Will Enter the 2009 NBA Draft
While as many as six potential lottery picks (Willie Warren
, Cole Aldrich
, Ed Davis
, Greg Monroe
, Al-Farouq Aminu
and possibly Evan Turner
) have already declared their intentions to return to college next season, one player who will not is Davidsons Stephen Curry
. Sources close to the situation tell us that Curry will call a press conference shortly to announce he is putting his name in the draft. From what we understand, its very likely he keeps it in too. Curry looks like a pretty solid bet to get drafted somewhere in the 8-15 area, with teams like the Knicks, Nets and Suns currently looking to be the most interested amongst that group. Curry very much wants to graduate from Davidson, and this decision wasnt an easy one as you can probably tell by how long it took, but at the end of the day, the NBA was too enticing an option considering where his draft stock is at at the moment, and how stacked next years draft is already shaping up to be.
Houston Will Look to Move into the Draft
The Houston Rockets managed to secure a very valuable asset on draft night last year when they picked up the Memphis Grizzlies 2nd rounder, as part of the Donte Greene
3-team trade. Unfortunately for them, they were forced to give back that pick when they unloaded Steve Francis
contract back on Memphis, which saved them a substantial amount of money in luxury tax savings, and allowed them to resign veteran Dikembe Mutombo
. They also parted ways with their first round pick as part of the Ron Artest
trade, and thus will convey the #23 selection to Sacramento.
Now, Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tells us that his team does not plan on standing pat in this draft. We plan to buy our way back into the draft using some of this money Morey told us via email this week, referring to the money his team was able to save by trading Francis.
Morey did not specify which round the team will be looking to move into. Its widely believed that due to the global economic crisis, there will be numerous draft picks available in the bottom half of the first round this year as teams look to avoid being burdened by guaranteed contracts. With how weak this years crop of European prospects is currently shaping up to, it likely wont be as attractive to stash players overseas considering the poor value involved with taking a player 10-15 spots higher than he normally would have went.
Will Test the Waters
Villanova combo guard and NCAA tournament darling Scottie Reynolds
will announce his intentions to test the waters shortly, according to sources close to the situation. Reynolds is a junior and thus has very little to lose, although he also doesnt have much to gain either, since hes unlikely to be invited to the pre-draft camp and probably wont garner more than a handful of workouts as teams increasingly look to cut costs.
Others players weve learned that will be testing the waters include Illinois State guard Osiris Eldridge
and Greek point guard and recent Nike Hoop Summit participant Nikos Pappas
-Georgetown junior DaJuan Summers
has signed with Andre Buck of CAA
-USC junior Daniel Hackett
has signed with Andrew Vye and Andy Miller of ASM Sports
Economy, death of pre-draft camp work to detriment of early declarers
Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News writes a piece detailing the very prevalent opinion that testing the waters just isnt what it used to be anymore, due to the near-elimination of the NBA pre-draft camp, combined with the budget cutting that will likely cut out most of the workouts for players not deemed serious about being in the draft. "Testing the waters" isn't what it used to be. For most players involved this spring, it will amount to a couple of press releases: one to declare for the draft, one to withdraw. It used to be a terrific deal for college players, particularly those who reached their junior seasons and were permitted to spend their one get-out-of-jail-free card. They could file for early entry, attend the pre-draft camp at the league's expense, fly to individual workouts at the teams' expense and then, with all that experience gained, return for a final season of NCAA basketball.
Teams are quietly saying they will not fly in players who aren't likely draft choices merely as a favor to the player, or his college coach or his prospective agent. So maybe Notre Dame's Luke Harangody gets an invite from the Indiana Pacers or Chicago Bulls, because they know he'll go hard through his workout and challenge the real prospect they're bringing in for serious evaluations -- and because Harangody easily can make the drive. But it's doubtful players of this ilk will be on the kind of national tour North Carolina's Ty Lawson was able to take last spring.
An even greater loss to borderline prospects such as Xavier's Derrick Brown, Texas' Damion James and LSU's Tasmin Mitchell is the demise of the pre-draft camp. Once an annual Chicago exercise and lately conducted at Orlando's Milk House, the pre-draft camp was taken off life support by the NBA last November because it was deemed too costly to get a long look at mostly second-round picks.
DeCourcy is absolutely right, even if the Dominique Archies and Donald Sloans of the world have not yet gotten the memo.
Picks turning down money means college hoops hits lotto
Gary Parrish of CBS Sportsline, like many NBA executives weve spoken with this week, cant believe how many top-shelf players have decided to go back to school this year. It's unclear whether they love school, hate money or simply believe the best route to maximizing their long-term potential as a basketball player is to spend one more year on campus. Anyway, the bottom line is the same: The projected lottery picks who are returning to school at an unusual rate have simultaneously killed the 2009 NBA Draft and enhanced the star power of the 2009-10 college basketball season.
