Early Entry List Commentary
This year, more than ever, there are an incredible amount of underclassmen, internationals, and high school players declaring for the draft.
History tells us that the majority of these players will not keep their name in the draft, for a variety of reasons. Those names are not very hard to pick out from the early entry list if you are familiar with the player's situation, his skills, and the range he will be expected to be picked atâ-based on what we've seen from him over the course of the season and relying on NBA sources who have a good feel for who is serious about keeping their name in and who isn't.
Some of them (especially juniors and non-1983 international players) are simply putting their name in the draft because they have no reason not to based on the way the rules are set up right now, and generally have no intention of actually keeping their name in. They are looking to have their stock evaluated by professional scouts and draw attention to themselves, which is absolutely fine, but puts them in a class of their own.
Whether or not the NBA has time to, is interested in, or feels they have any obligation to help these players evaluate their stock is a subject for another article, but that's the perception that is out there and it changes the landscape quite a bit.
We feel that listing the names of these players on our 2005 mock draft until the deadline to withdraw a week before the draft would be pointless, as they would push down (or off) players who will otherwise be in the draft no matter what, therefore creating a draft board that is not consistent with reality, as we see it. That does not mean that many of these early entry players would not get picked in the 1st or 2nd round, it just means that they either would not or should not be pleased with where we think they would be slated in our mock draft, or would be better off holding off another year in our opinion, and going back to school, start school, or back to their International team for at least another season.
These players still need to be acknowledged, though, and that is the point of having this exterior list.
This is being done in the name of clarity, consistency and accuracy.
If you disagree with this list in any way, have some new info to share with us that you think we are not aware of, or think we missed someone or something here, don't hesitate to email either of us using the email link at the bottom. Not on the Mock Draft
Deji Akindele, Chicago State, 7-1, Center, Sophomore Super athletic 7 footer with an outstanding NBA body, but very little in terms of NBA skills. Despite his age (22) he is years away from being able to contribute to an NBA team. Would be best served going back to school and working hard on his skill level, because as of right now he is a long shot for the 1st round. Concerns about his work ethic don't help either.
Jose Juan Barea, Northeastern, 6-0, PG, Junior Smallish PG is one of the best scoring guards in this draft, but lack of height and especially the incredibly deep PG class hurts his chances at being drafted as high as he should be able to next year. If he's not a top 40 pick, would probably be best served playing in Europe for a season and trying again next year. Leaning more towards returning to Northeastern for senior season, though.Jermaine Bell, Indian Hills CC (IA), 6-11, 215, PF, Freshman
- Skinny, perimeter oriented PF entered his name into the draft once already out of prep school and received little to no interest, and is now trying his luck again after being named an honorable mention junior college All American. Numbers are underwhelming at 15 points, 8 rebounds per game. Martellus Bennett, Taylor HS (TX), 6-7, TE, HS Senior
â Two sport athlete is trying to find out whether he has a future at the next level in basketball. Brandon Bowman, Georgetown, 6-8, SF/PF, Junior
- Productive college junior had a nice year, but needs another year to polish his perimeter skills, specifically his ball-handling. Most likely using his use it or lose it draft card because he can. Curtis Brown Jr., Beach HS (GA), 6-9, Center, HS Senior
- Undersized 5th year high school center is ineligible for college, so the NBA is naturally the next step for him. Not considered a top tier high school recruit. Junior college seems more realistic. Dee Brown, Illinois, 5-11, PG/SG, Junior
Undersized combo guard had a phenomenal season, but lack of height, proven PG skills and a deep PG class hurts his chances at being drafted as high as he should be able to next year. A great showing in Chicago could change that, but right now he is not a 1st rounder.
Keith Brumbaugh, DeLand HS (FL), 6-8, SF, HS Senior Florida's Mr. Basketball possesses very little that separates him from a dozen or so proven college and international small forwards. Didn't show much in the high school all-star games and really has no business being in this draft. Hopefully he'll be able to get into a college that will develop him into an NBA prospect for two or three years down the road.
Andrew Bynum, St. Joseph's HS (NJ), 6-11, C, HS Senior Has all the physical tools to be a top 10 NBA draft pick down the road. Says he will only stay in the draft if he's projected as a lottery pick (although these things change quickly) and as of right now he's not there. Sitting on someone's bench for the next 2-3 years could really stunt his development. That would be a shame because has the potential to be a dominant big man in the league.
