Tremont Waters

Draft Notes: Bol, Williams, Herro, Smart

With the 2019 NBA Draft Combine now over, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz and Kevin Pelton discuss the 2019 NBA Draft prospects whose stock rose or fell over the weekend, beginning with Croatian forward Luka Samanic, whose performance in his first game at the combine was good enough for him to shut himself down and put his name squarely within the first-round conversation.

The other players who impressed scouts and improved their stock include Florida State’s Terance Mann, Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton, Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby, and LSU’s Tremont Waters. Pelton was particularly impressed by Waters’ ability to knock down the NBA-three-pointer from off the dribble, an important skill in today’s NBA for a point guard.

As for those prospects who may have lowered their value, the list begins with two very productive All-American college big men – Tennessee’s Grant Williams and Kansas’ Dedric Lawson. Per the ESPN scribes, both may have put too much emphasis on their developing outside games during 5-on-5 action.

Additionally, Western Kentucky big man Charles Bassey and Utah State big man Neemias Queta both underwhelmed, with Schmitz saying both need improvement in different areas of the game (e.g. skill, fluidity, motor) before being ready to contribute at the NBA level.

There’s more from the lead-up to this year’s NBA Draft this afternoon:

  • If the Wizards are interested in a high risk-high reward option with the No. 9 overall selection, Oregon’s Bol Bol may be an intriguing pick, writes Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Despite struggling at the combine, Grant Williams does not regret playing in the 5-on-5 sessions, telling Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer that he’s “not just trying to show I can shoot, I’m showing I can defend… Be out there and be that guy who was there to win, and cheering on his teammates… I know that defensively I could have been a little better contesting shots. Being analytical — like I normally am — I play different guys certain ways, and that bit me a little bit.” Williams was dinged a bit for only measuring in at 6’6” and potentially being caught up in the “tweener” label.
  • The Celtics have three first-round picks, and while they may not end up keeping all of them, one prospect to keep an eye on for one of their selections is Kentucky guard Tyler Herro. Herro spoke with Boston brass at the combine and said they will be among the handful of teams he will workout for leading up to the draft, per A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
  • LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart is withdrawing his name from the 2019 NBA Draft and returning for his sophomore season in Baton Rouge, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

Draft Notes: Combine, Langford, Horton-Tucker, Acquaah

The competition to be the No. 4 pick remains unsettled after this week’s draft combine, according to Scott Gleeson of USA Today. Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Duke’s Cam Reddish and North Carolina’s Coby White all improved their standing through measurements and drills, Gleeson states, but Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter may have helped themselves just as much by skipping the combine.

Duke’s Zion Williamson, Murray State’s Ja Morant and Duke’s R.J. Barrett are believed to have the top three spots locked up, leaving a difficult decision at the fourth pick for the Lakers or whomever they deal the selection to.

Gleeson identifies several players who stock either rose or fell at the combine. Among the winners are UCF’s Tacko Fall, Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, Tennessee’s Jordan Bone, North Carolina’s Nassir Little, Croatian Luka Samanic and Virginia’s Kyle Guy. Gleeson’s list of players who failed to help themselves includes Oregon’s Bol Bol, Kentucky’s Tyler Herro, former Syracuse signee Darius Bazley and St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated also chimes in with a list of draft risers and fallers based on their performance at the combine. He believes Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton improved his chances of being selected in the first round with an impressive defensive performance, while LSU guard Tremont Waters helped ease worries about his size and Miami’s Dewan Hernandez showed off his athleticism after sitting out the season because of connections to the FBI investigation.
  • Indiana’s Romeo Langford says he has fully recovered from the back problems that bothered him in college, tweets Scott Agness of The Athletic. Langford met with 13 teams at the combine, including the Pacers, Celtics (Twitter link) and Pistons (Twitter link).
  • Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker is committed to staying in the draft as he hopes to become the Cyclones’ first player taken in the first round since 2012, relays Travis Hines of The Ames Tribune. A top 50 recruit coming out of high school, Horton-Tucker has already interviewed with 14 teams.
  • Milan Acquaah of Cal Baptist has taken his name out of the draft, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

Draft Notes: Reid, Waters, Childs, Porter

There’s “no chance” Naz Reid returns to LSU, as the prospect tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium Sports (Twitter link). Reid’s teammate Tremont Waters will also remain in the draft. Waters and Reid are the 47th and 48th prospect, according to ESPN.

