Trae Young

Trae Young To Enter 2018 NBA Draft

Oklahoma freshman Trae Young has decided to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility and enter the 2018 NBA draft, multiple sources tell Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports. Young confirmed his decision to ESPN, telling Adrian Wojnarowski that he and his family will soon start meeting with possible agents.

In addition to reporting Young’s move to the NBA, Wojnarowski also worked with the 19-year-old to craft a first-person account on explaining his decision.

“I’ve been preparing most of my life to join the NBA, and that time has come for me now,” Young said in that piece, via Wojnarowski. “After an unforgettable year at the University of Oklahoma, I will enter the June NBA draft and fully immerse myself in the pursuit of a pro basketball career.”

Young, a 6’2″ guard, led the nation with 27.4 PPG in 2017/18, en route to a first-team All-American season. He also ranked first in APG (8.7), and chipped in 3.9 RPG and 1.7 SPG. Hhis Sooners had a very brief run in the NCAA tournament, having been bounced on Thursday, but Young is viewed as a probable lottery pick for this year’s draft.

In his most recent mock draft, Jonathan Givony of ESPN has Young coming off the board at No. 8 to the Bulls. Within that piece, Givony praises Young’s “ability to navigate pick-and-rolls, make shots off the dribble and find the open man with impressive creativity.”

And-Ones: NCAA Prospects, BIG3 Draft, McDaniels

Trae Young‘s late-season struggles have put Alabama’s Collin Sexton and Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on even terms with the much-hyped Oklahoma freshman for the status of top point guard in the draft. That’s one of the observations made by ESPN’s Mike Schmitz and Jonathan Givony in a look at first-round prospects whose teams were knocked out early in the NCAA tournament.

Missouri forward Michael Porter will have to show more than other players projected in the top half of the lottery during predraft workouts to solidify his status after a back injury sidelined him most of the season, according to Givony. Jaren Jackson Jr.‘s poor and abbreviated performance against Syracuse Sunday didn’t help the Michigan State freshman’s cause in comparisons to the draft’s other top big men, in Givony’s opinion.

In other news:

  • The BIG3 league will hold a combine on April 11th and its draft the following evening, according to a league press release. Approximately 100 players will compete for 19 available roster spots at the combine. All but two of the league’s eight teams will fill three roster spots during the draft. Championship team Trilogy must retain its existing roster to defend its title, while runner-up 3-Headed Monsters exercised its option to retain Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Kwame Brown and elected to place Eddie Basden back into the draft pool.
  • San Diego State freshman forward Jalen McDaniels will declare for the draft but won’t hire an agent, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.  He averaged 10.5 PPG and 7.5 RPG this season.
  • Hoops Rumors’ Arthur Hill provided insights on the Spurs, Wizards and top prospects in the NCAA tournament in his weekly mailbag column. Check it out here.

And-Ones: T. Young, Cap Room, Two-Way Players

Earlier this week, examined how far 2018’s top draft prospects might advance in this year’s NCAA tournament. One potential top-10 pick, Oklahoma’s Trae Young, has already been eliminated from March Madness, as his squad fell in overtime to Rhode Island this afternoon. Young didn’t want to discuss his future today, but will likely declare for the NBA draft, as a source confirms to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • With the trade deadline behind us and the buyout period essentially over as well, Keith Smith of RealGM revisited his salary cap projections for 2018/19, estimating how much cap room each team might have available this summer.
  • The 2018 offseason will mark the first time that players on two-way contracts will reach free agency, as those two-players who signed one-year deals will become eligible to sign new deals. Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days recently previewed how free agency will work for those youngsters coming off two-way deals, suggesting that the rules aren’t exactly player-friendly. Teams will have to navigate with caution to ensure they don’t sour players on accepting two-way offers going forward, writes Johnson.
  • Former Hawks shooting guard Lamar Patterson and Italian team Fiat Torino reached an agreement this week to part ways, a source told Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Patterson appeared in 40 total games for Atlanta between 2015 and 2017.
  • In an entertaining piece for HoopsHype, Alex Kennedy spoke to several players who have played in international basketball leagues, relaying some of their funniest, most interesting, and most unbelievable stories about their time spent overseas.

NCAA Tournament Filled With Draft Prospects

The NCAA tournament bracket was unveiled on Sunday and NBA draft prospects can enhance their resumes by leading their teams on a deep run. A majority of the projected first-rounders in Jonathan Givony’s current rankings on will be in action during March Madness.

