Sedrick Barefield

Central Draft Notes: Pacers, Cavs, Bucks, Pistons

Holding the 18th and 50th overall picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Pacers should have a wide variety of options available to them in both the first and second rounds, so they’re doing plenty of homework in the weeks leading up to the draft.

On Wednesday, the Pacers held a pre-draft workout that featured Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple), Ky Bowman (Boston College), Tacko Fall (UCF), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State), Juwan Morgan (Indiana), and Elijah Thomas (Clemson), according to the team. Fall’s ability to participate in that session was limited after he rolled an ankle, as we noted yesterday.

Today, the Pacers are working out six more prospects, announcing that Luguentz Dort (Arizona State), Kyle Guy (Virginia), Amir Hinton (Shaw), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Cody Martin (Nevada), and Josh Reaves (Penn State) are in town.

The Pacers will audition six more prospects on Friday, per the club’s latest press release. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan), Jon Elmore (Marshall), Aric Holman (Mississippi State), Luke Maye (UNC), Miye Oni (Yale), and Admiral Schofield (Tennessee) will attend that session.

Here are more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Central:

Pacific Notes: Durant, Suns, Kings, Clippers

As relayed by The Associated Press, this Tuesday is the next time we may know more about a possible return of Warriors superstar Kevin Durant. Having already been ruled out for tonight’s Game 2, Wednesday night’s Game 3 marks the next opportunity for Durant’s return, but Tuesday is Golden State’s next practice.

Head coach Steve Kerr, having already said that Durant will need to practice before playing in a game, expounded upon his stance today, saying that Durant could potentially only need one day of practice to be cleared for game action.

“It’s really a day-to-day thing,” Kerr said “If we had a crystal ball, we would have known a long time ago what we were dealing with. But it’s just an injury (where) there’s been a lot of gray area. So, literally, it’s just day-to-day and how the progress is coming. And at this point he’s still not ready.”

But, when further pressed on the issue, and asked whether Durant will only need one practice, said “it’s feasible.” Accordingly, we should know a lot more on Tuesday as to whether Durant can return for Game 3.

There’s more from the Pacific Division this afternoon:

Draft Decisions: Harper, German, Schofield, Moss, Barefield

It’s been a busy day for Auburn basketball. Both Bryce Brown and Austin Wiley have already indicated they are returning to school, and now Auburn has officially announced that their teammate, sophomore guard Jared Harper, is also electing to withdraw his name from the 2018 NBA Draft and return for his junior season with the Tigers.

Harper, who like Brown was not listed among Johnathan Givony’s top 100 prospects list on ESPN, averaged 13.2 PPG and 5.4 APG last season while sharing team MVP honors with Brown and Mustapha HeronHe was named Second Team All-SEC by both the coaches and the media.

Tomorrow is the last day for early entrants to withdraw from the NBA Draft and retain their NCAA eligibility. With that in mind, here are four more underclassmen who will return to school:

  • Sophomore guard Eugene German will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return for his junior season at Northern Illinois, the school announced today. German, 20, led the Mid-American Conference in scoring last season, averaging 20.6 PPG on his way to being named All-MAC Second Team.
  • Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield will return to school for his senior season, tweets Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports. Schofield, 21, averaged 13.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a junior and was named to the 2018 SEC Tournament All-Tournament Team.
  • Redshirt sophomore guard Isaiah Moss will withdraw from the 2018 NBA Draft and return for his junior season at Iowa, the school announced today. Moss, 21, started every game for Iowa during the 2017/18 season and was named the team’s Most Improved Player.
  • Utah guard Sedrick Barefield will withdraw from the draft and return to school for his senior season, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN. Barefield, 21, began his career at SMU before transferring to Utah during his freshman year. He averaged 12.0 PPG last season.

Draft Workouts: Jazz, Warriors, Knicks, Suns

The Jazz worked out Shake Milton (SMU), Angel Delgado (Seton Hall), Theo Pinson (North Carolina), Omari Spellman (Villanova), Thomas Wilder (Western Michigan) and Elijah Stewart (USC) on Monday, according to team’s Twitter feed. Milton, a borderline first-round guard prospect ranked No. 34 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, headlined that group.

The Jazz will host six more prospects on Tuesday — Kameron Chatman (Detroit), Sedrick Barefield (Utah), Kenneth Ogbe (Utah Valley), Dayon Goodman (Westminster), Tyler Rawson (Utah) and Ryan Richardson (Weber State) (Twitter links).

