Sunday, September 24 2023

The NBA pre-draft process crossed another important checkpoint on the schedule with the early entry withdrawal deadline coming and going this week.

Those prospects had the opportunity to test the waters and meet with teams to gain feedback on their potential draft stock. In order to maintain their remaining college eligibility, they had to withdraw from consideration by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

The deadline saw several potential second-round picks withdraw from the draft and return to school. With name, image and likeness now playing a prevalent role in college basketball, players were likely swayed to stay one more year to work on their games and capitalize financially.


NBA draft workout tracker: Where prospects have visited in 2023

The 2024 draft is also projected to be weaker than in past years, which also may have played a role in some players opting against turning pro. They likely believe they will have a greater chance of being a first-round pick next year.

With several players off the board, teams can prioritize workouts and interviews with those individuals remaining in the draft. As a result, players’ stock will continue to fluctuate with less than three weeks to go until the draft.

Rookie Wire took a look at where the draft stands following the early entry withdrawal deadline. Team needs were taken into consideration for these picks.


San Antonio Spurs: Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitans 92 (France)



Height: 7-4 | Weight: 209 | Year: N/A | Position: C

Since winning the draft lottery on May 16, the Spurs have been preparing for the arrival of Wembanyama. Season ticket sales are through the roof and many have started to look at his fit with the roster and how successful the group can be. With his skill set and versatility, the Spurs appear to be poised to make a jump next season and, potentially, contend for a play-in spot right away.

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 196 | Year: N/A | Position: G


With Wembanyama off of the board, the draft is said to start at No. 2 with the Hornets. That’s because Alabama’s Brandon Miller has put himself in the conversation, along with Henderson, to be the next player selected on June 22. Each player has a real case to be taken here, but it may be Henderson that emerges ahead of Miller.

He has long been the consensus No. 2 player in this draft class and showed throughout the year in the G League that he would be a great consolation prize for the team that missed out on Wembanyama. In any case, the Hornets have a chance to add a player that the franchise can build around for several years to come.

Height: 6-9 | Weight: 200 | Year: Fr. | Position: F


Miller projects to be a great fit with either the Hornets or Trail Blazers on the court. However, it is his off-the-court situation that teams are most curious about. He met with teams at the draft combine to discuss his involvement in the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old woman in January, but teams are said to still have questions regarding the incident.

With much of the interview process still to play out, Miller will need to answer for his role in that shooting but the 20-year-old has continued to deny any wrongdoing. It is unclear if his draft stock will drop any because of his unsatisfactory answers in interviews, but it is clear that his talent on the court is worthy of being a top-three pick this year.

Houston Rockets: Amen Thompson, Overtime Elite

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsDale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 214 | Year: N/A | Position: G


Amen Thompson and his twin brother, Ausar, are viewed as players with perhaps the highest upside of any prospect in the draft. They participated in their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday with the Trail Blazers and will likely ramp up their visits ahead of the draft as teams will want to see them in a competitive setting.

Amen credits himself as being more of a point guard but has plenty of experience playing off of the ball, which would give the Rockets a lot of versatility in the backcourt. He has elite athleticism that will enable him to impact games on both ends of the court and his 7-foot wingspan should be intriguing to teams.

For more coverage on the Rockets, visit Rockets Wire

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY SportsGregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 235 | Year: Fr. | Position: F


Whitmore was one of the top college players this past season and had a strong showing on his recent pro day. He attended his first known team workout on Thursday with the Pacers and will visit the Jazz next. The top prospects typically wait until later in the process to begin their workouts and Whitmore appears to be ramping things up. With some strong showings in those visits, it is possible Whitmore plays himself into the 3-4 range but the Pistons appear to be his floor at the moment.

Height: 6-8 | Weight: 248 | Year: Fr. | Position: F


Walker recently sat out during his pro day due to an elbow injury suffered in the NCAA Tournament. He was said to be good to go for workouts but speculation has started that a team made a promise to him and elected to shut him down. Whether or not that is true, Walker figures to be taken in this range and would give Orlando another versatile defender with his 7-foot, 2 1/2-inch wingspan and improving 3-point shot.

Indiana Pacers: Anthony Black, Arkansas

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportsJeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 210 | Year: Fr. | Position: G

Black has added some muscle to his frame from his listed weight at Arkansas and is up about 12 pounds as of the draft combine last month, which will help him transition to the next level on both ends of the floor. He is viewed as a great defender that can score and play both guard positions. That versatility is something that would fit well on the Pacers behind the likes of Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard and others.


