NC States Ted Kapita enters 2017 NBA Draft, wont hire an agent

Rising sophomore big man will throw his name into the hat, but likely is looking for improvement rather than departing program

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
North Carolina Tar Heels forward Kennedy Meeks (3) tries to fight his way to the basket around North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Ted Kapita (23) in the second half of the college basketball game at PNC Arena in Raleigh

RALEIGH — When the early entry list for the 2017 NBA Draft was released on Tuesday, few surprises were on the list from NC State with Dennis Smith Jr., Maverick Rowan and Omer Yurtseven all testing the waters. Then there was Ted Kapita, who played sparsely as a freshman and didn’t generate much buzz.But it’s a move that makes sense in the modern NBA draft era with nearly a month to test the draft process. Kapita, along with Rowan and Yurtseven, now have a chance to learn what areas he needs to improve upon to potentially make it to the next level. The NCAA deadline or early entrants into the draft who don’t hire an agent is set for May 24.Kapita’s move might come as a surprise to some after he averaged just 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per game last season. Despite barely seeing any time on the court under former head coach Mark Gottfried, Kapita can carve out a huge role in Kevin Keatts’ system.Unlike Rowan and Yurtseven, Kapita will likely find his way back to Raleigh. Rowan is expected play overseas — but has made it clear he doesn’t intend on returning to the program — while Yurtseven’s status is wide open, with a slight possibility he could end up with the Wolfpack again.What Kapita offers to any team is simple: athleticism and high energy. He was a bit sporadic in 2016-17 under Gottfried, but shined in games against Illinois, Duke and Georgia Tech when he was thrust into a larger role. Given a similar role under Keatts, Yurtseven has a chance to at least raise eyebrows overseas.