List of college underclassmen who declared for NBA draft, so far

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Tuesday is the big day — at least the NCAA says it’s the big day. The NBA says April 29 is the big day.

Let me explain (if you want more details as always DraftExpress has them). If you scan below you will see a list, courtesy our fine friends at the Associated Press, of all the college underclassmen who have announced for the NBA draft up to this point.

Under a new, unilateral NCAA rule, those players (if they have not hired an agent) have until this Tuesday (April 10) to withdraw their name from the NBA draft. Meaning if your name is still on that list as of April 11 you are in the draft.

But here’s the kicker — the NBA says you do not have to declare for the draft until April 29. Anthony Davis, the lock No. 1 pick out of Kentucky, has said he plans to take up to that deadline to make up his mind. A lot of guys are going to take their time. The thing is, after April 10 if you add your name to the draft list there is no backing out.

Why would the NCAA do this? Why would the NCAA do a lot of things? But in this case it’s to pressure players to make an early decision so that when the spring National Letter of Intent signing period opens the coaches will have a better idea of how many spots to fill. Forget about letting young men test the waters of the draft, get a real feel from teams where they stand, then make an informed decision. That doesn’t help the schools. So screw the kids, try to make them decide early.

Anyway, here is the list. Anybody on this list can back out before Wednesday, although most likely will stay in.

Harrison Barnes, forward, North Carolina
J’Covan Brown, guard, Texas
Moe Harkless, swingman, St. John’s
John Henson, forward, North Carolina
Meyers Leonard, center, Illinois
Damian Lillard, guard, Weber St.
Kendall Marshall, guard, North Carolina
Fab Melo, center, Syracuse
Arnett Moultrie, forward, Mississippi St.
Austin Rivers, guard, Duke
Terrence Ross, guard, Washington
Renardo Sidney, forward, Mississippi St.
Jared Sullinger, forward, Ohio State
Hollis Thompson, forward, Georgetown
Dion Waiters, guard, Syracuse
Maalik Wayns, guard, Villanova
Royce White, forward, Iowa State
Tony Wroten, guard, Washington
B.J. Young, guard, Arkansas

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.