Height: 6-7 | Weight: 218 | Year: N/A | Position: G

The Wizards, now under the direction of president Michael Winger, will be looking to add talent to their roster through the draft. Ausar Thompson, as previously outlined above with his brother, Amen, has plenty of potential to tap into in the immediate future. He is viewed as more of the scorer between the two brothers and can play multiple positions. If Ausar is still on the board, he should undoubtedly be the pick here.

Utah Jazz: Taylor Hendricks, UCF

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsAaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-9 | Weight: 213 | Year: Fr. | Position: F


Hendricks has made a monumental rise up draft boards from the start of last season until now. He seems to be locked in as a top-10 pick and could even hear his name called higher than this spot when it is all said and done. There is a lot to like about his game and how he can make an impact in a variety of ways. From his size, 7-foot wingspan and ability to stretch the floor, Hendricks would be a great fit with any organization.

William Purnell-USA TODAY SportsWilliam Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-8 | Weight: 204 | Year: Fr. | Position: F

The chance of adding perhaps the top shooter in the draft should be intriguing for the Mavericks. Dick set the Jayhawks freshman record for most 3s in a season (83) while shooting 40.3% from 3-point range this past season. He could flourish in a system with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving (assuming he is back) leading the way and cash in from deep often. This seems to be the start of Dick’s draft range.

Orlando Magic (via Chicago): Jordan Hawkins, UConn

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 186 | Year: So. | Position: G

The addition of the sharp-shooting Hawkins would fill a great need for the Magic. He finished 12th in the country in 3s and had the second-most makes ever in a season by a Huskies player (109), trailing only Ray Allen’s 115. From shooting on the move to coming off screens, Hawkins’ game fits perfectly at the next level.

Kelsey Kremer/The RegisterKelsey Kremer/The Register

Kelsey Kremer/The Register

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 185 | Year: Fr. | Position: G

The Thunder took a giant step forward this season and have the lowest draft pick they’ve had in a few years. However, they can still find some talented players at this stage of the draft with Smith among their options. Once viewed as a top-five player this year, Smith had an inconsistent year largely due to injury and is now projected to go late in the lottery. He had a good showing at his pro day recently and may have shown teams that he can tap into that potential.

For more coverage on the Thunder, visit Thunder Wire

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 185 | Year: Fr. | Position: G

The Raptors have some questions regarding their roster this summer. Among them: The future of Fred VanVleet. He can become a free agent, which could create a hole in the backcourt. The team doesn’t necessarily need to fill that void through the draft but adding a player like George would check a lot of boxes. He can score in a hurry and do so in a variety of ways. He’ll need to improve his efficiency from last season, in which he shot 33.8% from 3-point range on 6.9 attempts, but has the tools to create for himself and others, something that would be welcomed.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY SportsKamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 186 | Year: So. | Position: G

Bufkin has had a tremendous rise up draft boards and would be able to provide the Pelicans with some scoring in the backcourt. He excelled in running the offense at Michigan and has the ability to stretch the floor with his smooth lefty stroke. There are plenty of options to consider here, but Bufkin projects to be a good fit in New Orleans.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 195 | Year: Fr. | Position: G

Wallace brings a ton of energy on defense and has all of the tools and physical attributes to lock down opponents on a nightly basis. He also can space the floor some and showed he can run an offense efficiently after ranking second in the SEC in assists (4.3) and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio. For a Hawks team that could use some backcourt depth, Wallace would be a good option here.

Utah Jazz (via Minnesota): Leonard Miller, G League Ignite

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY SportsLucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-10 | Weight: 212 | Year: N/A | Position: F

Miller emerged as a walking double-double as the season progressed with the Ignite and can work in the paint and rebound with the best of them in this class. He is active as a cutter and has a great package of finishes and often hits the offensive glass hard. He even showed some promise as a potential floor spacer after hitting 30.4% from 3-point range. He projects to give a team good frontcourt depth and would be able to contribute immediately off the bench.

Los Angeles Lakers: Kris Murray, Iowa

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-CitizenJoseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

Height: 6-8 | Weight: 212 | Year: Jr. | Position: F

Murray was the only Division I player to average at least 20 points, seven rebounds and one block with at least 65 3-pointers this past season and should step in as an athletic wing player at the next level. Of course, shooting and defense are huge areas of need for the Lakers and Murray would be able to help with both. This is about where Murray’s range begins and it could be something to watch.