  • BYU’s Yoeli Childs will remain in the draft, per Goodman (Twitter link). Childs is not listed in ESPN’s top 100.
  • Jontay Porter will not return to Missouri instead electing to remain in the draft, Goodman tweets. Porter is still recovering from a knee injury.
  • Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort tells Goodman (Twitter link) that he is “100 percent” staying in the NBA Draft. Dort is No. 27 on ESPN’s draft board.

Full List Of 2019 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 66 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from May 15-19.

While a small handful of top prospects often skip the event, that won’t be the case this year — Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are on the league’s list of 66 names, along with R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Darius Garland, De’Andre Hunter, and many more. Of course, those top prospects may not participate fully in all of the workouts and scrimmages at the combine.

A few more names figure to be added to this list, as a select number of the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp earlier in the week are expected to receive invites to the combine.

Here’s the full list of 66 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech (sophomore)
  2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke (freshman)
  3. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (freshman)
  4. Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS (OH) (N/A)
  5. Bol Bol, C, Oregon (freshman)
  6. Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee (junior)
  7. Brian Bowen, F, USA (born 1998)
  8. Ky Bowman, G, Boston College (junior)
  9. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan (freshman)
  10. Moses Brown, C, UCLA (freshman)
  11. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  12. Nicolas Claxton, F, Georgia (sophomore)
  13. Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  14. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  15. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas (freshman)
  16. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue (junior)
  17. Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland (sophomore)
  18. Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  19. Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Kansas (freshman)
  21. Kyle Guy, G, Virginia (junior)
  22. Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  23. Jaxson Hayes, F/C, Texas (freshman)
  24. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  25. Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest (freshman)
  26. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State (freshman)
  27. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  28. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia (junior)
  29. Cameron Johnson, G, UNC (senior)
  30. Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  31. Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State (sophomore)
  32. Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman)
  33. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana (freshman)
  34. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas (junior)
  35. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (NH) (N/A)
  36. Nassir Little, F, UNC (freshman)
  37. Charles Matthews, G, Michigan (junior)
  38. Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State (sophomore)
  39. Ja Morant, G, Murray State (sophomore)
  40. Zach Norvell Jr., G, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  41. Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington (sophomore)
  42. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville (sophomore)
  43. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn (sophomore)
  44. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford (sophomore)
  45. Miye Oni, G/F, Yale (junior)
  46. Eric Paschall, F, Villanova (senior)
  47. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s (junior)
  48. Jordan Poole, G, Michigan (sophomore)
  49. Jontay Porter, F, Missouri (sophomore)
  50. Kevin Porter Jr, G, USC (freshman)
  51. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (freshman)
  52. Cam Reddish, F, Duke (freshman)
  53. Naz Reid, C, LSU (freshman)
  54. Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska (junior)
  55. Luka Samanic, F, Croatia (born 2000)
  56. Admiral Schofield, G, Tennessee (senior)
  57. Simisola Shittu, F, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  58. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  59. PJ Washington, F, Kentucky (sophomore)
  60. Tremont Waters, G, LSU (sophomore)
  61. Quinndary Weatherspoon, G, Missippi State (senior)
  62. Coby White, G, UNC (freshman)
  63. Kris Wilkes, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  64. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee (junior)
  65. Zion Williamson, F, Duke (freshman)
  66. Dylan Windler, G, Belmont (senior)

Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga) and Matisse Thybulle (Washington) are among the potential first-round picks who aren’t on the NBA’s list of combine participants, as noted by Jeremy Woo of SI.com and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links).

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.

And-Ones: NBA Execs Poll, Mourning, Reid, Gray

Various NBA executives and coaches were polled this month by Tim Bontemps of ESPN, questioned on which sophomore player they’d rather have: Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum or De’Aaron Fox.

All four players are considered to be among the league’s best young talent, but ranking the players is tougher than what it seems. The polling from the ESPN article largely echoed the results of the 2018 Rookie of the Year Award race, with Simmons ranking first, Mitchell second, Tatum third, and Fox fourth. Simmons received as many first-place votes (nine) as the other three players did combined.

