When Michigan freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis declared for the NBA Draft in April, not too many expected him to return to school after a stellar freshman campaign. The departure of coach John Beilein lessened those already slim odds. Tuesday afternoon, Brazdeikis made it official with a video posted to his Twitter account, he is staying in the 2019 NBA Draft, ending his tenure as a Wolverine.
The 2019 Big Ten Freshman of the year led Michigan in points per game (14.8) and was second on the team in rebounds per game (5.4.) He made an immediate impact on a young Michigan team, bringing highlights with both his play, and his bravado throughout his 37 games as a Wolverine. He released a statement in addition to the video.
The Oakville, Ont. native shined at last week’s NBA Combine and held his first team workout for the Detroit Pistons on Monday morning. After working out for the Pistons, Brazdeikis hinted that an official announcement regarding his decision to stay in the draft could come as soon as this week. According to Brazdeikis’ agents, teams see him going anywhere between the 20th and 40th picks in June’s NBA Draft.
With Brazdeikis’ departure, Michigan has three open scholarships for the 2019-2020 season. As of now, Cole Bajema will be the only incoming freshman after Jalen Wilson’s decommitment pending the decision regarding Michigan’s new head coach. Once the coaching search concludes, Michigan’s new leader will be scrambling to reload a roster that lost three starters and key contributors in Brazdeikis, Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole.