With the NBA Draft Combine firmly in the rearview mirror and the deadline for players to withdraw their names approaching, Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis is the only player with question marks still surrounding him. Both Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole made public declarations they would remain in the 2019 Draft. After working out at the Pistons facility in Auburn Hills, Mich. Brazdeikis spoke to reporters about his upcoming decision Monday morning.
“I am definitely leaning towards staying in for sure,” Brazdeikis told Fox 2 News Monday. “I talked to my agents and they said we were gonna make an announcement about it soon.”
Brazdeikis admitted that the departure of Michigan coach John Beilein “played a role” in his thought process about staying in the draft after completing just one year of eligibility at Michigan. With the Wolverines yet to name a new coach, it would be difficult for Brazdeikis to decide to come back to what is as of now, an unclear future for Michigan Basketball.
“Coach Beilein is the reason I came to Michigan in the first place and seeing him leave definitely affects that decision.” Brazdeikis replied when asked about his former coach’s departure.
There is a chance that Beilein could coach Brazdeikis once again. The Cavaliers hold the 5th and 26th picks in June’s draft, and Brazdeikis said his agents hear feedback from teams that place Iggy in the 20-40 range. While 26 may seem high, teams were impressed with Brazdeikis in Chicago at the Combine, and he improved his stock from where it was when he declared.
For now, Michigan’s leading scorer from last season is absorbing the process as he weighs making the transition from college athlete to a professional basketball player.
“I’m enjoying it and taking it one step at a time,” Brazdeikis said. “This weekend was kind of the first time I have been a professional, wearing a nice suit to the meetings, everything is one step above college. Working out for NBA teams, it’s kind of surreal but at the same time, I am ready for it and just enjoying it.”
The NCAA Early Entrant Withdrawal Deadline for the NBA draft is Wednesday, May 29, so an official announcement from Brazdeikis and his team could come out before the weekend. The NBA Draft takes place Thursday, June 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.