For more coverage on LeBron James and the Lakers, visit LeBron Wire

Miami Heat: Dereck Lively II, Duke

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 7-1 | Weight: 230 | Year: Fr. | Position: C

The Heat, as a team playing in the NBA Finals, don’t have very many holes on their roster but one area of need is frontcourt depth. Behind Bam Adebayo, they don’t have a ton of rim protection and Lively would be able to step in and help in the second unit. He ranked eighth in the country in blocks and swatted at least one shot in 32 of his 34 games. He also showed at his pro day an improved offensive game, which certainly helps his draft stock here.

Golden State Warriors: Jett Howard, Michigan

Junfu Han/Detroit Free PressJunfu Han/Detroit Free Press

Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press

Height: 6-8 | Weight: 215 | Year: Fr. | Position: G

Adding Howard, regarded as one of the top shooters in the draft, to the Warriors would seem a bit unfair given their roster of marksmen. But it is something that even the Warriors could use more of. He has shown that he can do more than just shoot, though, that will be that skill that teams covet in this range. Howard will work out with the Magic on Saturday so his range could be even higher than this spot.

For more coverage on the Warriors, visit Warriors Wire

Houston Rockets (via LA Clippers): Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Marquette

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-8 | Weight: 212 | Year: Jr. | Position: F

There may not be a prospect out there that has had a better draft cycle than Prosper. He dazzled at the combine last month and ultimately opted to stay in the draft. He brings a ton of versatility with him to the next level and seems to be a good fit with virtually any team.

Prosper described his game as “electric” and that is actually a great description of his overall ability. We are a little bit higher on him than most but believe it won’t take long for the collective basketball community to buy in on him.

For more coverage on the Rockets, visit Rockets Wire

Brooklyn Nets (via Phoenix): Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 216 | Year: Fr. | Position: PG

Hood-Schifino is another prospect that has helped himself throughout the pre-draft process. He is regarded as one of the top point guards this year with his ability to score and defend at a high level with his 6-foot, 10 1/4-inch wingspan. He ascended mock drafts rapidly throughout the year and looks to be locked in as a mid-first-rounder.

For more coverage on the Nets, visit Nets Wire

Brooklyn Nets: Bilal Coulibaly, Metropolitans 92 (France)

Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty ImagesPhoto by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 230 | Year: N/A | Position: F

Coulibaly, who will turn 19 next month, started off the year slowly but has come on strong over the past few months. He, along with Victor Wembanyama, is still playing in the playoffs and has emerged as a key player with Metropolitans 92 on both ends of the court. He is said to have a 7-foot, 3-inch wingspan, which will certainly intrigue teams at this stage of the draft.

For more coverage on the Nets, visit Nets Wire

Portland Trail Blazers (via New York): Brice Sensabaugh, Ohio State

Joseph Scheller-The Columbus DispatchJoseph Scheller-The Columbus Dispatch

Joseph Scheller-The Columbus Dispatch

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 235 | Year: Fr. | Position: F

It was reported by Jonathan Givony of ESPN that Sensabaugh has been dealing with a lingering knee injury suffered at the end of the Buckeyes’ season that required surgery. He hasn’t yet participated in any team workouts but recently shot at his pro day and has been cleared to visit teams ahead of the draft.

When healthy, though, Sensabaugh is a proven scorer. He can work from all three levels and boasts great size at the next level at 6 feet, 6 inches and 235 pounds. Teams will certainly ask about his knee but assuming that injury comes back clean, the 19-year-old should expect to hear his name called in this range.

Sacramento Kings: Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 217 | Year: Fr. | Position: F

Whitehead is recovering from recent foot surgery but is expected to be ready by the start of next season. The injury hampered him throughout the year and he never reached his full potential. While he never really looked 100% on the court this past season, he still showed flashes of what made him so highly recruited. Assuming there are no issues with his foot, Whitehead should go in this range.

Memphis Grizzlies: Rayan Rupert, NZ Breakers (NBL)

Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty ImagesPhoto by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 193 | Year: N/A | Position: G

Rupert is an intriguing prospect due to his potential on defense. He boasts a 7-foot, 2-inch wingspan that often helps him create havoc in the passing lanes. He has an evolving offensive game that will need to improve some but his defensive versatility will be what teams like most about him at this stage. He has the potential to develop into a strong 3-and-D guy with time.

