Yam Madar

Draft Notes: International Prospects, Wolves, Suns, Lewis, Terry

The NBA’s deadline for early entrants to withdraw from this year’s draft has now passed, which means it should just be a matter of time before we get an updated official list from the league of the early entrants who have kept their names in this year’s pool.

In the meantime, updates on a handful of international prospects continue to trickle in. According to Nicola Lupo of Sportando, Estonian forward Henri Drell – who is currently playing for Pesaro in Italy – has withdrawn his name from the 2020 draft.

On the other hand, Isralie point guard Yam Madar, a member of Hapoel Tel Aviv, has elected to keep his name in the draft, per Barak Haklai of ynetsport (Twitter link). And after initially announcing that his client Marko Simonovic would be pulling out of the draft, agent Misko Raznatovic has clarified (via Twitter) that Simonovic will remain in the draft after all.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • An NBA general manager who spoke to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) this morning said he doesn’t envy the Timberwolves and their efforts to maximize the value of the No. 1 pick. The teams at the top are desperate to try and trade down, but there just isn’t much value with the top few picks this year,” the GM said.
  • Within a piece on Kira Lewis Jr., Mike Mazzeo of Forbes says the Timberwolves and Suns are among the teams that have watched the Alabama guard work out in person. Lewis also worked out in person for Detroit, Chicago, New York, and Orlando, as previously reported.
  • Few prospects have increased their stock in recent months as substantially as Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who notes within a profile of Terry that the 20-year-old has interviewed virtually with all 30 NBA teams.
  • In an Insider-only article, Kevin Pelton of ESPN uses advanced stats to break down this year’s prospects into tiers. Pelton has LaMelo Ball on his own in tier one, followed by Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton in tier two, with Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu, and James Wiseman in tier three.

Draft Notes: Ball, Edwards, Madar, Hayes

ESPN’s Mike Schmitz examines the unusual path LaMelo Ball has taken to become a potential No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. Ball first gained notice when he skipped eighth grade so he could play a season in high school with his brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo. Since then, he has grown from 5’11” to 6’7″ and has taken a circuitous route through Lithuania, his father’s basketball league (JBA) and Illawarra in the NBL.

Several NBA general managers and executives told Schmitz they consider Ball to have the most star power in the draft and expect him to be selected in the top two or three. However, questions remain about the quality of competition he has faced and whether LaVar Ball will provide a distraction like he did when Lonzo was with the Lakers.

There’s more draft news ahead of tomorrow’s lottery:

  • This year’s draft class is among the most balanced in recent memory, and many teams would privately prefer to pick second or third to avoid the spotlight that comes with the top choice, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. He previews what’s at stake for all 14 teams involved in tomorrow’s drawing and cites the Warriors as the most intriguing. Woo suggests that if Golden State decides to keep its pick, it may prefer someone with more of a fully developed game, such as Obi Toppin or Tyrese Haliburton, rather than a talented project like Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman or Ball.
  • Edwards remains at the top of the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He states that Edwards, Ball and Wiseman have become a consensus top three, but a shortage of information resulting from the postponement of the draft combine and a ban on in-person interviews continue to make this year’s draft unpredictable. Rounding out Givony’s top five, in order, are Wiseman, Ball, Israeli forward Deni Avdija, and USC big man Onyeka Okongwu.
  • Israeli point guard Yam Madar confirmed his signing with CAA Sports, tweets international basketball writer Donatas Urbonas. Sources tell Urbonas that the 19-year-old has received “strong interest” from NBA teams after a good performance in the Israeli League playoffs. Madar, who projects as a possible late second-round pick, is training in Las Vegas.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic posted a video chat with French point guard Killian Hayes, a possible lottery selection.

Draft Notes: Madar, Montgomery, Hayes, Wiseman

Israeli point guard Yam Madar has decided to enter the 2020 NBA draft, agent Alex Saratsis tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

Madar, who plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv and ranks 74th on ESPN’s big board, is a candidate to be selected in the second round, as Givony notes. I imagine the 19-year-old’s odds of being drafted would increase if he’s willing to be a draft-and-stash prospect, developing his game for another year or two overseas while an NBA team holds his rights.

Here’s more on the 2020 draft:

  • Yet another Kentucky underclassman has entered the draft, with the Wildcats announcing today that sophomore forward EJ Montgomery is the latest to declare. Montgomery, who tested the draft waters a year ago, will go pro this time around after averaging 6.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in a part-time role (24.1 MPG) for Kentucky. Five Wildcats are now part of our early entrants list, with Kahlil Whitney – who left the program in January – representing a sixth.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer makes a case for why he believes French guard Killian Hayes should be considered the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 draft class. Within the story, O’Connor suggests that NBA teams have wildly varying opinions on many of this year’s top prospects — for instance, some executives have center James Wiseman atop their boards, while others don’t have him in their top 10.
  • Israeli forward Deni Avdija is another wild card among this year’s lottery prospects. Marc Berman of The New York Post takes an in-depth look at Avdija, noting within the piece that the Raptors have scouted the youngster more than most teams. Toronto, of course, won’t be in position to draft Avdija in this year’s lottery.