Jermareo Davidson, Alabama, 6-11, PF/C, Sophomore Great size and athletic ability, but very little in terms of NBA skills. 8 points and 8 rebounds a game on a disappointing team won't cut it to make it into the first round. Could regret using his draft card this early, as he might need all four years of college to work himself into the first round. Toney Douglas, Auburn, 6-1, SG, Freshman
- Undersized shooting guard had a great season on a terrible team. Not even close to being a first rounder at this point, and will definitely regret using his draft card this early.
Olu Famutimi, Arkansas, 6-5, SF, Sophomore Outstanding athlete, but that's basically it. Has done nothing in college at this point to separate himself. Will regret putting his name in this early on.Anderson Ferreira, Chipola JC (FL), 6-8, SF, Sophomore
- Brazilian junior college forward is considered one of the top junior college players in the nation, but apparently doesn't have the grades to get into division one. Likely entering his name in the draft because he may as well before he heads off to Europe of back to Brazil. More research needs to be done here. Torin Francis, Notre Dame, 6-11, PF/C, Junior
Was once considered one of the top prospects in his class, Has all the tools in the world and then some to be a first round pick, but concerns about back problems and an extremely disappointing season have severely hurt his stock, making him more of a 2nd round prospect at the moment. An excellent showing in Chicago and no medical red flags on his back could certainly fix that, though. Mike Hall, George Washington, 6-8, SF/PF, Junior
- Likely just entering his name in as a junior because he can. Not really an NBA prospect at this point. Averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds on a fairly average team. Will either pull out or go undrafted.
Chris Hernandez, Stanford, 6-2, PG, Junior Crafty, fundamental PG already has his degree in hand and wants to see where his NBA stock is at. An excellent basketball player, but lack of size, athletic ability, and the depth of this year's PG class hurts his chances of being drafted. Jibril Hodges, Long Beach State, 6-2, SG, Junior
- Another junior, this time an undersized shooting guard, entering his name into the draft simply because he has nothing to lose. Averaged under 13 points a game and more turnovers than assists in the Big West. Amir Johnson, Westchester HS (CA), 6-10, PF, HS Senior
Great size and athletic ability. Looked outstanding at the Roundball Classic in Chicago, but mediocre at McDonalds. Lacks the skills or experience to be considered a lock for the 1st round, but may not be eligible for college. Would be best served getting his test scores in order and playing at least a year or two in college in order to not squander what looks to be a very promising career.
Dwayne Jones, St. Joseph's, 6-11, Center, Junior Extremely athletic post player has all the physical tools you look for, but not enough in terms of actual skills to have a shot at the 1st round. Will most likely go to Chicago if he's invited and then pull out if he doesn't set the world on fire there. Brian Kim, Vanguard University (CA), 6-5, Junior
â Athletic Korean guard left his college to join the Korean league in the middle of the season, and is entering his name in the draft before he become automatically eligible next year. Average numbers in a mediocre conference don't speak highly in his favor. Armein Kirkland, Cincinnati, 6-8, SG, Junior
Extremely versatile guard can play the 1,2 and 3 spots with excellent ball-handling and athletic ability. An intriguing prospect, but didn't have the type of year you would expect out of an early entrant. Needs to show that attitude concerns are overblown next season. Likely just using his draft card because he can, as he's very far from being a 1st rounder in such a deep draft. The exposure and experience could help him next year, though.
Carl Krauser, Pittsburgh, 6-2, PG, Junior Flashy PG is in a tough situation, as he's a 2nd round pick at best but is already past the age where coming back for another season will significantly help his stock. Impending age limit and weaker PG class next year will help, but he could stay in the draft regardless. Julius Lamptey, Garden City CC (KS), 7-0, Center, Freshman
â Community college big man has the size, but none of the skills to land in the first round. Committed to USC and that's where he will most likely end up next year. C.J. Miles, Skyline HS (TX), 6-6, SG, HS Senior
Isn't considered one of the top 15 high school prospects in a very weak class. Decided that he is an NBA prospect after scoring 13 of his team's 150 points in a watered down high school all-star game with no defense to be found. No one credible seems to think he has a shot at landing in the 1st round, but appears to be forcing the issue regardless. Doesn't have any real NBA skills he brings to the table at the moment, as he is extremely weak, his athleticism is average, and his ball-handling and outside shooting are hit or miss. A nice NCAA prospect, but we'll have to wait and see beyond that. J.R. Morris, Seton Hall, 6-5, SG, Junior
â Suspended from his team for academic reasons and is most likely entering his name into the draft before he heads off to Europe. Tim Parham, Maryland-Eastern Shore, 6-9, PF, Junior
â Undersized center put up average numbers in the MEAC, but has hired an agent regardless. Most likely putting his name in before he heads off to start his European adventure. T.J. Parker, Northwestern, 6-2, PG, Junior
- Despite the success of his brother, Tony, with the Spurs, T.J. has neither the polish nor the overwhelming athleticism to make the jump at this time. Plans on heading to Europe to take advantage of his French passport, and decided to throw his name in the draft on the way.
Pierre Pierce, Iowa, 6-4, PG/SG, Junior Athletic combo guard's stock has taken a huge hit because of legal issues. Was a borderline prospect before those problems, and now is likely considered undraftable. May not even be able to get into Chicago because of his court problems. In that case would be best served pulling his name out, playing professionally for a year and then trying again next season after things cool down.
Kevin Pittsnogle, West Virginia, 6-10, PF, Junior A terrific NCAA tournament performance put him firmly on the NBA's radar, but probably more likely for next year's draft. Has a sweet shot and good size, but almost no shot at being drafted in the first round. Might be interested in earning a paycheck overseas, but has a chance to work himself into more than that with a good senior year.
Shavlik Randolph, Duke, 6-10, PF, Junior One of the most highly sought over recruits of the past decade has turned into a huge bust under Coach K. After averaging less than 5 points and 5 rebounds in his junior season the NBA certainly won't be the ones bailing him out. Widely rumored to be unhappy at Duke and considering starting his career in Europe a year early, but Randolph has scoffed at that.
Anthony Roberson, Florida, 6-1, PG/SG, Junior Undersized combo guard can certainly stroke it, but possesses very little in terms of defense or playmaking skills to have any real shot at landing in the 1st round without an outstanding Chicago pre-draft showing. Attitude and size are a concern, as well as tendency to disappear in big games this past season.
Chris Rodgers, Arizona, 6-4, PG/SG Junior Likely putting his name in the draft because he has nothing to lose, has basically conceded the fact that he will be back at Arizona next year. Needs to work on his attitude and PG skills if he'll have any shot as a senior next year. Ray Rose, Olivet Nazarene (IL), 6-0, PG, Junior
â Came off the bench to average under 10 minutes a game at the mighty Olivet Nazarene in the Chicagoland Collegiate Conference in the NAIA.
Brandon Rush, Mt. Zion Academy (NC), 6-6, SG HS Senior Extremely talented and athletic shooting guard might has one of the highest ceilings of anyone in this draft. Overexposure and concerns about his work ethic are holding him out of the first round for now, but some excellent workouts could certainly change that. If not, he'll make a huge impact as a freshman in the NCAA.
Marcus Slaughter, San Diego State, 6-8, SF/PF, sophomore Athletic Mountain West conference sophomore has lots of potential, but also has a lot of work ahead of himself to shed the dreaded tweener label. Landing in the first round this year is a long shot, but he'll be in a great situation next year to improve his perimeter skills. Could regret burning his draft card this early.
Steven Smith, LaSalle, 6-8, SF/PF, Junior Extremely athletic and talented Atlantic 10 player of the year already has his degree in hand and an extra year of eligibility, so declaring for the draft to help develop a buzz around his name makes sense. First round hopes depend on an excellent showing in Chicago, but if that doesn't happen he shouldn't force the issue unless a guaranteed contract is on the table.
Tim Smith, East Tennessee State, 5-9, PG, Junior Speedy PG is one of the top scorers in the country, but is still about 3-4 inches undersized. A great showing in Chicago like Nate Robinson
had last year might change people's minds, though. B.J. Spencer, Jacksonville State, 6-4, SG, Junior
- 12 point per game tweener from the Ohio Valley conference wanted his 15 minutes of fame, so that's exactly what he got.
