Early Entry Draft Candidates Announced — Who is Missing?

NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association announced today that 77 players, including 46 players from U.S. colleges and 31 international players, have filed as early entry candidates for the 2013 NBA Draft.

Players wishing to enter the 2013 NBA Draft were required to submit a letter to the NBA to be received no later than Sunday, April 28. Players who have applied for early entry have the right to withdraw their names by notifying the NBA of their decision in writing no later than 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 17.

So, who is missing?

These are the five that stand out:

Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State

Marcus smartoklahoma-state-cowboysSmart was in the running to be the first pick in the draft but opted to return for his sophomore season almost immediately after his freshman campaign concluded.

While Smart is determined to improve his game, he was not pleased with the way the season ended for the Cowboys.

While Smart is an impressive prospect and likely to be in the mix for the top-5 next season there is no chance he goes as high as he would have this year.

Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor

IsaiahAustinbaylorNBA General Managers and scouts are always looking for athletic bigs, and there might not be a more athletic or explosive 7-footer than Austin. Running the floor like a gazelle and creating mismatches on the perimeter for opposing centers, there is no question Austin would have risen up draft boards during the pre-draft workouts.

Next year is not as deep from a center standpoint, so Austin returning might not cost him much in terms of money. But there is no doubt he would have been an intriguing prospect to watch coming out of draft night had he entered this year.

Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky

Willie CauleyKentuckyThe Wildcats may be the most stacked team in the country next year and have uber-prospect Julius Randle, who will be penciled into the starting lineup along with Dakari Johnson and others who will get minutes. After Nerlens Noel went down with a torn ACL the Wildcats began to rely on Cauley-Stein to man the post.

As a prospect Cauley-Stein is long, explosive and the type of prospect that will make scouts salivate. Sticking around for his sophomore season, Cauley-Stein might find a logjam in Lexington that could hamper his production.

Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan

MichiganWolverinesGlenn Robinson iiiRobinson III had an outstanding freshman year as the Wolverines fell short of winning a title. With Trey Burke gone, Robinson will have a chance to be the man for the Wolverines but will not have someone like Burke putting him in easy position to score.

Also, Robinson’s decision to return is somewhat surprising considering how thin the small forward position is in this draft. No question Robinson could have been a lottery pick and the second player at his position drafted, but a return to Ann Arbor could vault him into the top-10 next year.

Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

GaryHarrisMichiganstateHarris was never a serious threat to bolt from East Lansing after one season, but with the way he played in March and his natural ability, NBA teams were disappointed he opted to return.

Harris will be expected to lead the Spartans next season and could be a very dangerous perimeter scorer in the Big 10. While the 2013 NBA Draft became weaker with Harris’ decision, the 2014 draft got even deeper.

After the jump is the full list of those who have applied for early entry into the 2013 NBA Draft, which will be held Thursday, June 27, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.:

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