Men’s basketball: Tristan da Silva from CU Buffs takes test dive in NBA draft pool – The Denver Post

Tristan da Silva will explore his options. And if he makes an impression, well then just maybe he already has played his final game for the Colorado Buffaloes.

That still remains a long-shot scenario, but da Silva nonetheless made his intentions to test his NBA draft

prospects official, submitting his paperwork ahead of Sunday’s deadline for early-entry consideration in the NBA draft. Like all prospects, da Silva has until May 31 to withdraw while still retaining his college eligibility.

“I’m just trying to better my game and get ready for these workouts,” da Silva said. “Obviously if the talent is good enough and the workouts are going well enough, I’d be more than happy to go with a team. But I’m still keeping my college option open for a reason.”

Overall, 242 prospects submitted their paperwork as early entrants for the 58-player 2023 draft, including 194 collegiate players and 48 international players. Da Silva was one of 13 players to file for early entry out of the Pac-12 Conference, a list weighted heavily by UCLA players Jaime Jaquez Jr., Adem Bona, Tyger Campbell, Jaylen Clark and Amari Bailey.

The rest of the Pac-12 early entrants includes Marcus Bagley (Arizona State), TJ Bamba (formerly Washington State, committed to Villanova as a transfer), Branden Carlson (Utah), Frankie Collins (Arizona State), Mouhamed Gueye (Washington State), Pelle Larson (Arizona), Azuolas Tubelis (Arizona), and Justin Powell (Washington State).

Da Silva isn’t generally listed in mock drafts, but going through the process, and receiving feedback from NBA personnel outside a player’s collegiate circle, can help foster individual improvement. Former CU point guard McKinley Wright IV, as an example, owned a career assist-to-turnover rate of 1.68 through his first three seasons. After going through the NBA draft process before returning to CU, he posted a mark of 2.68 as a senior.

“I feel like there’s a lot, but it’s a lot of stuff I can control,” da Silva said. “I feel like I talked about this before this season too, but it’s consistency. Next year, that’s got to be more being consistent throughout the whole season, game to game. I felt like I was shooting it consistent, but sometimes I didn’t score as good or sometimes I didn’t take care of the ball as good or sometimes I didn’t rebound as well. I’ve just got to make sure I get all of it out there every single night we play.”

The fortunes of the 2023-24 Buffs will hinge greatly on da Silva’s final decision. Without him, CU loses three starters from a disappointing 2022-23 team with only one returning player who could be considered a proven, consistent scorer at the Pac-12 level (KJ Simpson). With da Silva in the fold alongside returnees like Simpson, Luke O’Brien and Julian Hammond III, plus newcomers like 6-foot-11 TCU transfer Eddie Lampkin Jr. and highly-touted freshman Cody Williams, and at this early stage of the ’23-24 forecast CU might have one of the league’s most intriguing cores to work with.

“I’m excited for the guys we have coming in, and obviously I know what the guys can do that are already here and that are coming back from last year,” da Silva said. “I feel like as a team, we’ve just got to make a step forward, a step in the right direction, from a consistency standpoint.”

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