Tre Jones

Eastern Notes: Raptors Draft, Galloway, McConnell, Bulls

With the potential loss of Fred VanVleet in free agency and Kyle Lowry turning 34 this year, the Raptors could be in the market for a point guard in this year’s draft. With that in mind, Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a look at floor leaders that the club could target with its late first-round pick. Duke’s Tre Jones, Stanford’s Tyrell Terry and Arizona’s Nico Mannion are some of the prospects that Murphy examines.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Pistons guard Langston Galloway, who is headed into unrestricted free agency, has “no regrets” about this season regardless of whether his team gets to play again, he told Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Galloway was the only player on the team to appear in every game and established himself as a solid second-unit shooter. “If we didn’t get to finish, I would say I had a great season and move on to the summer workouts,” he said. “I played in every single game, so I put my work on display every single game and the work I continue to put on display. I have no regrets going into the summer.”
  • Free agents T.J. McConnell, Justin Holiday and Alize Johnson are likely to remain with the Pacers next season, Scott Agness of The Athletic opines. McConnell and Holiday are solid reserves, while Johnson still has some upside. JaKarr Sampson is the only free agent that Indiana probably won’t re-sign, Agness adds.
  • The Bulls’ lottery chances could be jeopardized if they’re included in plans to resume the season, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago opines. Chicago is currently seventh in the draft lottery standings, giving the team a 32% chance at a top-four pick and a 7.5% chance at the No. 1 pick, Johnson notes. If the Bulls got hot during the resumption of play and even advanced in a revised playoff format, those odds would drop.

Draft Notes: Jones, Stanley, Oturu, Reed, Nnaji, Combine

A pair of early entrants out of Duke have signed with agents who aren’t NCAA-certified, officially signaling that they’ll go pro and remain in the 2020 NBA draft. Tre Jones has signed with BDA Sports, according to the agency’s Instagram account, while Cassius Stanley has joined ISE Basketball (Twitter link).

Both Blue Devils prospects had been expected to keep their names in the draft, so their moves to secure representation don’t come as a surprise. Both players are ranked in the top 50 on ESPN’s big board for 2020, with Jones coming in at No. 33 and Stanley at No. 50.

Here’s more on the 2020 draft:

  • A couple more players on this year’s early entrants list have signed with agents and will remain in the draft. Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu has joined BDA Sports, per the agency (Instagram link). Meanwhile, DePaul’s Paul Reed has opted for Ron Shade of Octagon, tweets Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com. Oturu and Reed place 36th and 51st respectively on ESPN’s list of 2020’s top prospects.
  • Arizona forward Zeke Nnaji has had virtual meetings with the Pelicans, Wizards, and Hornets so far, and has one lined up with the Jazz later this week, says Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). A possible first-round pick, Nnaji is ranked 34th overall on ESPN’s big board.
  • The NBA has sent teams ballots to vote on prospects they’d like to see participate in the 2020 draft combine, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The combine, originally scheduled to take place next week, has been postponed indefinitely, but the league still hopes to hold it in some revamped form, either in-person or virtually.

Duke’s Tre Jones To Enter NBA Draft

Duke sophomore point guard and ACC Player of the Year Tre Jones will enter the NBA draft, he told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. We relayed yesterday that Jones was expected to enter the draft, with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski all but confirmed the guard’s decision before it was made official.

“Obviously, Tre Jones we know is going to go, whenever he announces,” Krzyzewski said on The 247Sports College Basketball Show podcast.

Jones will join a recent glut of talent from Duke to join the NBA — Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish all made the jump last season.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak shuttering professional sports, Jones was in the midst of a strong collegiate season. Ranked No. 33 overall and No. 12 among point guard prospects on ESPN’s Best Available list, Jones averaged 16.2 PPG, 6.4 APG and 1.8 SPG in 29 games for the Blue Devils.

Duke’s Tre Jones Expected To Enter Draft

Duke sophomore point guard and ACC Player of the Year Tre Jones is expected to declare for the draft, Jacob Polacheck of Zagsblog.com relays.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said on The 247Sports College Basketball Show podcast that among the team’s draft prospects, “Obviously, Tre Jones we know is going to go, whenever he announces.”

Jones averaged 16.2 PPG, 6.4 APG and 1.8 SPG during the regular season. He’s currently ranked No. 33 overall and No. 12 among point guard prospects on ESPN’s Best Available list.

As a freshman, Jones averaged 9.4 PPG and 5.3 APG and then tested the draft waters before deciding to return to school. Jones was also considered a potential late first-round pick prior to pulling his name out of the draft.

Duke’s Tre Jones Decides To Stay In School

One prominent Duke player has decided to stay in college for at least one more season. Point guard Tre Jones is returning for his sophomore season, according to a tweet from the school’s media relations department that was relayed by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

The 6’2” Jones averaged 9.8 PPG and 5.3 APG over 34.2 MPG in his freshman campaign. He posted a season-high 22 points and eight assists against Virginia Tech in the Sweet 16.