That's the story of the week.
Seems like every day somebody is delaying millions.
First Ed Davis confirmed he will return to North Carolina, which was followed by Kansas' Cole Aldrich, Georgetown's Greg Monroe, Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu and Oklahoma's Willie Warren each also promising to spend at least one more season in school. Add it up, and what we have are four -- and perhaps five, depending on what you think of Aminu -- near-certain lottery picks now off the table. And when you consider that fifth-year high school star John Wall has repeatedly insisted he won't try to enter the draft despite the presence of a loophole that could make it possible, what that means is that as many as six of the top 15 or so prospects who could be in the 2009 NBA Draft won't be in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Which is good news for Jordan Hill.
And bad news for the franchise that has to take Jordan Hill third.
"I want to say that people are looking at Blake Griffin and seeing how much he improved himself [by returning for his sophomore season at Oklahoma]," said Jonathan Givony, president of DraftExpress.com, a website dedicated to thoroughly covering the NBA Draft from all angles. "That might be it. But more than anything else, it's probably just coincidental."
With Stephen Curry
, Patrick Patterson
and Willie Warren
coming off the board, there are now only a few players of note who have yet to announce whether or not they will be entering this years draft. They include:
Were told by multiple sources that its still 50/50 at the moment, and that the decision will come all the way down to the deadline. It seems like Brackins legitimately wants to return to Iowa State, but that his advanced age (he turns 22 later this year, despite being a sophomore) and the sheer quantity of potential lottery picks who elected to go back to school complicates his decision.
From what we understand, Henderson entering the draft is likely just a formality at this point.
Similar to Henderson, most NBA personnel consider it a foregone conclusion that Lawson will be in the draft when its all said and done.
- This one is a bit more interesting, as its becoming tougher and tougher to find an NBA scout these days (and weve polled at least two dozen on this subject) who consider Ellington a lock for the first round. In fact, many weve spoken to have him slated in the second round. Complicating matters is the fact that Ellington already tested the waters last year, meaning that he will be in the draft for good if he decides to put his name in. North Carolina could also really use some help at the guard spot next season, as they appear to be loaded in the frontcourt but have almost nothing in terms of proven scoring ability right now, and would probably make this Ellingtons team if he elected to return. Still, considering how well Ellington played over the last two months of the season, its hard to tell exactly how much more he could do to improve his draft stock if teams still havent been won over by his play.In or Very Likely to be In:-Blake Griffin, Sophomore, Oklahoma-
Announced his intentions to enter in a press release today
. Has signed with agent Sam Goldfeder.-Ricky Rubio, 1990 International, DKV Joventut-
Back on the DraftExpress 2009 mock draft, after a four month stint where he was projected for 2010. Sources close to the situation indicate that Rubios family is now in favor of him entering this year, and that will almost certainly be on the early-entry list when its released on April 27th. His buyout still needs to be negotiated, which is easier said than done, but a final decision on whether to stay in likely wont come until very close to the pull-out deadline, on June 19th. Unlike college players who are bound by the more restrictive NCAA rules, International players can enter the draft up to three times, which gives him plenty of wiggle room.
Also announcedRubio has accepted an invitation to the Reebok EuroCamp, which will be conducted from the 6-8 of June in Treviso, Italy. Joventut may have to lose in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to make that a reality, though. They are currently in 6th place in the league. -James Harden, Sophomore, Arizona State- Announced hes entering the draft
, and is in the process of selecting his agent.-Hasheem Thabeet, Junior, UConn-
Announced hes entering the draft, and is in the process of selecting his agent.-Jordan Hill, Junior, Arizona-
Announced hes officially in the draft in a joint press conference with Chase Budinger
, and is reportedly close to selecting his agent as well.-Brandon Jennings, 1989 International, Lottomatica Roma-
Will be automatically eligible for this draft according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement
as an American high school player who signed a player contract with a professional basketball team not in the NBA that is located anywhere in the world, and has rendered services under such contract prior to the Draft.-Tyreke Evans, Freshman, Memphis-
