NBA Draft: Early Entrants, Combine and Lottery

 

Sunday night was the deadline for college basketball stars to submit their names to be considered for the NBA draft. Some have already withdrawn, opting to  return to school, others may as well by the June 13th deadline. With uncertainty due to potential NBA labor strife, a surprising number of top players decided to forgo the draft. At the same time, others that will go undrafted, opted to hire agents, giving up their college eligibility.

In advance of the draft, a combine will be held in Chicago next week. 54 players will undergo physicals and interviews with prospective teams. Players will also have the option to participate in drills if they so choose. Historically, those invited to the combine are drafted, so the list is a fairly good peak.

Notable players withdrawing from draft (over weekend):

Ashton Gibbs- Pittsburgh

Reggie Johnson- Miami

Terrence Jones- Kentucky

Here are the top early entrants: (in no particular order)

Center

Enes Kanter- Kentucky

Forward

Tobias Harris- Tennessee

Jordan Williams- Maryland

Derrick Williams- Arizona

Trey Thompkins- Georgia

Tyler Honeycutt- UCLA

Scotty Hopson- Tennessee

Kawhi Leonard- San Diego State

Tristan Thompson- Texas

Markieff Morris- Kansas

Marcus Morris- Kansas

Chris Singleton- Florida State

Guard

Kyrie Irving- Duke

Brandon Knight- Kentucky

Alec Burks- Colorado

Kemba Walker- Connecticut

Josh Shelby- Kansas

Travis Leslie- Georgia

Shelvin Mack- Butler

Jordan Hamilton- Texas

Klay Thompson- Washington State

Darius Morris- Michigan

Note: 20 international players have also filed eligibility paperwork

With no natural centers leaving early, expect international bigs to get attention early.

7’0″ Donatas Motiejunas (Italy)

6’11” Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)

6’11” Jan Vesely (Serbia)

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held on Tuesday night at halftime of the Western Conference finals. In order, Minnesota, Cleveland, Toronto, Washington, Sacramento and Utah (from New Jersey) have the greatest chance of picking first. Seven teams will have two selections in the first round. Cleveland, Utah, Washington, Charlotte, Minnesota, Houston and Chicago have an extra pick due to trades.

The 2011 NBA draft will be held on Tuesday, June 23rd at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

Author: Tom Blaz

Tom is our featured columnist on FantasySP with more than 25 years of media experience in Radio and TV. You may know his work as a beat reporter for the Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland. He also reported LIVE from the Summer Olympics in Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta. He is an avid Auburn fan, and writes for The Recruiting Eagle, a website focusing on Auburn athletics.