Von Wafer, Florida State, 6-5, SG, Sophomore This is a tough one, as his school has absolutely no interest in him coming back. In terms of physical tools and talent he is a first rounder all the way, but his unpolished game, attitude and the stories that came out of FSU's lockerroom make him more likely to go undrafted. Would be best served transferring to another school and coming back in the 2007 draft. Otherwise he's in serious risk of turning into a basketball vagabond.
James White, Cincinnati, 6-6, SG, Junior A highly touted high school recruit who might be considered the top athlete in this year's draft. Made it very clear upon entering that he will be back in school next season, which is a good thing considering that he is still extremely raw.
Eric Williams, Wake Forest, 6-9, PF, Junior An intriguing prospect because of his size, bulk, athleticism and tenacity around the rim, but not a first round prospect at this point because of the fact that he's essentially a 6-9 center in terms of skills. Another year at Wake, this time as the Man with the departure of Chris Paul
could help him become a first rounder in next year's draft.
Louis Williams, South Gwinnett HS (GA), 6-3, PG/SG, HS Senior High school combo guard is an outstanding athlete and scorer, but lacks the point guard skills and experience to be considered a lock for the first round in such a deep draft. Has not hired an agent at this point and doesn't plan on doing so until his situation clears up. International List
Cenk Akyol, Efes Pilsen (Turkey), 6-4, PG/SG, 1987 DOB Akyol is a fundamentally sound and skilled player at the junior level, but is still the kind of guy who has a lot to prove before getting serious consideration from the NBA. He doesn't have unlimited potential, which means no great athleticism nor a defined NBA position. He's a steady guy, mentally mature who knows what to do on the court. He's just not intriguing enough for the moment, even if he already has some experience playing for a European powerhouse like Efes Pilsen and on the Turkish senior National Team despite being only 18 years old.
Nemanja Aleksandrov, Reflex (Serbia-Montenegro), 7-0, SF/PF, 1987 DOB Raw, but super talented teenager. Lacks strength and experience, while he's still yet to translate his great potential into effective production in Europe. He's too unproven to get drafted as high as he probably could with a couple more years under his belt. Plus, he's coming off knee surgery for a partially torn ACL [according to Chad Ford] which means he won't be able to participate in NBA workouts. Martynas Andriuskevicius, Zalgiris (Lithuania), 7-2, Center, 1986 DOB
Great size and athleticism, but too skinny and timid to fully use it even against the weakest of competition. A very disappointing season left him averaging 2 points and 1 rebound in the Euroleague, and about double that in the very weak Lithuanian league. Those are hardly the credentials of a lottery pick, especially with the lessons NBA teams have learned from the past few years. Martynas has top 5 potential, but this draft is simply too early for him as he is still years away from fulfilling it. Sitting on an NBA bench for 2-3 years would be disastrous for him.
Luka Bogdanovic, Partizan (Serbia-Montenegro) 6-8, SF, 1985 DOB This fundamentally sound small forward has very little chance at landing in the first round this year. His ball-handling and defense are currently two of the most serious concerns about his game. He could improve his stock in further seasons if he keeps developing his game.
Ivan Chiriaev, Dynamo Moscow (Russia), 7-1, PF, 1984 DOB Had NBA scouts running for the exits last year after being ridiculously overhyped by some and then failing to dominate Canadian high school players who were younger than him, and has done nothing to improve his stock since then as he's seen no playing time after catching on with a team late in the year in Russia. All 7 feet PG gimmicks aside, he'll be automatically eligible next year and will have to actually play well against decent competition to have any shot at being drafted.
Marcin Gortat, RheinEnergie Koln (Germany) 7-0, PF/C, 1984 DOB Extremely raw, but athletic big man is throwing his name in the draft again before he becomes automatically eligible next year. Had a decent season in Germany, but is still very far from the first round at the moment. Could be an interesting player to invite to Chicago.
Mile Ilic, Reflex (Serbia-Montenegro), 7-0, Center, 1984 DOB Even if Mile Ilic
has improved during the season, he still isn't a lock for the first round at this point. This rather athletic big man, with some offensive skills and attitude, could very well develop into a serviceable center, and therefore into a valuable pick for someone next year. He's probably fishing for a guarantee in the late first.