Jones was considered a borderline first-rounder. He was ranked No. 29 overall by ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony. Jones’ feel for the game, defensive prowess and ability to make plays in the lane made a strong impression on scouts, according to ESPN’s pre-draft analysis.

The Blue Devils are still expected to lose three projected lottery picks, led by top-rated Zion Williamson. Shooting guard R.J. Barrett is ranked No. 3 and Cam Reddish sits at No. 7 on Givony’s Top 100 list.

Draft Notes: T. Jones, J. Smith, Dawkins, Tyree

Duke guard Tre Jones published an Instagram post this weekend in which he strongly hinted that he’s leaning toward returning to school for at least one more year. Nothing is official yet, but if Jones does elect to stick with the Blue Devils for his sophomore season, it would be big news for the program.

Currently, Jones ranks 29th on Jonathan Givony’s 2019 NBA draft big board at ESPN.com, including fourth among point guards. According to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter), the Knicks, Grizzlies, Hornets, Pelicans, Hawks, and Thunder have all done a “great amount” of background work on Jones.

As we wait for official word from the Duke guard, here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Maryland freshman forward Jalen Smith, a potential draft candidate, has elected to return to the Terrapins for his sophomore season, the school announced today in a press release. “I’m excited to return to Maryland for my sophomore year and advance my education as I continue to develop both on and off the court with my teammates and coaching staff,” said Smith, who averaged an impressive 17.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 3.0 BPG in two NCAA tournament games.
  • UCF guard Aubrey Dawkins has submitted the paperwork necessary to declare for the 2019 draft, according to a press release. The 6’6″ junior left a strong final impression, having racked up 32 points against Duke in UCF’s second-round NCAA tournament loss.
  • Ole Miss junior guard Breein Tyree has announced that he’ll test the draft waters, maintaining his college eligibility during the process (Twitter link). Tyree averaged a team-high 17.9 PPG on .459/.375/.831 shooting in 33 games in 2018/19.

Draft Notes: Zion, Reddish, Smits, Whitt

Zion Williamson, unsurprisingly, remains at No. 1 in the latest mock draft from ESPN insiders Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz. As Schmitz explains, while Williamson was already considered a lock to stay in that top spot, his performance in last week’s ACC tournament was the “latest reminder of just how far ahead of his peers he is.” Schmitz adds that the Duke forward is “far and away the most impressive collegiate prospect I’ve ever evaluated.”

Further down the draft board, Schmitz’s describes Cam Reddish‘s ACC tournament performance as the “most alarming of his yearlong disappearing acts,” though Reddish still comes in at No. 6 overall.

Meanwhile, at No. 11 overall, UNC’s Coby White has emerged as the third-best point guard in the 2019 class behind Ja Morant and Darius Garland, Schmitz writes. Morant and Garland both come in as top-four selections in ESPN’s latest mock.

Here’s more on the 2019 NBA draft:

  • Valparaiso junior Derrik Smits confirmed on Monday that he plans to test the draft waters this spring, per Paul Oren of The Times of Northwest Indiana (Twitter link). The seven-footer, the son of longtime Pacers center Rik Smits, will transfer to another program if he decides to withdraw from the draft.
  • SMU guard Jimmy Whitt has announced (via Twitter) that he’s entering his name in the 2019 draft pool. Whitt, who began his college career at Arkansas, averaged 12.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 4.0 APG in his junior year for SMU.
  • Ben Nadeau of Basketball Insiders identifies four prospects he believes will improve their stocks between now and draft day, starting with their performances in the NCAA tournament. Villanova’s Eric Paschall and Duke’s Tre Jones are among Nadeau’s picks.

And-Ones: R. Wallace, Exum, Underclassmen

Four-time NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace has secured a new job, having been named the boys’ basketball coach at Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina, according to Jonas Pope IV of The News & Observer. Wallace, who last played in the NBA during the 2012/13 season, says that he considered taking an NBA job before instead opting for a head coaching position at the high school level.

“I did have some offers from a few NBA teams to be on their staff,” Wallace said. “The money was good, but it’s not about the money to me, it’s about that knowledge. Knowledge should be free and it doesn’t cost anything to pass that knowledge to these young men.”

A member of the Pistons’ 2004 championship team, Wallace briefly served as an assistant coach on Detroit’s staff in 2013/14 after he retired as a player.

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

  • The Jazz offered an update on Dante Exum today, announcing that the point guard – who has been on the shelf since January 5 due to an ankle injury – plans to return to practice this week. The news suggests that Utah should expect to get Exum back in its rotation sometime in the not-too-distant future.
  • Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com identifies eight NCAA underclassmen who could face tough decisions on whether or not to forgo their remaining college eligibility and go pro this season. Tyler Herro (Kentucky), Jordan Nwora (Louisville), Tre Jones (Duke), and Coby White (UNC) are among the prospects on Daniels’ list.
  • Brian Windhorst’s latest column at ESPN.com focuses on several subjects of interest, including the challenges facing the Heat as they try to acquire a star, and commissioner Adam Silver‘s recent comments on the state of the NBA.