Tyus Battle

Syracuse’s Tyus Battle To Enter 2019 NBA Draft

Following his junior season, Syracuse swingman Tyus Battle intends to enter the 2019 NBA draft and go pro, a source tells Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. News of Battle’s decision comes shortly after the Orange were eliminated from the NCAA tournament following a Thursday loss to Baylor.

In 32 games for Syracuse in 2018/19, Battle averaged 17.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 2.5 APG with a .431/.321/.763 shooting line. He tested the draft waters a year ago, but ultimately decided to withdraw and return to college for another year.

At the time he pulled out of 2018’s draft, Battle was ranked 40th overall on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com. Over the last year, he has slipped to No. 63 on that list, so he’s not a lock to be drafted. While he’s a candidate to come off the board in the second round, Zagoria has heard from a couple NBA sources that Battle may be a candidate for a two-way contract next season (Twitter link).

The Clippers, Nets, Magic, Lakers, and Knicks were reportedly among the teams that worked out Battle when he went through the pre-draft process in 2018.

Tyus Battle Returning To Syracuse

Syracuse swingman Tyus Battle will return to the Orange for another season, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

Battle was an iron man at Syracuse in his sophomore season, leading all of Division I by playing 39.0 minutes per game. He posted a line of 19.2/2.9/2.1 while earning second-team All-ACC honors.

He appears at No. 40 in the list of top 100 prospects compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and was projected as the 40th pick by the Nets in Givony’s latest mock draft.

Battle’s reported workouts were with the Clippers, Nets, Magic, Lakers and Knicks.

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.

Lakers Notes: Ball Family, Allen, Workouts

LiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, will take part in a pre-draft workout with the team on Tuesday, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. St. Bonaventure’s Jaylen Adams, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh, Virginia’s Devon Hall, Syracuse’s Tyus Battle and Arizona’s Dusan Ristic are also scheduled for the workout.

LiAngelo returned to the United States recently after completing his first professional season overseas with Vytautas Prienu of the Lithuanian league. He averaged 12.6 PPG during his stint. LiAngelo’s year got off to a rough start after he was arrested in China along with two other UCLA teammates on suspicion of shoplifting. Following his release, LiAngelo left the NCAA and, along with younger brother LaMelo, signed contracts with Vytautas.

“The Lakers are my priority, for sure,” LiAngelo said during a recent appearance on the Marcellus and Travis show on ESPNLA radio. “I want to play with my brother. Ever since I played with Zo, we went undefeated. When we get older, we will get stronger, faster and a better feel for the game. I’m willing to play for other teams, but my priority is to play with my brother.”

Check out more Lakers notes below:

  • LaVar Ball, the patriarch of the Ball family, has never been shy to speak his mind when it comes to his sons and his latest comments are no different. During an interview with Hoops Hype’s Alex Kennedy, LaVar said that Lonzo’s health was compromised due to the Lakers’ training tactics. “My expectation for Lonzo is for him to be twice as good as he was this year, and to be more healthy,” he said. “He understands, he went through it. If you’re going to be doing those [workouts with] rubber-bands like that dude Gunnar has him doing, that [is] bulls–t training. That’s what I call it. S–t, he wasn’t like that when I brought him over there. When he first came [to the Lakers], he never got hurt. He was never hurt.”
  • Duke’s Grayson Allen, one of the more controversial players in this year’s NBA Draft, has shown on-court potential but his composure and attitude have long been questioned. Allen worked out for the Lakers on Friday and Bill Oram of the Orange County Register examined a potential fit between L.A. and the sharpshooting Blue Devil.
  • In addition to Allen, here is the latest list of players to have participated in pre-draft workouts for the Lakers.

Draft Workouts: Jazz, Ball, Ona Embo, Pinson

Armed with the 21st and 52nd overall picks in next month’s draft, the Jazz are taking a look at a wide range of prospects this week, according to the team.

On Tuesday, the Jazz brought in Jaylen Barford (Arkansas), Trevon Bluiett (Xavier), Dwight Coleby (Western Kentucky), Jock Landale (St. Mary’s), Caleb Martin (Nevada), and Kenneth Ogbe (Utah Valley) for auditions (Twitter links).