Ersan Ilyasova, Ulker (Turkey), 6-9, SF, 1987 DOB This athletic Turkish small forward has dominated in international youth tournaments, but injuries haven't left him too much room to prove himself against grown men. Half a season of inconsistent play most likely won't be enough to secure a high enough pick for such a talented youngster.
Paulius Jankunas, Zalgiris (Lithuania), 6-8, PF, 1984 DOB He's no first round material, probably not even second round at this moment. Not showing that much potential, without the size and athleticism to draw attention from the NBA teams, he's probably looking for some hype by declaring, to come back next year perhaps with a more prominent role in Zalgiris under his belt, and therefore, with more chances to move up in the draft before he becomes automatically eligible.
Viktor Keirou, Unics Kazan (Russia), 6-6, SG, 1984 DOB We just haven't seen enough of him at this point to really judge or accurately rank him, but judging by his stats it probably wouldn't be a stretch to say that he is throwing his name in in order to get some exposure for next year's draft. He's begun to turn the corner lately. Next year could be his breakout season.
Tomasz Kesicki, Pamesa Castellon (Spain), 6-10, 1986 DOB An extremely raw player with some nice potential, it's hard to understand why Kesicki has declared besides the fact that international players can put their name in and pull out as many times as they want. He's too young, and doesn't need to draw too much attention to himself at this point, he just needs to work on his highly unpolished game. Still, he's an athletic and long power forward to look out for in the future.
Yaroslav Korolev, CSKA Moscow (Russia), 6-9, SF, 1987 DOB Although the first round would likely be his final destination if he stayed in, junior competition is all this super-skilled and athletic small forward has played this season. Of course, he's not ready for the NBA, and he would likely stay in Europe regardless he's finally drafted. So why not wait, get some experience with the bigs, and perhaps see his stock skyrocket in a couple of years? Further complicating the situation is the fact that Korolev has no buyout in his contract and will not be coming over to the States for workouts. His agent has informed us that he is tentatively scheduled to come to San Diego for the Youth Developmental Festival during the same time as the Chicago pre-draft camp, though, so that could be a great opportunity for him to show off his skills.
Marko Lekic, Atlas (Serbia-Montenegro), 6-10, PF, 1985 DOB We just haven't seen enough of him at this point to really judge or accurately rank him, but judging by his stats it probably wouldn't be a stretch to say that he is throwing his name in in order to get some exposure for next year's draft.
Ian Mahinmi, Le Havre (France), 6-9, PF, 1986 DOB Even if he has become a defensive force up to a certain degree, he's still a very raw paint player. Athleticism and late, but quick improvement are intriguing characteristics about him, but it won't make the cut in the first round this year, with the late second the most probable destination if he stays in.Steven Markovic, West Sydney (Australia), 6-3, PG/SG, 1985 DOB
â Australian combo guard is throwing his name in for recognition, but is not a serious prospect at this point. Needs to learn how to play the point at his size before he can get any looks from the NBA.
Miguel Marriaga, Gaiteros (Venezuela), 6-9, PF, 1984 DOB We just haven't seen enough of him at this point to really judge or accurately rank him, with only one two year old tape being the only indicator we have of the type of player he might become. That's obviously not enough.
Drago Pasalic, Split (Croatia), 6-10, PF, 1984 DOB He's no first rounder, and not even close to a second round lock. This skilled perimeter oriented big man has been pretty disappointing since he left junior categories. He had a troubled departure from Split mid-way the season and it's not clear what he will do the next season. He's been training in the States ever since.
Kosta Perovic, Partizan (Serbia-Montenegro), 7-1, Center, 1985 DOB It hasn't been much of a successful season for Perovic, even a bit disappointing after showing great promise last year. He's a highly skilled center, with good offensive weapons and the length to eventually develop into a factor defensively. But toughness and quickness are still issues to address for him. It too often looks like he isn't trying hard enough, and that's definitely not what NBA teams are looking for in the first round. Alexandr Rindin, Gala Baku (Azerbaijan), 7-5, Center, 1985 DOB
â We can't say we've heard or seen much of him at this point. He only played 21 minutes all season this year in the FIBA Europe League.