We have more draft workout news:

  • Wichita State’s Landry Shamet worked out for the Warriors on Sunday, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com tweets. The point guard is ranked No. 42 by Givony.
  • Syracuse swingman Tyus Battle, rated No. 32 by Givony, worked out for the Knicks on Friday, Zagoria reports in another tweet. Small forward Brian Bowen, who was ineligible to play college ball last season, worked out for New York the same day and the Lakers on Sunday.
  • The Suns brought in UCLA’s Aaron Holiday and Anfernee Simons, who spent a post-grad year at IMG Academy, and four other prospects on Monday, the team tweets. Holiday is rated No. 17 by Givony while Simons is ranked No. 21. Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky), Tony Carr (Penn State), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Kansas) and Bruce Brown (Miami, Fla.) joined them.

Draft Notes: Combine, Franks, Gates, Vick, Wiggins

Earlier today, we passed along the list of the 69 players expected to attend this month’s NBA draft combine in Chicago, as reported by Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. In his latest Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony takes a closer look at that list, noting that it’s often predictive of which players will be drafted in June.

As Givony notes, Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike, Georgia’s Yante Maten, UCLA’s Jaylen Hands, and Maryland’s Bruno Fernando all received invites to the combine despite not being on ESPN’s list of this year’s top 100 prospects. That’s an indication that NBA teams are more bullish on those players than Givony, who says they’ll be added to his top 100 in the next update.

Meanwhile, Florida’s Jalen Hudson, St. John’s Shamorie Ponds, and Purdue’s Carsen Edwards are among the underclassmen in Givony’s top 100 who weren’t invited to the combine. Those players, along with a few other top-100 prospects, haven’t hired agents and can still withdraw their names from this year’s pool — not receiving an invite to the combine probably means they’re more likely to return to school.

Let’s round up a few more draft-related notes…

  • Following up on his analysis of the combine invitee list, Givony notes in a tweet that Robert Franks (Washington State), Kaiser Gates (Xavier), and Lagerald Vick (Kansas) are among the early entrants who have now hired agents and won’t be returning to school.
  • One intriguing combine invitee is Mitchell Robinson, who didn’t play college ball after being named a McDonald’s All-American. According to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter link), Robinson has signed with veteran NBA agent Raymond Brothers, who says his new client is “easily a top-three talent.”
  • Junior forward Demajeo Wiggins, who averaged a double-double in 2017/18 (13.7 PPG, 10.1 RPG), will be returning to Bowling Green for his senior season, he tells ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (Twitter link). Wiggins had been testing the draft waters without an agent.
  • Pre-draft team workouts are underway, with the Lakers bringing in six prospects for a look on Thursday. According to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet (Twitter link), Sedrick Barefield (Utah), Hayden Dalton (Wyoming), Marcus Foster (Creighton), Deng Adel (Louisville), Anas Mahmoud (Louisville), and Ethan Happ (Wisconsin) earned a look from the Lakers.

236 Early Entrants Declare For 2018 NBA Draft

The NBA has released the official list of early entrants for the 2018 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 236 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 181 are from colleges, while 55 are international early entrants.

That number blows away the previous record for early entrants, established in 2017. Last year, 182 early entrants declared for the draft, though ultimately only 73 of those prospects remained in the draft by the final deadline.

This year’s total of 236 early entrants also figures to shrink significantly by May 30 and again by June 11, the two key deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it still looks like that pool will remain crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants likely exceeding 60, the number of picks in the draft.

Our list of early entrants is now up to date and can be found right here. Here are today’s updates:

College underclassmen:

The following players were listed on the NBA’s official breakdown today, but weren’t yet noted on our own list. For now, we’re assuming they haven’t yet hired agents.

The following players reportedly declared for the draft or planned to, but weren’t named in the NBA’s official announcement today. As such, we’ve removed them from our list.

International players:

The following players were listed on the NBA’s official breakdown today, but weren’t yet noted on our list.

  • Berke Atar, C, Turkey (born 1999)
  • Laurynas Beliauskas, G, Lithuania (born 1997)
  • Rihards Berzins, F/C, Latvia (born 1997)
  • Etienne Ca, F, France (born 1997)
  • Sigfredo Casero-Ortiz, G, France (born 1997)
  • Berkan Durmaz, F, Turkey (born 1997)
  • Aleksander Dziewa, C, Poland (born 1997)
  • Stephane Gombauld, F, France (born 1997)
  • Yoan Granvorka, F, Switzerland (born 1997)
  • Michal Kolenda, F, Poland (born 1997)
  • Antonios Koniaris, G, Greece (born 1997)
  • Leon Kratzer, C, Germany (born 1997)
  • Shekinah Munanga, F, France (born 1997)
  • Williams Narace, F, France (born 1997)
  • Marcel Ponitka, G, Poland (born 1997)
  • Leonardo Tote, F, Italy (born 1997)
  • Martynas Varnas, G, Lithuania (born 1997)
  • Filip Zagrajski, G, Croatia (born 1997)