A little over a week ago, I noted that recruiting for the 2011 NBA Draft is heating up. As teams have been getting knocked out of the post-season tournaments, the players who perform for those teams have either declared their intention to enter the NBA Draft or commit to staying at least one more year at their respective institutions. In the post linked above, I suggested that BDA Sports has been putting great emphasis on recruiting Nikola Vucevic of Southern California and JaJuan Johnson of Purdue. Both teams are out of the NCAA Tournament, thus each player has the right to select an agent.
The LA Times has reported that Nikola Vucevic is leaving USC early and has already signed with BDA Sports “to show he was making a firm commitment to the draft rather than just ‘testing the waters.’” And while no large publication has announced it yet, I have heard from a credible source that JaJuan Johnson has also selected BDA Sports as his representatives for the NBA Draft. Whereas Vucevic is leaving USC early, Johnson just finished his senior year at Purdue. Thus, the decision to sign with an agent at this point in time is not as bold of a move.
Neither player is guaranteed to be a first round selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, but if more top prospects follow the lead of Jared Sullinger, who recently announced that he will be returning to Ohio State, and commit to staying at least one more year with their college basketball teams, guys like JaJuan Johnson and Nikola Vucevic can easily jump into the first round, giving BDA Sports a draft class reminiscent of 2009, when the company represented 6 first rounders.