If the 2014 NBA draft is short on anything, it’s 7-footers.
Joel Embiid is the only 7-footer who’s a first-round lock, though Walter Tavares could slide into the late first.
Missing from consideration? Seven-foot forward Kristaps Porzingis.
In somewhat of a surprise, 7-foot Kristaps Porzingis has pulled out of this month’s NBA draft and will return to Europe for the next year, his agent Andy Miller told Yahoo Sports on Sunday night.
Porzingis is just 18, and he has time to enter the draft in any of the next few years. He’s long, athletic and versatile, but he must add strength. It’s certainly possible he blossoms into a top pick in 2015 – he was projected as a mid-first rounder this year – but the extra season in Europe might just give scouts more time to find his flaws.
Nikola Jokic, a second-round prospect, is also reportedly withdrawing.
Update: Jokic remained in the 2014 draft.
The deadline to withdraw from the draft is 5 p.m. today, but college players have already lost their NCAA eligibility, so the deadline really applies only to international players.