Word on the Street: Early-Entry Deadline (Last Update: 10:36 PM)

Word on the Street: Early-Entry Deadline (Last Update: 10:36 PM)
Jun 18, 2006, 04:08 pm
Pullout Deadline:

DraftExpress has been informed of a number of players that have decided to keep their name in the 2006 draft.

Final Final Update

-Chad Ford of is reporting that Ali Traore and Brad Newley have also decided to remove their name from the early-entry list.

We've learned that British big man Joel Freeland has also decided to leave his name in the draft. Freeland made a name for himself at the RBK Eurocamp in Treviso and is considered a strong candidate to be drafted in the 25-45 portion of the draft. Freeland will be represented by Arn Tellem.

(one last update:) Pinnacle Sports Management agent Marc Cornstein informed DraftExpress tonight that clients Milovan Rakovic and Marko Lekic have removed their name from this year's draft. Damir Markota on the other hand has not pulled out and will remain eligible.

Kosta Perovic will remain in the draft, according to his agent Rade Filipovich. Perovic is on his way to the States right now after finishing up in the Serbian playoffs, where he averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds, according to Filipovich. He will work out for 5-6 NBA teams.

edit: An alert reader linked and informed us of his playoff stats, which show that he averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds, but only in 22 minutes per game.

Final Update

-Aaron Gray’s father informed DraftExpress that his son has made the decision to return to Pitt for his senior year. Mr. Gray informed us that the consistent feedback they’ve received has been that he’s a “mid to late first rounder,” but that he was “too excited about the aura surrounding his return to Pitt for his senior year and did not want to pass that up.” Gray’s decision means that Pitt will be considered one of the favorites to win the Big East next season, and he will be viewed as one of the top big men in college basketball after Joakim Noah and Greg Oden.

-With Gray’s return in the books, the decisions of all the top early-entry candidates have become known. Here is a breakdown of the early-entry list, with who is staying in the draft and who is pulling out.

Staying In


LaMarcus Aldridge
Renaldo Balkman
Will Blalock
Josh Boone
Ronnie Brewer
Shannon Brown
Guillermo Diaz
Quincy Douby
Mike Efevberha
Jordan Farmar
Thomas Gardner
Rudy Gay
Daniel Gibson
Tedric Hill
Alexander Johnson
Kyle Lowry
Paul Millsap
Adam Morrison
Patrick O'Bryant
Danilo Pinnock
Leon Powe
Rajon Rondo
Cedric Simmons
Marcus Slaughter
Curtis Stinson
Tyrus Thomas
P.J. Tucker
Darius Washington Jr.
Marcus Williams
Shawne Williams


-Renaldo Balkman will reportedly hire agent Andre Buck (who works with Leon Rose) and therefore is closing the door on returning to South Carolina.


Andrea Bargnani
Saer Sene
Lior Eliyahu
Oleksiy Pecherov
Sergio Rodriguez
Kosta Perovic
Damir Markota
Joel Freeland

Pulling Out


Akbar Abdul-Ahad
Arron Afflalo
Morris Almond
Jahsha Bluntt
Bobby Brown
Cem Dinc
Nick Fazekas
Aaron Gray
Brandon Heath
Ekene Ibekwe
Coby Karl
Aleks Maric
Richard Roby
Blake Schilb
Mustafa Shakur
Ian Vouyoukas


Rudy Fernandez
Rafael Hettsheimeier
Renaldas Seibutis
Tiago Splitter
Hrvoje Peric
Mickael Mokongo
Milovan Rakovic
Marko Lekic

No Information One Way or the Other


Larry Blair
Derek Burditt
LeRoy Dawson
Travis DeGroot
Carl Elliott
Reggie George
LeShawn Hammett
Clarence Holloway
Donald Jeffes
David Johnson
Trey Johnson
Mark Konecny
Japhet McNeil
Matt Mitchell
Evan Patterson
Jontae Vinson
Albert Weber


Andriy Agafonov
Nemanja Aleksandrov
Yannick Bokolo
Carlos Cedeno
Tadija Dragicevic
Kyrylo Fesenko
Brad Newley
Giorgos Printezis
Aleksandar Rindin
Dusan Sakota
Sidiki Sidibe
Sun Yue
Ali Traore
Ejike Ugboaja

Sefolosha Measurements

Thabo Sefolosha was surprisingly not invited to the physical-only portion of the NBA pre-draft camp, but DraftExpress has managed to obtain his measurements taken by an NBA team that worked him out last week in Orlando. Sefolosha measured out at 6-7 in shoes, 207 pounds, with an astounding 7-2 wingspan and 8-11 ½ standing reach.

