota, also has auditions lined up with the Thunder, Grizzlies, Kings, Hornets, and Mavericks, Givony reports.
  • Givony is joined by ESPN colleagues Mike Schmitz and Bobby Marks for an in-depth look at where things stand with the draft. The trio discusses how much trade action we should expect in the first round and suggests that Keon Johnson is one of the most polarizing prospects in this year’s class. Some teams have Johnson in the second tier of prospects alongside Jonathan Kuminga and Scottie Barnes, while others view him as a middle-to-late first-round flier, Givony writes.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has shared a new version of his 2021 mock draft.

Draft Notes: Giddey, Pro Days, Combine, G League Elite Camp

Potential lottery pick Josh Giddey isn’t expected to attend the NBA draft combine in Chicago or any pre-draft workouts, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Instead, scouts will get a look at Giddey later this month when his Australian team travels to Las Vegas for exhibition games with Team USA, Spain, Nigeria and Argentina.

The 6’8″ shooting guard has been moving up draft boards and ranks No. 13 on ESPN’s latest list of prospects. Giddey, 18, played this season with the Adelaide 36ers and averaged 10.9 points, 7.1 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

Duke’s Matthew Hurt, Others Declare For Draft

Duke sophomore power forward Matthew Hurt is declaring for the 2021 NBA draft and will hire an agent, forgoing his remaining college eligibility, he told Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

Although the Blue Devils didn’t have a great season, missing out on a spot in the NCAA tournament, Hurt was a bright spot. He averaged 18.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in 24 games (32.7 MPG), posting an impressive shooting line of .556/.444/.724.

Hurt’s performance earned him a spot on the All-ACC First Team, as well as the conference’s Most Improved Player award. He’s the No. 48 prospect on ESPN’s big board, making him a realistic candidate to be drafted in July.

Several more prospects who are part of ESPN’s top-100 list have also announced that they’re entering the draft. Here’s the latest:

  • Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior): On the heels of winning national title, Mayer announced on Instagram that he’ll enter the draft while maintaining his NCAA eligibility. The No. 53 prospect on ESPN’s board came off the bench again for the Bears in 2020/21, averaging 8.1 PPG with a .395 3PT%.
  • Santi Aldama, F, Loyola Maryland (sophomore): Aldama averaged a double-double (21.2 PPG, 10.1 RPG) with a .513/.368/.686 shooting line in 17 games (35.0 MPG) as a sophomore, earning All-Patriot League First Team honors. The No. 57 prospect on ESPN’s board, Aldama told Jonathan Givony that he’s testing the draft waters.
  • David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore): Johnson, the No. 67 prospect on ESPN’s list, announced on Twitter that he’ll be forgoing his remaining college eligibility and going pro. He enters the draft after a sophomore season in which he averaged 12.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 3.2 APG in 19 games (35.1 MPG).
  • Isaiah Wong, G, Miami (sophomore): Wong announced on Twitter that he intends to test the draft waters, leaving the door open to return to the Hurricanes. The 6’3″ guard averaged 17.1 PPG in 27 games (35.5 MPG) in 2020/21, earning himself a spot on the All-ACC Third Team.