Announced hell be leaving immediately after his head coach John Calipari took the job at Kentucky. Will be hiring an agent shortly.-DeMar DeRozan, Freshman, USC-
Announced hell be testing the waters. Will likely hire an agent shortly.-Earl Clark, Junior, Louisville-
Has not officially announced, but has already hired representationByron Irvin
and Dan Fegan of BEST-- and is in the draft.-Ty Lawson, Junior, North Carolina-
Nothing official yet, but is considered to be 100% in the draft after withdrawing at the last minute last year and elevating his stock considerably with a national championship run.-Stephen Curry, Junior, Davidson-
Will announce hes entering the draft this week, and looks highly unlikely to return to Davidson.-Gerald Henderson, Junior, Duke-
Nothing official yet, but numerous sources indicate his camp is already in the process of interviewing agents, and is highly likely to be in when its all said and done.-Jonny Flynn, Sophomore, Syracuse-
Announced hes entering the draft, and has signed with Leon Rose.-James Johnson, Sophomore, Wake Forest-
Has officially hired
Dan Tobin and Thad Foucher of Wasserman Media Group as his agents, and thus will not be returning to Wake Forest.-Jeff Teague, Sophomore, Wake Forest-
Will enter his name in the draft, without an agent initially. If hes not projected as a top-10 pick by the time the deadline rolls around a week before the draft, hell return to Wake Forestor least thats what his plans are for right now.-B.J. Mullens, Freshman, Ohio State-
Announced hes entering the draft, and has hired Andy Miller of ASM Sports as his agent.-DeJuan Blair, Sophomore, Pitt-
Announced hes entering the draft, and has reportedly already decided on his agent.-Jrue Holiday, Freshman, UCLA-
Announced hes entering the draft, and at this point looks unlikely to return to UCLA.-Patrick Patterson, Sophomore, Kentucky-
Announced hes testing the waters.-Gani Lawal, Sophomore, Georgia Tech-
Announced hes testing the waters.-Damion James, Junior, Texas-
Announced hes testing the waters.-Austin Daye, Sophomore, Gonzaga-
Announced hes entering the draft, and at this point looks unlikely to return to Gonzaga.-Chase Budinger, Junior, Arizona-
Announced hell be entering his name in the draft for the second time, which nullifies his remaining college eligibility.-Nick Calathes, Sophomore, Florida-
Announced hell be testing the waters, and appears unlikely to return to Florida at this point. Has the option of playing in Europe next year as well thanks to his Greek passport.-Patrick Mills, Sophomore, St. Marys-
Announced hes testing the waters.-DaJuan Summers, Junior, Georgetown-
Announced hes entering the draft, and has hired Andre Buck of CAA Sports as his agent.-Tyler Smith, Junior, Tennessee-
Will be entering the draft according to Andy Katz, although there is no indication yet whether he plans on hiring an agent.-Michael Washington, Junior, Arkansas-
Announced hes testing the waters.-Omri Casspi, 1988 International, Maccabi Tel Aviv-
Entering the draft according to media reports. Can withdraw at the deadline if he doesnt like what hes hearing.-Jodie Meeks, Junior, Kentucky-
Has announced hell be testing the waters.-Derrick Brown, Junior, Xavier-
Has announced hell be testing the waters.-Tasmin Mitchell, Junior, LSU-
Has announced hell be testing the waters.-Vladimir Dasic, 1988 International, Buducnost-
Entering the draft according to what his agent Misko Raznatovic told us, and will head to the States for workouts. Can withdraw at the deadline if he doesnt like what hes hearing.-Greivis Vasquez, Junior, Maryland-
Has publicly said on more than one occasion that hell be testing the waters.-Taj Gibson, Junior, USC-
Has announced hell be testing the waters, without an agent.-Daniel Hackett, Junior, USC-
Announced hell be leaving USC. Reportedly hired Andrew Vye and Andy Miller of ASM Sports as his agents and will use his Italian passport in Europe next season if he goes undrafted.-Matt Bouldin, Junior, Gonzaga-
Sources indicate he will test the waters and see where his stock is at.-Luke Harangody, Junior, Notre Dame-
Has announced hell be testing the waters, without an agent.-Dar Tucker, Sophomore, DePaul-
Indicated in March that he will likely test the waters.-Mac Koshwal, Sophomore, DePaul-
Told the Chicago Tribune he will test the waters.-Eric Devendorf, Junior, Syracuse -
Announced hell be testing the waters. Likely hires an agent and plays in Europe next season if he goes undrafted as expected.-Giorgi Shermadini, 1988 International, Panathinaikos-
Likely testing the waters according to his agent Todd Ramasar.-Aboubakar Zaki, 1988 International, Nancy-
Testing the waters according to his agent David Bauman.-Paul Harris, Junior, Syracuse-
Announced hell be testing the waters.-Shawn Taggart, Junior, Memphis -
Announced hell be testing the waters. Turned 24 in March.-Brandon Costner, Junior, N.C. State-
Announced hes leaving N.C. State. Will likely play in Europe if not drafted.-Jonathan Tavernari, Junior, BYU-
Announced hell be testing the waters.-Dwayne Collins, Junior, Miami-
