Skylar Mays

Draft Decisions: DeLaurier, Waters, Elleby, Others

As we relayed on Monday evening, Duke is losing one key member of its 2019/20 squad, with center Marques Bolden opting to keep his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool and go pro. However, the Blue Devils did get some good news on the draft front.

According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (via Twitter), junior big man Javin DeLaurier has opted to withdraw from the 2019 draft and return to school for his senior year.

DeLaurier hasn’t played a huge role for Duke in his first three seasons, but with Bolden out of the picture, he could play more significant minutes in ’19/20. In 38 games (16 starts) last season, DeLaurier posted 3.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 1.3 BPG with a .747 FG% in 16.3 minutes per contest. He had a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks) in Duke’s Elite 8 loss to Michigan State.

Here are more of the latest draft decisions made by this year’s early entrants in advance of Wednesday’s deadline:

  • Shaw junior guard Amir Hinton and LSU sophomore guard Tremont Waters are keeping their names in the 2019 draft pool, agent Kim Grillier tells Goodman (Twitter link).
  • A pair of Waters’ teammates, junior guards Marlon Taylor and Skylar Mays, will return to LSU for the 2019/20 season after testing the draft waters, a source tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).
  • Kevon Harris, a junior guard out of Stephen F. Austin, is pulling out of the draft and retaining his college eligibility, reports Rothstein (via Twitter).
  • After testing the draft waters, Washington State forward CJ Elleby has elected to return to school for his sophomore season, tweets Rothstein.
  • We can also remove David DiLeo‘s name from the early entrant list, according to Rothstein, who tweets that the forward is headed back to Central Michigan for his senior year.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Hawks, Hornets

There have been no recent updates on the Wizards‘ search for a new head of basketball operations, leading to speculation that Washington is waiting to make a run at current Nuggets president of basketball ops Tim Connelly.

While Connelly’s Nuggets are still alive in the playoffs, David Aldridge of The Athletic argues that if Connelly is the Wizards’ man, they should go after him now. As Aldridge points out, active postseason runs didn’t stop the Timberwolves from hiring Gersson Rosas, or the Suns from naming Monty Williams their new head coach.

It’s not entirely clear if the Wizards are still targeting Connelly, but Aldridge hears from several sources that Denver’s head of basketball ops would be “delighted” to run the Wizards. A previous report referred to the Wizards’ open position as Connelly’s “dream job.” Connelly is still under contract with the Nuggets, but if the Wizards make an offer that significantly exceeds his current salary – which Aldridge says is “just north” of $2MM per year – then he could go to Denver’s ownership in good faith and ask for the opportunity to run his hometown team.

So far, the Wizards have interviewed Danny Ferry, Tommy Sheppard, Troy Weaver, and Rosas for the front office vacancy, Aldridge confirms.

As we wait to see what the Wizards do to replace Ernie Grunfeld, here’s more from around the Southeast…

Draft Updates: Waters, Mays, Hommes, Wigginton

After LSU center Naz Reid announced earlier this week that he’s entering his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool, two of his teammates have followed suit. According to a pair of press releases from the program, sophomore point guard Tremont Waters and junior combo guard Skylar Mays have also declared for the draft.

Waters, who is ranked as the No. 49 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, confirmed that he’ll be hiring an agent. While that doesn’t necessary preclude a return to LSU next season, his announcement doesn’t say anything about preserving his college eligibility, so it seems like a safe bet that he’ll go pro. The 5’11” guard is coming off a sophomore year in which he averaged 15.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 2.8 SPG in 33 games and was named to the All-SEC first team.

As for Mays, his announcement doesn’t reveal whether he’ll hire an agent, or whether he’s leaving the door open to return to the Tigers for his senior season. A second-team All-SEC selection, Mays posted 13.4 PPG on .421/.313/.860 shooting in 35 games. He’s not ranked in Givony’s top 100.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for this year’s draft:

  • Division II Player of the Year Daulton Hommes has informed Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com that he’s entering the draft and will look to hire an agent. The junior forward, who played his college ball at Point Loma Nazarene University, is one of the only D-II players to crack Givony’s big board, coming in at No. 96.
  • Iowa State sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton is entering the draft and plans on keeping his name in this year’s pool, he tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 6’2″ Canadian – who tested the draft waters in 2018 before withdrawing – averaged 13.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 2.1 APG with a .413/.390/.720 shooting line off the bench for the Cyclones this season.
  • All-Ivy League guard Bryce Aiken announced that he’ll test the draft waters, leaving the door open to potentially return to Harvard for his senior year. “I am excited for the opportunity to see where I stand in this process the NBA has created,” Aiken said in a statement. “My goal has always been to be a Harvard graduate and an NBA player.”
  • Our full list of the early entrants for 2019’s draft can be found here.