The team’s series of workouts continued today with Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State), Chimezie Metu (USC), Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s), PJ Washington (Kentucky), Mustapha Heron (Auburn), and Matt Mobley (St. Bonaventure) earning a look from the Jazz (Twitter link).

Here’s more pre-draft workout news from around the league:

  • After a stint in Lithuania, LiAngelo Ball has returned stateside to audition for NBA teams ahead of the 2018 draft. According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (Twitter link), Lonzo Ball‘s younger brother interviewed with the Thunder and Suns at the Pro Basketball Combine, and has private workouts on tap with the Lakers, Clippers, and Warriors.
  • A report earlier this week indicated that Tulane’s Ray Ona Embo is expected to withdraw from the draft, but it appears he’s going through with his scheduled workouts before making a final decision. Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link) hears from Ona Embo’s brother that the sophomore guard has a workout with the Hornets lined up for Friday.
  • Former UNC wing Theo Pinson has worked out for the Celtics and Timberwolves so far, and will audition for the Rockets on Thursday, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Pinson also has a Knicks workout on his calendar for June 12, Zagoria adds.
  • According to Zagoria (via Twitter), Syracuse early entrant Tyus Battle is working out for the Magic on Wednesday.

East Draft Notes: Wizards, Raptors, Bulls, Magic, Nets

UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday heads the list of six players the Wizards will work out on Wednesday, according to the team’s website. Holiday is ranked No. 17 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He will be joined by two Kansas guards, Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, along with forwards Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga), Moritz Wagner (Michigan) and Zach Thomas (Bucknell).

In other draft news regarding Eastern Conference teams:

Draft Notes: Battle, Porter, Silva, Taylor, Munnings

Syracuse swingman Tyus Battle is likely to remain in the draft, a source informed Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com. The 6’6” Battle averaged 19.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 2.1 APG while rarely coming off the court for the Orangemen as a sophomore. Battle is rated No. 32 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony in his latest Top 100 list. Battle has already worked out for the Clippers and has four more scheduled workouts this month, Zagoria adds.

In other draft-related comings and goings:

  • Missouri big man Jontay Porter is leaning toward returning to school, T.J. Moe of St. Louis’ 590 The Fan tweets. The 6’10” Porter is ranked No. 36 by Givony. The brother of likely lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. averaged 9.9 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 24.5 MPG as a freshman last season.
  • South Carolina forward Chris Silva has decided to return to school for his senior season, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. The 6’9” Silva averaged 14.3 PPG and 8.0 RPG as a junior.
  • Fresno State Deshon Taylor is returning to school for his senior year, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. The 6’2” Taylor averaged 17.8 PPG and 2.6 APG as a junior.
  • Louisiana-Monroe forward Travis Munnings has withdrawn from the draft, Goodman tweets. Munnings averaged 15.9 PPG and 7.3 RPG as a junior.
  • Marshall guard C.J. Burks will head back to school for his senior season, Rothstein tweets. The 6’3” Burks averaged 20.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.1 APG as a junior.
  • Bethune-Cookman forward Shawntrez Davis has opted to return to school for his senior campaign, Rothstein adds in another tweet. The 6’9” Davis averaged 14.7 PPG and 8.7 RPG last season.

Draft Rumors: Pistons, Suns, Doncic, Z. Smith

The Pistons‘ meetings at this week’s draft combine have included an interesting twist, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com, who writes that the prospects interviewed by Detroit talked about being outfitted with a virtual reality headset.

“They didn’t really ask any tricky questions,” Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham said of his meeting with the Pistons. “They did a virtual reality where I was like in the headphones and goggles and I was making plays – see if you made the right reads and stuff like that. It was cool.”

Penn State’s Tony Carr had a similar account of his interview with the Pistons: “They definitely did some interesting virtual-reality testing things just to kind of figure out your decision making and things like that (with) the 3-D glasses. It was pretty cool. I actually watched my little brother play with them but I’ve never used them myself.”

