Ahead of Sunday’s early entry deadline, Baylor junior guard Jared Butler announced that he was declaring for the 2021 NBA draft. While his announcement doesn’t explicitly state that he’s forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility, it strongly suggests he intends to go pro.
While it took a while for him to make it official, Butler was always considered a good bet to enter this year’s draft following an impressive 2020-21 campaign in which he averaged 16.7 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 2.0 SPG on .471/.416/.780 shooting in 30 games (30.3 MPG) for the eventual national champs.
A consensus first-team All-American, Butler was named the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player after the Bears defeated Gonzaga in the championship game. He’s the No. 23 prospect on ESPN’s big board, making him a strong candidate to be a first-round pick in July.
Here are a few more draft-related updates:
- Fresno State sophomore guard Deon Stroud is testing the draft waters while maintaining his NCAA eligibility, according to an announcement from the school, via Twitter link. Stroud, who began his college career at UTEP, averaged 12.2 PPG on .482/.357/.613 shooting in 23 games (23.1 MPG) in 2020-21.
- Italian wing Gabriele Procida has declared for the draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that the 18-year-old is a projected second-round pick.
- Givony also published a series of tweets listing several more international players who have entered the 2021 NBA draft pool. Those players are as follows (the countries listed represent where they last played, not where they were born):
- Mert Akay, G, Serbia (born 2000)
- Ibou Badji, C, Spain (born 2002)
- Kenny Baptiste, F, France (born 2000)
- Juhann Begarin, G/F, France (born 2002)
- Hugo Besson, G, France (born 2001)
- Tarik Biberovic, G/F, Turkey (born 2001)
- Vrenz Bleijenbergh, G/F, Belgium (born 2000)
- Tom Digbeu, G/F, Lithuania (born 2001)
- Biram Faye, F/C, Spain (born 2000)
- Gregor Glas, G, Serbia (born 2001)
- Haowen Guo, F, China (born 2000)
- Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania (born 2002)
- Jovan Kljajic, G, Spain (born 2001)
- Yoan Makoundou, F, France (born 2000)
- Zsombor Maronka, F/C, Spain (born 2002)
- Ivan Perasovic, F, Croatia (born 2002)
- Ziga Samar, G, Spain (born 2001)
- Pavel Savkov, G/F, Russia (born 2002)
- Amar Sylla, F/C, Belgium (born 2001)
- Bojan Tomasevic, F, Serbia (born 2001)
- Uros Trifunovic, G, Serbia (born 2000)
- Since the NBA’s early entry deadline has now passed, we should get a full, official list of early entrants from the league on Tuesday. In the meantime, our unofficial tracker is here.