Here’s a look of some of those storylines:

  • No player will be more closely watched than the projected top pick, Arizona freshman center DeAndre Ayton. He has remained eligible despite an FBI probe into his recruitment. The Wildcats, who won the PAC 12 tournament, were seeded No. 4 in the South region and will play Buffalo in the first round. A potential second-round matchup against Kentucky looms. The Wildcats have two players slotted as mid-first-rounders — swingman Kevin Knox (No. 12 overall) and combo guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (15).
  • Duke and Michigan State were ranked 1-2 at the start of the season and faced each other in November, with the Blue Devils prevailing. They could see each again in the Sweet Sixteen, a Midwest showdown that would feature a handful of first-round prospects, Duke’s frontcourt duo of Marvin Bagley III (4) and Wendell Carter Jr. (6) and shooting guard Grayson Allen (30), and Michigan State forwards Jaren Jackson Jr. (3) and Miles Bridges (11).
  • How good is Texas center Mohamed Bamba (5)? We could get a better idea if the Longhorns get past Nevada and face rugged Cincinnati, the South’s No. 2 seed which also features small forward Jacob Evans (24).
  • Alabama’s Collin Sexton, currently the top-rated college point guard at No. 8, will try to build off his big SEC tournament performance in the East Region. If the Tide gets past their opener, they’ll likely face top seed Villanova and its No. 10 prospect, small forward Mikal Bridges.
  • Oklahoma point guard Trae Young (9) and his team faltered down the stretch but still got in as the Midwest’s No. 10 seed. If they upset Rhode Island, the Sooners would likely face the Blue Devils in the next round.
  • Texas A&M big man Robert Williams (15) could improve his stock if his team, slotted No. 7 in the West, can get by Big East tournament runner-up Providence and then upset No. 2 seed North Carolina in the next round.
  • Miami (Fla.) shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV (13) might move into the Top 10 if he carries his team, seeded sixth in the South, into the Sweet Sixteen and beyond.

And-Ones: Wilkins, Pacers, Oubre, Young

Damien Wilkins, who was recently waived by the Pacers, envisions a future for himself in the NBA beyond playing for a team, as he tells David Aldridge of

“At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, I really do want to work in the NBA,” Wilkins said. “I want to work in a front office. I want to be a front office exec one day. If that means starting from the coaching standpoint and moving up, that’s fine, too. I’m actually learning on the fly how to lead.”

Wilkins played in 19 games for Indiana this season after spending four seasons out of the league. He discussed how the game has changed since 2013 when he played for the Sixers.

“It’s a lot faster, that’s for sure,” Wilkins said. “You can tell that people now are like, in a hurry to get the ball. That’s how it seems. Everyone’s in a hurry to say, okay, go ahead. Literally, go ahead and score so we can get the ball back. That’s exactly what it feels like sometimes. Everyone’s like, we want to score, so do what you gotta do so we can get the ball inbounds so we can score.

“And the teams that play defense are the teams at the top of the league. It’s not rocket science. I’m surprised everyone hasn’t figured that out yet. You look at the Spurs and Golden State, even with their frantic pace, they still defend well. Boston is at the top of the league in defensive rating. Toronto, all those teams at the top. Houston has a better defensive roster this year, so it’s no surprise that they’re at the top of the league. That’s the changes I see; the game is a lot faster and everyone’s in such a hurry to get baskets, or to get shot attempts.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • A source tells Aldridge (same piece) that the Pacers could look to bring back Wilkins after the trade deadline. The soon-to-be 38-year-old averaged 1.7 points during his 19 contests with Indiana.
  • Kelly Oubre, who will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the upcoming offseason, has turned to the corner for the Wizards, as Nate Wolf of NBAMath details. Wolf notes that Oubre has been key to Washington putting out a respectable bench unit, but also adds its second-unit has other concerns that could keep the Wizards from reaching their potential in the postseason.
  • Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (in a collaborate Insider piece for ESPN) examine the play of Oklahoma freshman Trae Young. The scribes compare Young’s offense to that of Doug McDermott, Damian Lillard, Jimmer Fredette and Stephen Curry while adding that Young’s physical limitation may prevent him from being selected with a top selection in the upcoming draft.