2022 NBA Draft: Seven players face tough decisions to stay or leave before NCAA deadline to opt out Wednesday


After weeks of pre-draft preparation for 2022 NBA hopefuls – including private workouts, the G League Elite camp and the NBA Draft Combine – the draft subclasses are now met with the deadline to withdraw from the NCAA fast approaching Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. AND. He is expected to be busy on the decision-making front as the players on the pitch make their final decisions.

We’ve already seen some big names leave the board and decide to go back to school or stay in the draft and more are coming soon. Stanford Wing Harrison Ingram, a projected first-rounder, is one of those names that surprised some, announcing last week that he was withdrawing from the draft and returning as a sophomore at Stanford in 2022-23. Louisiana Tech big man Kenny Lofton Jr. gave us another stunner in a different direction, as the 19-year-old big who was also in the transfer portal fully committed to staying in the draft after solid performances at the G League elite camp and then the combine draft.

Still, there are plenty of back-to-back decisions lurking that are likely to show up in a matter of hours or days. The NBA has its own separate withdrawal deadline for early entrants which is scheduled for June 13 at 5 p.m. ET, but over the past year almost all subclasses have decided by the deadline. from the NCAA – which means the next few days could be particularly noisy. .

As we watch the deadline, here are seven prospects who have yet to decide their fate to stay or leave facing some very tough decisions.

Caleb Houstan, Moussa Diabate (Michigan)

Diabaté’s decision: Staying in NBA Draft | Houstan’s decision: To be determined

Houstan has been leaning in a particular direction for weeks after declining an NBA Draft Combine invite, with rumors swirling that he may have a promise at the end of the first round. For someone who probably necessary a strong Combine to really get the boards going, the rumors certainly make a lot of sense.

But Houstan hasn’t hinted one way or another at his decision, although his maneuvering around the Combine leads to speculation in one direction. For Michigan, it’s probably fool’s gold to overemphasize anything at this point, but history suggests that the little things he did will somehow get him there. another to stay in the draft.

Diabate is another Michigan player with a very tough pick here who ultimately opted to keep his name in the draft. With the return of big man Hunter Dickinson, that still seemed to be in play, and having a good last few weeks during the pre-draft process probably made the decision easier for him. It could be a late first or early second round.

Kris Murray (Iowa)

Decision: Back to school

Murray was one of two combined guests who declined to attend — along with the aforementioned Houstan — with speculation stemming from that decision swarming that he could return to Iowa.

That speculation ended Wednesday as he announced plans to return to Iowa for a junior season.

“These past two months have been a tremendous learning process for me,” he said. “Going through the NBA draft process, I think it will help me in the long run and this coming season at Iowa.”

Murray had a strong second season with the Hawkeyes last season, going from a small player to a rotation player and has the physical tools and game to eventually qualify as a first-rounder. But going back to school always seemed like the best, most obvious decision for him. One more season in college could see him prove to NBA teams his worth in an expanded role, which he’ll likely get with the departure of his brother Keegan for a likely spot in this year’s lottery.

Julien Strawther, Drew Timme (Gonzaga)

Strawther’s Decision: Back to school | Timme’s decision: To be determined

Gonzaga loses Chet Holmgren but got a big win on Wednesday when guard Julian Strawther announced on social media his intention to return to Spokane next season. Strawther was the player between him and teammate Drew Timme who had the biggest decision to make given his potential first-round selection prospects. After averaging nearly 12 points and shooting 36.5 percent from 3-point range, he presented himself as a potential NBA player. Returning to school will likely have it as the first round scheduled for 2023.

We now await Timme’s decision. He’s arguably the most recognizable name in college hoops should he return next season, which in itself has a lot of appeal as players cash in on NIL offers. Timme isn’t in the top 60 in our rankings, but he’s proven just about everything he can at the college level. Going pro would make sense for him, but it would also make it one more season for a contending Gonzaga team as he chases a title.

Trevor Bowling (Duke)

Stay, become the potential No. 1 option for a top 10 team while also becoming a potential lottery pick. Or go and settle for being picked between 25 and 40. Therein lies the battle that Keels is likely weighing right now. Could go from role player to star for Duke and first-year head coach Jon Scheyer, but could also stay in the draft and possibly be selected at the end of the first round.

I’ve argued before that going back to school is probably best for Keels, who could, in an expanded role, showcase his versatile game and take his talents to the NBA in a 2023 draft where he could rank among the top 20. But there really isn’t a clear choice here between the two. With Duke scoring four five-stars and seemingly in the mix to land star transfer AJ Green, the call to possibly be a first-rounder is hard to convey.

Dalen Terry (Arizona)

Decision: Stay in NBA Draft

What this means: Arizona’s Dalen Terry’s draft lineup is increasingly one of the toughest to pin than nearly any prospect in this draft. It could be a top 20 pick, it could be a top 40 pick, and neither would surprise me. Regardless, he announced on Tuesday that he was forfeiting his remaining college eligibility and remaining in the draft.

Terry was terrific in his role with the Wildcats last season as a role player who rebounded, made 3-point shots and carried a small burden as a point guard. But Arizona was loaded last season . The production we saw was pretty limited overall, even though he made 37 starts in 37 games. (That’s what can happen when you’re playing next to two potential first players.) Nonetheless, teams will be falling over themselves in hopes of shooting a young wing that can make shots and still has tons of untapped potential.


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