Cassius Winston was a senior at Michigan State. Udoka Azubuike was a senior at Kansas. Payton Pritchard was a senior at Kansas.
LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton – as old-enough American-born players who completed professional contracts outside the NBA – were automatically eligible.
Otherwise, practically every first-round prospect had to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft.
The NBA allows players to withdraw until 10 days before the draft (whenever that will be). The NCAA typically has an earlier withdrawal deadline for maintaining eligibility, though everything is in flux amid the coronavirus pandemic.
For now, here are all 205 early entrants (163 players from the American system and 42 international players):
Tulane guard Teshaun Hightower, who announced he was declaring for the draft and was since charged with murder, was not included.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky forward Nick Richards will enter the NBA draft and forego his final season of collegiate eligibility by signing with an agency.
The 6-foot-11 junior is the fourth Wildcats starter to turn pro. He’s coming off a breakout season in which he was named a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection by The Associated Press and league coaches. His per-game scoring average increased 10 points from his sophomore season to 14.0 while starting 30 of 31 contests to help the Wildcats (25-6) earn the SEC regular season title before the postseason was canceled because of coronavirus concerns.
Richards also ranked fourth nationally in shooting at 64% and made the SEC all-defensive squad with averages of 7.8 rebounds and 2.13 blocks per game.
Richards is projected as a late second-round pick, if he’s drafted at all.
Richards, from Kingston, Jamaica, thanked Kentucky coaches and teammates for his steady improvement in a release on Tuesday. He said it’s time to pursue his ultimate dream of being an NBA player and added, “I’m prepared for this step because of my time at Kentucky.”
Richards’ announcement comes a day after leading scorer Immanuel Quickley declared for the draft. Guards Ashton Hagans on Sunday and Tyrese Maxey turned pro last week.
Kentucky sophomore Ashton Hagans declared for the NBA draft yesterday.
Now comes the main attraction from Lexington.
Maxey will likely be a lottery pick, though that requires significant projection to justify.
The guard sometimes looks like a premier scorer. He handles the ball well and create his own shot. He shot well from outside before Kentucky and made 83 percent of his free throws last season. But he connected on just 29 percent of his 3-pointers. That 3-point percentage must – and could – increase majorly in the NBA.
Maxey’s inside game is more advanced. He can change speeds, and his floater is effective.
He’s also a solid defender who plays hard. His approach to the game is commendable – and it has to be. Maxey is not an especially explosive athlete. That gives him a narrow needle to thread as he enters the NBA.
At 6-foot-3 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, Maxey could settle in at either guard position. His potential is highest at point guard, where he’d have the ball in his hands more. But he must distribute better – another skill he showed flashes of but didn’t sustain consistently.
University of Kentucky sophomore Ashton Hagans has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Hagans has started at point guard for the Wildcats for the majority of two seasons. He started 30 of 37 games as a freshman and 29 of 30 games as a sophomore.
The six-foot-three guard struggled some when asked to carry a larger offensive load as a sophomore. He scored 11.5 points per game, but shot just over 40% from the field. Hagans also averaged 3.4 turnovers per game.
On the plus side, Hagans is a solid rebounder for his position and dished out 6.4 assists per game. Hagans has also shown the ability to be a good defender. He’s quick enough to stay in front of most opposing guards, while also possessing the ability to switch onto bigger players. Hagans also has good instincts for when to jump passing lanes.
Most draft analysts have Hagans pegged as a mid-to-late second round pick. Players have until Sunday, April 26 to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft as Early Entry candidates.