A few hours ago we mentioned that projected top-three pick Jabari Parker was entering the NBA draft, the last of the "big three" to make his decision.
But Parker is not the only first round pick that made his decision in the last day or so, we've actually had three other projected top-20 picks decide that they will be making the jump to the NBA as well.
First we had Croation big man Dario Saric announce he will be declaring for the draft, although there is still time for him to remove his name if he so chooses. Saric is #9 on the Draft Express big board, a 6'10" forward who has averaged 15 PPG, 9 RPG and 3 APG in the Adriatic league this season. I could sit here and BS you with all of my knowledge on Saric, but all I've ever seen of him are youtubes. So just check out his draft express video from last year.
Next we had Parker's teammate Rodney Hood joining Parker in jumping to the NBA. Hood is currently #22 on the big board, and is coming off of a season where he averaged 16 PPG on 46% shooting from the field, and 42% from three. Hood is probably the third best shooter in this draft behind Nik Stauskas and Doug McDermott, and shooting is something that usually transfers pretty well from college to the pros.
And finally, there is James Young, who catapulted his value in the NCAA tournament, and decided to ride that wave to the next level. Young is #15 on the big board.
So with these three and Parker, who hasn't declared yet?
Taking a look at the top 30 prospects, here are the guys we're unsure on:
#4 Julius Randle - There have been reports that Randle is going to declare, but he has yet to officially do so. But it would be completely shocking to see him return to Kentucky. Expect an announcement soon.
#11 Jusuf Nurkic - I looked everywhere and couldn't find anything on Nurkic, a 19-year-old big man from Bosnia, declaring yet. If he does decide to come out, he's likely to stay in Europe for a season or two to develop further.
#18 Clint Capela - The Swiss sensation is reportedly going to declare next week, so much like Randle, it would be a surprise if he does not.
#20 K.J. McDaniels - McDaniels hasn't declared yet, but expect him to as well. There's a growing buzz about the 6'6" forward who averaged 17 points, 7 boards and 3 blocks this season for Clemson. Don't be shocked to see him taken at the end of the lottery, and he'd be an interesting pick for the Cs with their second pick if they don't get Wiggins or Parker.
#24 Bogdan Bogdanovic - Bogdanovic has flirted with the NBA before, but the 21-year-old SG has yet to pull the trigger. He apparently is happy playing in Europe, but the NBA will eventually come calling.
#30 Mitch McGary - McGary appears to be directly on the fence as he continues to weigh returning to Michigan for his junior year against heading to the NBA. After missing the last few months of the season with a back injury, McGary is working out again, and is said to be close to 100%.
And that's it for the Top 30. The other 24 players have either already declared or are seniors, leaving us with just these six. Of course there are other players still mulling their offers. The Harrison twins are both considering going pro, but are reportedly leaning towards coming back to UK. There's also UConn heroes Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels, neither or whom have made their final decision either.
But to this point the only projected lottery pick to turn his nose on the NBA is Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein, who surprised some with his decision to come back for his Junior year. If he's the only blue chipper that decides to stay, the 2014 draft looks like a good bet to fulfill it's destiny as one of the deeper drafts in recent years.
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Jabari Parker will enter NBA draft
Michael Dyer 4/17/2014 05:54:00 PM Tweet Edit