Scotty Pippen Jr.

Draft Notes: Juzang, Abmas, Last-Minute Decisions

After leading UCLA to the Final Four, Johnny Juzang will withdraw from the NBA draft and return for his junior season. Juzang announced his decision on Twitter about an hour before the NCAA’s Wednesday deadline of midnight Eastern Time for early entrants to pull out of the draft and retain their eligibility.

“Going through the draft process has been an amazing experience,” he wrote. “I was blessed to connect with great people, learn and grow, and get a feel for life at the next level. I want to thank everyone who has helped me in this process including my family, trainers, school and especially my dad who helped me for countless hours!”

There was talk that Juzang might be a first-round pick after an outstanding performance in the NCAA tournament, but a disappointing showing at the combine hurt his status, according to Chad Ford (Twitter link), who speculates that he could be back in first-round consideration next year.

There’s more on last-minute draft decisions:

NBA G League Announces 40 Draft-Eligible Participants For Elite Camp

The NBA G League has announced in a press release that 40 draft-eligible prospects are set to participate in the NBAGL Elite Camp next week in Chicago from June 19-21.

The G League Elite Camp is back this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which takes place right before the draft combine, will give a few dozen draft-eligible players an opportunity to impress scouts, coaches, and executives through strength and agility drills and 5-on-5 games.

As today’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which is scheduled for June 21-27 in Chicago.

The list of draft-eligible players who took part in the most recent G League Elite Camp in 2019 included a handful of prospects who were eventually drafted, such as Terance Mann, Cody Martin, Justin Wright-Foreman, Reggie Perry, and Dewan Hernandez.

Many of the draft-eligible participants in the 2019 Elite Camp also made it to the NBA after going undrafted, including Oshae Brissett, Chris Clemons, Tyler Cook, Tacko Fall, DaQuan Jeffries, Caleb Martin, Justin Robinson, and Max Strus.

Two years ago, this event also featured 40 G League veterans, for a total of 80 players. Based on today’s press release, it sounds like this year’s Elite Camp may be pared down to only include draft-eligible prospects, though it’s possible the NBAGL will announce more names within the next few days.

Here are the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the 2021 G League Elite Camp:

  1. Derrick Alston Jr. (Boise State)
  2. Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech)
  3. Jose Alvarado (Georgia Tech)
  4. Juhann Begarin (France)
  5. Chaundee Brown (Michigan)
  6. Jordan Burns (Colgate)
  7. Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
  8. D.J. Carton (Marquette)
  9. Moussa Cisse (Memphis)
  10. Kofi Cockburn (Illinois)
  11. Oscar Da Silva (Stanford)
  12. Darius Days (LSU)
  13. Hunter Dickinson (Michigan)
  14. Dawson Garcia (Marquette)
  15. Marcus Garrett (Kansas)
  16. Haowen Guo (China)
  17. Jay Huff (Virginia)
  18. DeJon Jarreau (Houston)
  19. Carlik Jones (Louisville)
  20. DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina)
  21. Balsa Koprivica (Florida State)
  22. A.J. Lawson (South Carolina)
  23. E.J. Liddell (Ohio State)
  24. Mac McClung (Texas Tech)
  25. JaQuori McLaughlin (UCSB)
  26. Matt Mitchell (San Diego State)
  27. RJ Nembhard (TCU)
  28. Eugene Omoruyi (Oregon)
  29. EJ Onu (Shawnee State)
  30. Scotty Pippen Jr. (Vanderbilt)
  31. Orlando Robinson (Fresno State)
  32. Aamir Simms (Clemson)
  33. Javonte Smart (LSU)
  34. Mike Smith (Michigan)
  35. D.J. Stewart (Mississippi State)
  36. MaCio Teague (Baylor)
  37. M.J. Walker (Florida State)
  38. Duane Washington (Ohio State)
  39. Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
  40. Jalen Wilson (Kansas)

Aaron Henry Among Prospects Entering 2021 NBA Draft

Michigan State junior swingman Aaron Henry is entering the 2021 NBA draft, as the school confirmed today (via Twitter). While Henry could test the waters while retaining his college eligibility, he stated in his announcement that he intends to hire an agent, and it sounds like he’s prepared to go pro.

A 6’6″ guard/forward, Henry had his best college season in 2020/21, averaging 15.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 3.6 APG in 28 games (32.5 MPG) for the Spartans. His three-point shooting dipped to 29.6%, but he showed the ability to make those shots with more regularity in his first two college seasons, knocking down 35.7% of his attempts.

Henry is currently the No. 32 prospect on ESPN’s big board for the 2021 draft, making him a good candidate to have his name called on draft night in July.

Houston junior guard Quentin Grimes (No. 64) and Kansas junior guard Ochai Agbaji (No. 66) are among the other early entrants who have recently announced their intentions to declare for the 2021 draft, as detailed in press releases from Houston and Kansas. Grimes intends to go pro, while Agbaji will just be testing the waters for now.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants joining the draft pool:

  • Jalen Wilson, F, Kansas (freshman): Like his teammate Agbaji, Wilson will retain his NCAA eligibility while he goes through the pre-draft process, the Jayhawks announced in a press release.
  • Mac McClung, G, Texas Tech (junior): After transferring from Georgetown to Texas Tech in 2020, McClung has once again entered the transfer portal, he announced on Sunday (via Twitter). As he did a year ago, McClung will go through the draft process.
  • Scotty Pippen Jr., G, Vanderbilt (sophomore): Pippen, the son of former NBA star Scottie Pippen, announced on Twitter that he’s testing the draft waters.
  • Duane Washington, G, Ohio State (junior): Washington announced on Twitter that he’s entering the draft, and the wording of his statement suggests he expects to keep his name in rather than returning to school.