Indiana Pacers (via Cleveland): Bobi Klintman, Wake Forest

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-10 | Weight: 225 | Year: Fr. | Position: F

The hot rumor circulating throughout the draft is the Pacers made a first-round promise to Klintman. Speculation about a guarantee started swirling when the 20-year-old withdrew from the combine last month. The Pacers, with three first-round picks this year, eventually surfaced as a possible destination.

The potential pairing makes sense.

Klintman, who was born in Sweden, can do a little bit of everything and really emerged late in the season after becoming the first Wake Forest freshman since Tim Duncan in 1994 to record a double-double in the ACC Tournament (17 points, 11 rebounds). He is still a bit raw but developing in an NBA system will help him in the future.

Charlotte Hornets (via Denver): Andre Jackson Jr., UConn

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 198 | Year: Jr. | Position: F

Jackson played a key role in helping the Huskies to the national title and is regarded as one of the top defenders and rebounders at his position in this class. He is working to improve his shot throughout the pre-draft process and if he can get that to a consistent percentage, Jackson will have real two-way potential at the next level.

Utah Jazz (via Philadelphia): Maxwell Lewis, Pepperdine

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY SportsKelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 207 | Year: So. | Position: F

Lewis brings good size with him to the next level and added about 12 pounds to his frame compared to his listed weight last season at Pepperdine. He emerged as a great scorer and was even ranked inside the top 20 in scoring nationally at one point. He has plenty of upside and could be a good value selection here.

Indiana Pacers (via Boston): Gregory Jackson II, South Carolina

Height: 6-9 | Weight: 214 | Year: Fr. | Position: F

With Jackson, the Pacers would be getting a proven scorer. He was fifth in the country in scoring among first-year players (15.4) and had the most 20-point games (11) by a Gamecocks freshman since the team joined the SEC in 1991.

With their third pick in the first round, the Pacers will look to draft the best player available and that is likely Jackson at this stage. Many are also curious to see if perhaps they look to trade out of this spot so that will be something to monitor.

LA Clippers (via Milwaukee): Colby Jones, Xavier

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 205 | Year: Jr. | Position: G

Jones is looking to showcase his ability to lead on the court throughout the pre-draft process. He emerged this past season as a great floor general and dazzled at times with his vision and passing ability. He flourished as a scorer that can create for himself and others, and he should be able to step in and play right away.

Second Round: Nos. 31-40

31. Detroit: Sidy Cissoko, G League Ignite

32. Indiana (via Houston): Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA

33. San Antonio: Brandin Podziemski, Santa Clara

34. Charlotte: Ben Sheppard, Belmont

35. Boston (via Portland): Tristan Vukcevic, KK Partizan (Serbia)

36. Orlando: James Nnaji, Barcelona (Spain)

37. Oklahoma City (via Washington): Noah Clowney, Alabama

38: Sacramento (via Indiana): Julian Phillips, Tennessee

39. Charlotte (via Utah): Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan

40. Denver (via Dallas): Amari Bailey, UCLA

Second Round: Nos. 41-50

41. Charlotte (via Oklahoma City): Kobe Brown, Missouri

42. Washington (via Chicago): Terquavion Smith, NC State

43. Portland (via Atlanta): Marcus Sasser, Houston

44. San Antonio (via Toronto): Jalen Wilson, Kansas

45. Memphis (via Minnesota): Julian Strawther, Gonzaga

46. Atlanta (via New Orleans): Jordan Walsh, Arkansas

47. Los Angeles Lakers: Jalen Slawson, Furman

48. LA Clippers: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana

49. Cleveland (via Golden State): Mouhamed Gueye, Washington State

50. Oklahoma City (via Miami): Isaiah Wong, Miami

Second Round: Nos. 51-58

51. Brooklyn: Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona

52. Phoenix: Seth Lundy, Penn State

53. Minnesota (via New York): Drew Timme, Gonzaga

54. Sacramento: Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky

55. Indiana (via Cleveland): Jordan Miller, Miami (Fla.)

56. Memphis: Keyontae Johnson, Kansas State

Chicago (via Denver): Forfeited

Philadelphia: Forfeited

57. Washington (via Boston): Nikola Djurisic, KK Mega Basket (Serbia)

58. Milwaukee: Adama Sanogo, UConn

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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