Announced hell be testing the waters.-Devan Downey, Junior, South Carolina-
Announced hell be testing the waters.-Roderick Flemings, Junior, Hawaii-
Announced hell be testing the waters.- Chinemelu Elonu, Junior, Texas A&M-
Announced hell be testing the waters.- Donald Sloan, Junior, Texas A&M-
Announced hell be testing the waters.- Nic Wise, Junior, Arizona-
Announced hell be testing the waters.- Jeremy Wise, Junior, Southern Miss-
Announced hell be testing the waters.- Dominique Archie, Junior, South Carolina-
Announced hell be testing the waters.50/50-Craig Brackins, Sophomore, Iowa State-
Were told by multiple sources that its still 50/50 at the moment, and that the decision will come all the way down to the deadline. It seems like Brackins legitimately wants to return to Iowa State, but that his advanced age (he turns 22 later this year, despite being a sophomore) and the sheer quantity of potential lottery picks who elected to go back to school complicates his decision.-Wayne Ellington, Junior, North Carolina-
Its becoming tougher and tougher to find an NBA scout these days (and weve polled at least two dozen on this subject) who consider Ellington a lock for the first round. In fact, many weve spoken to have him slated in the second round. Complicating matters is the fact that Ellington already tested the waters last year, meaning that he will be in the draft for good if he decides to put his name in. North Carolina could also really use some help at the guard spot next season, as they appear to be loaded in the frontcourt but have almost nothing in terms of proven scoring ability right now, and would probably make this Ellingtons team if he elected to return. Still, considering how well Ellington played over the last two months of the season, its hard to tell exactly how much more he could do to improve his draft stock if teams still havent been won over by his play.-Rodrigue Beaubois, 1988 International, Cholet-
Still trying to decide whether he should burn his third and final draft card. -Chris Wright, Sophomore, Dayton-
Rumored to be on the fence.-Jarvis Varnado, Junior, Mississippi State-
Nothing official yet, but appears to be leaning towards testing the waters.-Victor Claver, 1988 International, Pamesa Valencia-
Has been injured for most of the year, but can still put his name in and withdraw once more if he desires. Is strongly considering doing so, but has some issues with his buyout.-Vitor Faverani, 1988 International, Unicaja Malaga-
Were yet to receive any indication of whether or not hell enter.-DeShawn Sims, Junior, Michigan-
May test the waters as a junior since he has nothing to lose.-Raymar Morgan, Junior, Michigan State-
Rumored to be considering entering the draftLeaning Towards/Returning to School:-Ed Davis, Freshman, North Carolina-
Released a statement announcing hes officially returning.-Cole Aldrich, Sophomore, Kansas-
Released a statement announcing hes officially returning.-Greg Monroe, Freshman, Georgetown-
Released a statement announcing hes officially returning.-Willie Warren, Freshman, Oklahoma-
Released a statement announcing hes officially returning.-Al-Farouq Aminu, Freshman, Wake Forest-
Released a statement announcing hes officially returning.-Donatas Motiejunas, 1990 International, Aisciai Kaunas-
Will not declare for the draft according to what he told us at the Nike Hoop Summit.-Jerome Jordan, Junior, Tulsa-
Released a statement announcing hes officially returning.-Jan Vesely, 1990, International, Partizan Belgrade-
Returning to Partizan, according to his agent Alexander Raskovic. Will once again participate in the Reebok EuroCamp in Treviso.-Devin Ebanks, Freshman, West Virginia-
Announced hes returning and appears firm in that commitment.-Kyle Singler, Junior, Duke-
Nothing official yet, but appears highly likely to return according to what sources tell us.-James Anderson, Sophomore, Oklahoma State-
Announced hes returning to Oklahoma State for his junior season.-Solomon Alabi, Sophomore, Florida State-
Will return to Florida State according to sources close to the situation.-Evan Turner, Sophomore, Ohio State-
Announced hes returning and appears firm in that commitment.-Stanley Robinson, Junior, UConn-
Announced hes returning and appears firm in that commitment.-Sylven Landesberg, Freshman, Virginia-
Announced hes returning to Virginia for his sophomore season.-William Buford, Freshman, Ohio State-
Announced hes returning to Ohio State for his sophomore season.-JaJuan Johnson, Sophomore, Purdue-
Announced hes returning to Purdue for his junior season.-Sherron Collins, Junior, Kansas-
Announced hes returning to Kansas for his senior season.-Trevor Booker, Junior, Clemson-
Announced hes returning to Clemson for his senior season.-Kalin Lucas, Sophomore, Michigan State-
Tom Izzo indicates that Lucas will likely be back.-Manny Harris, Sophomore, Michigan-
Announced hes returning to Michigan for his junior season.-Patrick Christopher, Junior, Cal-
Announced hes returning to Cal for his senior season.-Quincy Pondexter, Junior, Washington-
Announced hes returning to Washington for his senior season.