James Nnaji to remain in 2023 NBA Draft ahead of early entry withdrawal deadline

We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More
James Nnaji to remain in 2023 NBA Draft ahead of early entry withdrawal deadline

James Nnaji is a projected first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Nigerian basketball star has decided to keep his name in next week’s draft ahead of Monday’s early entry withdrawal deadline.

Draft candidates have until 5 p.m. ET to withdraw their names. The 2023 NBA Draft is next Thursday, June 22. Last week’s video footage was leaked showing Nnaji practicing with former Milwaukee Bucks center Serge Ibaka.

Referring to a few NBA betting sites, James Nnaji is projected to go No. 24 overall in next week’s draft. The Sacramento Kings hold the 24th pick. However, sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Brooklyn Nets.

James Nnaji, 18, was born and raised in Makurdi, Nigeria. Before his 14th birthday in 2018, Nnaji moved to Pécs, Hungary, to play basketball for Ratgeber Basketball Academy. His 7-foot-4 wingspan makes him a versatile threat in the paint.

In 2019, Nnaji began his professional career with Pecsi VSK, an elite basketball club based in Pécs. After two seasons, he then moved to Barcelona in 2020 to join FC Barcelona B.

Additionally, while with Barcelona in the EuroLeague in the 2021-22 season, Nnaji averaged 1.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 5.9 minutes per game in 13 appearances. The center also shot 75% from the floor.

First-round candidate James Nnaji has decided to stay in the 2023 NBA Draft ahead of June 12 early entry withdrawal deadline

With Barcelona in the Liga ACB in the 2021-22 season, the big man averaged 2.4 points, 1.5 boards, and 7.4 minutes per game in 11 contests. Plus, he shot 78.5% from the field and 44.4% at the foul line.

In the 2022-23 season with Barcelona in the EuroLeague, James Nnaji logged 2.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 6.0 minutes per game in 15 appearances. He finished 76.5% shooting from the floor and 44.4% at the free throw line.

Furthermore, in the 2022-23 season in the Liga ACB, the center averaged career highs of 4.9 points, 3.0 boards, and 12.1 minutes per game in 27 games. Nnaji shot 67.1% from the field and a career-best 47.8% at the foul line. He scored a career-high 132 points through 27 games in 326 minutes.

During Barcelona’s 10-game win streak in the Liga ACB, Nnaji scored a career-high 16 points in wins over Real Betis (Jan. 7, 2023) and Surne Bilbao Basket (Jan. 22, 2023). On Oct. 23, 2022, the center grabbed a career-best eight rebounds in a 67-65 win over Lenovo Tenerife.

James Nnaji is rated the 24th-highest prospect in the 2023 NBA Draft on ESPN’s Top 100. He officially declared for the draft last Sunday.

NBA Betting Content You May Like