According to Langlois, the list of prospects who have met – or will meet – with the Pistons at the combine also included Tyus Battle (Syracuse), Shake Milton (SMU), Rawle Alkins (Arizona), Brian Bowen (South Carolina), Jevon Carter (West Virginia), and Trevon Duval (Duke). In a tweet, Langlois adds Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo to that list as well.

Here are a few more draft notes and rumors:

  • Sources familiar with the Suns‘ thinking tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that new head coach Igor Kokoskov likely won’t be too involved with the team’s decision on the No. 1 pick. Kokoskov may have some input, but the Suns don’t want to put him in a tough position by creating the impression that he lobbied for or against Luka Doncic, who has played for Kokoskov on the Serbian national team.
  • Speaking of Doncic, agent Bill Duffy tells Deveney that “Luka has stated no particular thought on any NBA teams.” The comment is certainly intended a response to those who interpreted Doncic’s lack of commitment to the NBA as a signal that he doesn’t want to play for the Kings or another team that might use a high pick on him.
  • Deveney has another draft-related tidbit for us, writing in a separate article that no player has been drawing more interest this week from “late-lottery” executives than Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith. In Jonathan Givony’s latest mock draft at ESPN.com, Smith comes off the board at No. 16, but he could end up sneaking into the back end of the lottery, as Deveney details.
  • According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link), the Pelicans, Hawks, Cavaliers, Kings, Thunder, Grizzlies, Jazz, Spurs, Sixers, Nets, and Timberwolves have reached out to express interest in IMG Academy prospect Anfernee Simons.

Draft Updates: Early Entrant Decisions, Peters, Daum

More than 50 NCAA underclassmen have already hired agents – or plan to – and have forfeited their remaining college eligibility, but there are another 100+ early entrants who will have to decide in the next month whether to keep their names in the draft or return to school.

In his latest piece for The Athletic, Michael Scotto took a closer look at five of those underclassmen who have decisions to make, speaking to three NBA general managers, four executives, and a scout about Tyus Battle (Syracuse), Khyri Thomas (Creighton), Jarred Vanderbilt (Kentucky), PJ Washington (Kentucky), and Bruno Fernando (Maryland).

While all eight talent evaluators who spoke to Scotto believe that Thomas should go pro, they were divided on Battle and Vanderbilt, and the majority felt that Washington and Fernando should head back to their respective programs.

Here are a few more draft notes and updates:

  • Mississippi State guard Lamar Peters, who entered the 2018 NBA draft without hiring an agent, has decided to withdraw from the process and return to school for his junior year, he announced on Twitter. Peters will rejoin teammates Aric Holman and Nick Weatherspoon, both of whom considered testing the draft waters but ultimately didn’t enter their names.
  • South Dakota State forward Mike Daum will also withdraw from the draft process and head back to school for the 2018/19 season, he announced over the weekend (via Twitter). Daum will look to follow up a junior year that saw him average 23.9 PPG and 10.3 RPG for the Jackrabbits.
  • There’s no consensus among elite high school prospects on whether the elimination of the one-and-done rule for draft prospects would be a good thing, as Jason Jordan of USA Today details. While most players who spoke to Jordan were in favor of giving prospects more freedom by adjusting the rule, others worried that doing so could result in a flood of early entrants who aren’t yet ready for the next level.

Syracuse’s Tyus Battle To Test Draft Waters

Syracuse wing Tyus Battle, one of the last notable NCAA underclassmen to announce a draft decision, has elected to enter his name in this year’s draft pool, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link). However, according to Givony, Battle won’t hire an agent, preserving his NCAA eligibility.

Battle, the No. 28 prospect on Givony’s big board, averaged 19.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, and 1.5 SPG in his sophomore year at Syracuse. He also led the nation in minutes per game, playing 39.0 MPG in 37 contests.

Givony has Battle coming off the board 29th overall in his most recent mock draft, observing that the sophomore is a “solid-sized shooting guard with smooth athleticism and a frame that will fill out nicely in time.”

Confirming that Battle is testing the draft waters, Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com writes that it hasn’t been an easy decision for the youngster, who loves attending Syracuse and would like to graduate from college. Testing the waters will allow Battle to postpone his final decision a little longer — he’ll have until May 30 to withdraw from the draft and continue his college career.