Sefolosha worked out with the Minnesota Timberwolves today against Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay and Shawne Williams and reportedly had an outstanding workout, only losing one of four games in the one on one competitive portion against the two likely top 10 picks.

Portland Trading Up?

Rumors over the past few days have linked Portland with a trade for one of New Jersey’s first round picks, either #22 or #23. The Trailblazers are attempting to package the #30 and #31 picks to move up. A player they are reportedly interested in is Florida State power forward Alexander Johnson, who Head Coach Nate McMillan and other members of the Portland front office watched workout last week at the Orlando pre-draft Camp. Johnson fits McMillan’s personality to a T, and would likely not get past Memphis at 24 if he is not picked earlier.

Josh Boone Guaranteed by New York?

The New York Knicks are reportedly shopping their late first round pick (#29), as a few teams are apparently interested in moving up, down or in to the draft. One of those teams is the Miami Heat. What this means is that Josh Boone is apparently not as firm at #29 as many may have thought. Boone has continued to work out for numerous teams drafting in the late first round, to mixed results so far. One respected executive who recently worked him out said that he “had a horrible workout here, but someone is probably going to make a mistake and draft him in the late first round.”

Update Two

-West coast sources informed us today that Mustafa Shakur has cancelled his remaining private workouts and will be returning to Arizona for his senior year.

-Bobby Brown has removed his name from the draft after a disappointing showing in the Orlando pre-draft camp, and will be returning to Cal State Fullerton for his senior year.

-Ekene Ibekwe will also be pulling his name out and return to Maryland for his senior year.

-Darius Washington is staying in the draft, but will not hire an agent, and is therefore reserving the right to return to Memphis should he go undrafted.

Phoenix Looking to Move Up?

Multiple sources over the past week have informed DraftExpress that the Phoenix Suns are looking to package both of their first round picks (#21 and #27) to move up, likely into the teens portion of the draft. The two players they are reportedly most interested in are Rodney Carney, Saer Sene and Thabo Sefolosha. There are rumors that the Suns might even try to trade with Chicago and move up all the way to the #2 pick, a deal which would most likely involve Shawn Marion.

Seattle Trading Out?

The budget balancing problems that the Seattle Supersonics are currently encountering may lead them to trade down or out of the draft. The Sonics would like to hire an assistant coach for next year, and are hoping the money they’d save will be enough to help them with that goal. If Shelden Williams is not available with the 10th pick, that would most likely be the direction they head in. The asking price is reportedly a solid 2007 1st rounder, and/or cash and a pick in this year’s early 2nd round.

Update One

The headliner in terms of whether or not there was a decision to make is Sergio Rodriguez, who was looking to secure a commitment in the first round in order to stay in, and may have indeed received it. His American agent Herb Rudoy informed us that Rodriguez will be staying in, but was not willing to comment on whether that means he has a guarantee from a team drafting in the first round. In response to the question of whether Rodriguez will be returning to the States from Spain in order to conduct additional private workouts, Rudoy said that there “is no plan to do such a thing right now.” The teams that are considered most likely to have interest in Rodriguez include the Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, although Rudoy refused to comment on any of that.

Rudoy also informed us that Tiago Splitter will not keep his name in the draft, as expected, which means that he likely could not secure a commitment from a team in the “top 10 or 12” of the draft, as Rudoy said he was seeking last week. Fellow Interperformances client Rafael Hettsheimeier will also pull his name out.

On a less surprising note, Jordan Farmar will also keep his name in the draft and is likely to hire super agent Arn Tellem as his representative.

Steven Heumann of Entersport informed us that two of his international clients, Lior Eliyahu and Oleksiy Pecherov will also not be pulling their name out at the deadline.

Eliyahu is the more surprising of the two, as there is still some uncertainty over where he might be drafted, if at all, along with the fact that he will not be able to make it over to the NBA this upcoming season due to his commitment to the Israeli army. Many thought that Eliyahu would need a promise in the 2nd round in order to stay in, but Heumann informed us that he “unequivocally” does not have one.

Sources in Israel have informed us that Eliyahu is likely to leave Galil Eliyon this summer and join Euroleague powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv. Maccabi is still searching for a head coach after the retirement of Pini Gershon, with the frontrunner right now being American/Israeli Benetton Treviso head coach David Blatt.

Thanks to Israeli journalist Yarone Arbel of for giving us the heads up on Eliyahu staying in.

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