2024 NBA Draft withdrawal deadline: Bronny James among notable players staying in draft, while big names return to school

The NBA Draft withdrawal deadline ended at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday night with several college players making their decisions after going through the pre-draft process and getting valuable feedback from teams.

Bronny James, a projected second-round pick, is staying in the 2024 NBA Draft after an underwhelming freshman season at USC but a strong showing at the NBA Draft Combine. But even with this draft class being considered weaker than years past, there were a handful of players that elected to return for one more year of college. Alex Karaban was a top performer at the draft combine and is heading back to Dan Hurley and the two-time national champion UConn Huskies. NIL has played a huge part in players' decisions to return to college with the ability to make more money while developing their games against peers rather than fighting for a roster spot and playing in the G League.

Yahoo Sports takes a look at the most notable players staying in the NBA Draft and the top players returning to college for one more season.

Note: The international withdrawal deadline is June 16 with many European seasons still going on.

Bronny James smiles as he participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Bronny James, a projected second-round pick, is staying in the 2024 NBA Draft. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is one step closer to fulfilling his dream of becoming the first father-son duo to play together in the NBA after his son, Bronny, elected to stay in this year's draft. Bronny, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, told reporters at the combine that he wants to be his own player outside of being LeBron James' son, but it appears the duo is being selective with not only team meetings but also who Bronny is electing to work out for with reports surfacing that he will only visit a few teams, including the Lakers and Phoenix Suns.

Furphy was one of the best perimeter shooters at the NBA Draft Combine and many teams thought he would return to Kansas for one more year after rumblings of a lucrative NIL deal with the Jayhawks. The 6-9 wing originally from Australia is a projected first-round pick and could already have a promise from a team selecting somewhere in the 20s. Furphy averaged 9.1 points and 4.9 rebounds during his freshman year at Kansas and shot 35.2% from 3-point range.

Christie is the most intriguing player in this draft class after only playing one year at Minnesota before electing to stay in the draft. The 6-6 guard is the younger brother of Lakers guard Max Christie, who was selected in the second round in 2022. Cam Christie had a subpar performance at the combine but must be working out well for teams and could have a promise after his decision to stay in this year's draft. Christie averaged 11.3 points while shooting 39.1% from 3-point range and can be slotted into any position along the perimeter with his ball-handling, length and consistent shot creation.

Holmes is the 2024 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and a three-time all-conference player, but could have returned to Dayton for one more year. His draft range is all over the place as he is projected anywhere from 25-40. He didn't shoot the ball particularly well during the combine, but his role in the league — with his size at 6-10 and offensive versatility as an inside-out player — will be much different than how he was utilized in college with the pace and spacing of the NBA game.

The junior out of Washington State is staying in this year's draft after a solid outing at the combine and positive feedback from teams. The Cougars finished second in the Pac-12 this year and Wells was a top contributor, averaging 12.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. The 6-8 wing shot 41.7% from 3 on four attempts per game and could grow into the 3-and-D player teams covet at the NBA level.

The biggest winner of the draft withdrawal deadline is the UConn Huskies after Karaban announced his return for his junior season. The 6-8 wing won the 3-point star drill, finishing 21-of-25. He followed that up with a 12-point performance (4-for-5 from the field in 20 minutes) in the final scrimmage, and scouts left knowing he's a reliable shooter with good size who doesn't force things. Karaban will return as the team leader to another loaded UConn roster next season and is an early projected first-round pick in the 2025 NBA Draft with how well he performed in the pre-draft process this year.

The former Gonzaga guard really found his stride after transferring to Wake Forest and was one of the best guards in the ACC last season. The 6-5 combo guard will return for his senior season after averaging 18 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Sallis was a projected second-round pick and could really help his draft stock next year with his court vision, playmaking and outside shooting (he finished his junior season shooting 40.5% from deep).

It was the right decision for Hawkins to return for one more year, but it's bad news for Illinois as he elected to enter the transfer portal and will now be one of the most sought-after players. Hawkins, a 6-10 wing, averaged 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds during his senior year and could cash in on lucrative NIL deals for his fifth year next season.

The 6-4 point guard eased into the Arizona offense well after transferring from North Carolina this past season. Love had an up-and-down season and will need to show scouts a little more consistency as the primary ball-handler next season to prove he can be that lead guard on a second unit. Love averaged 18 points and 3.4 assists last season at Arizona and will be the leader for the Wildcats as they enter the Big 12 next season.

It was a huge win for Nate Oats and Alabama on Wednesday as two of their top players from the Final Four team last season elected to return for one more year. Sears, a 6-1 point guard, led the Crimson Tide in scoring last season, averaging 21.5 points per game and adding 4.2 assists. Stevenson will return for his sophomore season after limited playing time and will have a bigger role next season with his 6-11 size and rim protection. Alabama reached the Final Four for the first time in program history last season and is now the heavy favorite in the SEC with its returning roster and the players coming in next season.