This morning, UCLA freshman Kris Wilkes took to Twitter to officially announce what had been reported by several outlets yesterday. Wilkes will be declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft, but not hiring an agent in order to retain his eligibility should he decide to withdraw his name from the draft.
Wilkes was the only UCLA freshman named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team this season He averaged 13.7 points per game, which was the second highest on the team behind Aaron Holiday. He also averaged 4.9 rebounds per game.
It was somewhat expected that Wilkes would test the waters, given that his fellow freshman teammate Jaylen Hands opted to do so recently. Whether or not either of them leaves their name in the draft or opts to return to school will depend on what the NBA scouts say.
Now, of course, with no offense intended towards either player, both of them would probably benefit from returning to school as neither of the them is likely to be a first round pick. In Wilkes’ case, he could potentially be a second rounder, but that begs the question “Will that be high enough to cause Wilkes to leave for the NBA?”
Under NCAA rules, players have until 10 days after the NBA Draft Combine to withdraw from the draft and retain their collegiate eligibility. This year, that date is May 30, 2018.
The NBA Draft will be held on June 21, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.