Deng Adel to declare for 2017 NBA draft

Louisville's Deng Adel has indicated an interest in declaring for this year's NBA draft.

According to head coach Rick Pitino --who joined ESPN Louisville's Ramsey and Rutherford recently-- Adel is one of three other Louisville athletes, along with Donovan Mitchell and Jaylen Johnson who would be declaring for the upcoming NBA draft. According to Jeff Greer of The Courier-Journal, Adel's intentions have been confirmed with his guardian, Loren Jackson.

Unlike typical NBA draft candidates, Deng Adel is not expected to hire an agent to represent his interests.

"What they do is, they don't hire an agent and they put their name in. We sent letters to all thirty [NBA] teams, if you're interested in working out our players," Pitino explained. "I actually like it, because it gets our players in awesome shape, and they will work out every day, and get ready to work out for a team, if a team wants to bring them in."

Pitino was also supportive of Deng's decision, as the process helps Adel figure out team interest and at the same time, get a better measure of his current weaknesses.

"Deng asked me obviously when he found out that Donovan was [preparing to enter the draft without representation], 'Could we do the same?' I was like sure, you can definitely do the same. Stay in great shape, and if somebody wants to bring you in, they'll bring you in."

Deng Adel, who quoted Kawhi Leonard as his role model in an interview last year with The Pick and Roll, was on an early candidate for the 2017 Julius Erving small forward of the year award, and has averaged 12.1 points in 30.1 minutes of playing time with the Louisville Cardinals, along with 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists this season, via ESPN.

The Sudanese-Australian forward was projected to be taken at the 50th spot in DraftExpress' 2018 Mock Draft.