USC basketball’s Bennie Boatwright will declare for the 2017 NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent, leaving open the possibility a return.
Bennie Boatwright plans to test the pro waters by declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft, but the star USC basketball forward could still return to the Trojans for his junior season.
Boatwright told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports that he’ll enter the draft, but won’t hire an agent. That means he can withdraw his name from the draft pool within 10 days after the NBA Combine in May and still retain his college eligibility.
Earlier this week, teammate Shaqqaun Aaron made a similar move, declaring but holding off on hiring an agent.
Many expect forward Chimezie Metu to make a similar decision, though he has not yet announced his draft intentions.
Boatwright led the Trojans in scoring this season, averaging 15.1 points per game, despite missing two months with a knee injury.
The sharpshooting forward averaged 18 points during USC’s three games in the NCAA Tournament, showing off his scoring touch.
His NBA prospects remain murky, however. He has intriguing length and shooting ability, but there remain questions about his ability to keep up at the pro level athletically.
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A potential fringe second round prospect, Boatwright does not appear often across NBA mock drafts.
His decision to declare does make sense though. The forward can get a better sense of his NBA stock and valuable information about what he could improve if he were to withdraw and return to school for the 2016-17 season.
Still, last year Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic made similar decisions, only to take their chances in the draft. Neither was selected.
USC will hope that things turn out differently when it comes to Boatwright, as well as Aaron and, potentially, Metu.