Dusan Sakota, Panathinaikos (Greece), 6-10, SF/PF, 1986 DOB The only reason to declare him for the draft at this point of his career would be to draw some attention. Despite some nice potential, there are way too many big doubts about his game for him to get a spot in the first round, particularly defense, intensity, his position on the court and physical development. His stock for future draft editions will rely on the degree of success he'll have trying to solve those doubts, of course, if he manages to get consistent playing time on a European powerhouse such as Panathinaikos. His performance at the Hoop Summit didn't help him out too much.
Predrag Samardziski Partizan (Serbia-Montenegro) 6-11 1986 DOB Right now he's little more than a well-built big body with some really raw skills. It's hard to rule out because of his size, but it will be hard to see any team betting on him in the first round at such an early stage of his career, not having proven anything in Europe yet.Cheick Samb, Tenerife (Spain), 7-0, center, 1984 DOB
- Signed some months ago for F.C.Barcelona (alongside with his younger brother Papemodou, born in 1989 and likely a top international prospect from that group age). He's long, almost endless, and has some nice athleticism, but also extremely raw, too much to even think that he could eventually make the first round for next year without drastic improvement.Carlos Matias Sandes, Boca Juniors (Argentina), 6-7, 1984 DOB
- We just haven't seen anything of him at this point to really judge or accurately rank him, but judging by his stats it probably wouldn't be a stretch to say that he is throwing his name in in order to get some exposure for next year's draft.
Thabo Sefolosha, Chalon (France), 6-6, SG/SF, 1984 DOB This versatile guard has enjoyed a pretty good season in the French league, and we've been reporting about it since the very start. He's rather fundamentally sound, a smooth player with a great feel for the game, but he doesn't share the quickness and overall athleticism that many in the French league usually display, while his shooting needs serious improvement. Therefore, probably no first round chances for him at the moment, although the exposure from this year's draft could be beneficial.
Tang Zhengdong, Jiangsu (China), 7-1, Center, 1984 DOB We just haven't seen enough of him at this point to really judge or accurately rank him, but the reports about his poor work ethic are concerning.
Marko Tomas, Zagreb (Croatia), 6-8, SF, 1985 DOB Despite the great season enjoyed by this swingman with great shooting and scoring skills, there are still some doubts about his game, particularly his quickness, handles and strength. Besides, there might be some complications with his buyout. On the other hand, to stick for another season on a weak team as Zagreb might not be the best way for him to keep on improving. He probably needs to get into the top 20 to stay in this draft and satisfy his buyout, but that's far from a lock at this point.
Caio Torres, Rayet Guadalajara (Spain), 6-11, Center, 1987 DOB This is really an unnecessary move here, as Caio is still 17 years old and will have plenty of time to draw attention in the future. He has no chance of hitting the first round and barely any to get into the second. He's big and has some nice skills, like a decent mid-range shot and some post skills, but a lack of athleticism and fire in his game make him not very intriguing at the moment.
Konstantinos Vasileiadis, PAOK (Greece), 6-6, SG/SF, 1984 DOB Costas is one of the most promising shooting guards in Europe, but not necessarily for the NBA. He's a pretty mature kid, and not only an excellent shooter with a strong character, but a pretty complete guard with a great feel for the game. The first round looks out of hand for him right now given his average athleticism and limited potential, though. He will have to prove more things in Europe before getting such high consideration.
Panagiotis Vasilopoulos, PAOK (Greece), 6-8, SF, 1984 DOB It is simply not the right moment for Vasilopoulos to stay in the draft. It's probably a good move for him to declare, though, as he's a guy who has gone rather unnoticed so far, but who has all the tools to blossom into a valuable player for the NBA. He's an athletic small forward with nice skills regarding his shooting, passing and slashing, but who is still yet to produce on a consistent basis.
Marcus Vieira de Souza, Premiata Montegranaro (Italy), 6-9, SF, 1984 DOB Marquinhos hasn't enjoyed too much exposure playing in the Italian second division, but he's a guy who shows excellent potential being a SF with excellent size, a solid three-point shot and some raw but intriguing slashing abilities. Nevertheless, he needs to polish his game, get stronger and add some degree of intensity to his game. Next season, perhaps playing first division ball with Scavolini, he could have a better shot at the first round.