“Simmons is in his own class,” an Eastern Conference executive told Bontemps, “because of his size and passing ability, plus his defense. Having the ability to control the game at both ends is really valuable.”

Of the four players, Simmons is the only talent without a reliable jumpshot. The thought of him one day having a consistent jumper — in addition to his already mesmerizing passing, rebounding and driving abilities — could strike fear in teams around the league.

However, not all of those polled agreed with Simmons being one of the top choices of the four players.

“Simmons doesn’t shoot,” one West executive said. “If you’re a championship-caliber team, non-shooters can’t be on the floor.”

“He’s really f—ing good,” another said. “But where do you play him?”

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

  • NBA legend Alonzo Mourning is among 11 world class basketball personalities that make up FIBA Hall of Fame’s 2019 class of inductees, FIBA announced this week. Mourning joins Janeth Arcain (Brazil), Bogdan Tanjevic (Montenegro) and others to be inducted, having helped Team USA win the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 1994. He also went on to help win a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
  • LSU expects to lose 19-year-old forward Naz Reid for the NBA Draft this spring, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com writes. “Yeah, we’re expecting to lose him,” LSU assistant Greg Heiar admitted last week. “If you’re a top-20 pick in the draft, you need to go. You need to go. It’s what his dream is so we want him to chase his dream. You never want to hold a young man back.” Along with Reid, another LSU player who could garner professional interest in the coming months is Tremont Waters, an improved 5’11” point guard with impressive handles and court vision.
  • Free agent Rob Gray has agreed to a deal in France with JL Bourg, according to Sportando. Gray started the 2018/19 season with Fort Wayne in the NBA G League, with their campaign officially coming to an end this past week. Gray played summer league and later joined the Rockets for training camp last fall, getting waived before the season began.

Draft Decisions: Ward, Morgan, Edwards, Waters

Michigan State sophomore center Nick Ward has decided to return to school, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. He averaged 12.4 PPG and 7.1 RPG for the Spartans last season. The Bulls, Knicks, Thunder and Pistons were among the teams that worked him out this month.

We have more draft decisions with Wednesday’s deadline fast approaching:

  • Indiana forward Juwan Morgan revealed he’s going back to school via his Instagram page, Rothstein tweets. Morgan averaged 16.5 PPG and 7.4 RPG as a junior.
  • Purdue’s Carsen Edwards is removing his name from the draft, Boilermakers coach Matt Painter told Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal and Courier (Twitter link). Edwards, a 6-foot point guard, was ranked No. 70 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Edwards posted averages of 18.5 PPG and 2.8 APG as a sophomore.
  • LSU’s Tremont Waters posted on Instagram that he will return to college for his sophomore season, Cody Worsham of Tiger Rag tweets. The 5’11” guard averaged 15.9 PPG and 6.0 APG in an impressive college debut.

Southeast Rumors: Thomas, Nored, Whiteside, Hawks

Free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas would be a good fit for the Heat but they probably don’t have the salary-cap space to sign him, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel speculates. Thomas’ ability to score in bunches would boost a team prone to scoring droughts, Winderman continues. But it’s doubtful that a former All-Star coming off an injury-marred season would take a short-term deal, Winderman notes, as the Lakers guard is more likely to pursue what could be his last significant contract.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets will hire Ronald Nored as an assistant coach on James Borrego‘s staff, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Nored served as the Nets’ G-League head coach this past season.
  • Pat Riley‘s silence over the Hassan Whiteside situation in recent weeks suggests a trade is more likely than reconciliation, Winderman opines in another blog. Though Winderman believes Whiteside and coach Erik Spoelstra would like to find some middle ground, a separation appears to be in order despite the issue of Whiteside’s contract, which has two years and over $52MM remaining. Whiteside was disappointed with his reduced playing time.
  • The Hawks will bring in six prospects for a workout on Tuesday, according to a team press release. That group includes  Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Kyran Bowman (Boston College), Dorian Pickens (Stanford), Kerem Kanter (Xavier), Tremont Waters (LSU) and Kenrich Williams (TCU).

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)