Smart move – IU’s Anunoby set to head to NBA Sophomore projects as No. 15 pick in NBA Draft.
OG Anunoby will follow the money and the logic.
In other words, his Indiana basketball career is over.
Anunoby, the 6-8 sophomore forward with a giant upside, is reportedly set to enter the NBA draft and sign with an agent, which means there will be no returning to the Hoosiers.
He will do so while recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him for much of the Big Ten season.
He played in 16 games this past season and averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds. His versatility included being a solid three-point shooter and ballhandler, plus being one of the Big Ten’s top defensive players.
Because of his exceptional athleticism, work ethic and skill set, Anunoby has an impressive upside. Even with missing much of the season, Draftexpress.com rates him as the No. 16 prospect and the Big Ten’s No. 2 prospect behind Michigan State’s Miles Bridges (No. 11 overall) and well ahead of Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan (No. 28), the Big Ten MVP.
ESPN’s Chad Ford lists Anunoby as the No. 15 prospect.
The No. 15 pick could make at least a total of $3.3 million in his first two seasons, with an option for nearly $2 million more in his third year.
NBA teams often draft for potential, so one could pick him and aid in his recovery.
Anunoby’s decision had nothing to do with last month’s firing of Tom Crean and the hiring of new coach Archie Miller.
IU junior guard James Blackmon has already decided to enter the NBA draft, but not sign with an agent, meaning he could return to school. He has until May 24 to make a final decision.
Blackmon, a former Bishop Luers standout, will go through pre-draft workouts, where he can be evaluated by NBA scouts and coaches, and get a realistic assessment of his draft prospects and what he needs to work on.
Blackmon did that last spring, although he could only interview with teams because he was recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him for the Big Ten season.
Blackmon earned third-team All-Big Ten honors this past season, when he averaged 17.0 points and 4.8 rebounds. He was one of the nation’s top three-point shooters, making 91 shots beyond the arc.
Mock drafts don’t list Blackmon among the top-60 draft picks. If he doesn’t get drafted or sign as a free agent, he could wind up playing overseas.
It’s likely Hoosier center Thomas Bryant also will enter the draft and get the chance to be evaluated by NBA personnel.
The 6-10 Bryant also was a third-team all-conference choice.
He averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 51.9 percent from the field. As a freshman he averaged 11.9 and 5.8 while shooting 68.3 percent from the field.
Bryant, who did not enter the draft last season, projects as a second-round pick. Draftexpress.com has him going at No. 39. <br>