clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ignas Brazdeikis hires agent, declares for 2019 NBA Draft

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Michigan vs Florida Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Ignas Brazdeikis has hired an agent and is entering the 2019 NBA Draft, the freshman Michigan forward told ESPN on Tuesday.

A new rule says that players can still hire an agent but return, but based on his comments to ESPN, it sure does sound like he is gone for good.

“As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be an NBA player -- not just an NBA player, but an NBA All-Star,” Brazdeikis said to ESPN. “My intent is to be drafted this year as high as I can be and start my journey.”

Brazdeikis detailed why now is the time to go pro, as well:

“I feel like I really improved as a player this past year at Michigan, but I know I still have some things in my arsenal that I haven’t had a chance to show,” Brazdeikis said. “I’m excited to get the chance to play and train in front of NBA personnel and showcase how versatile my game is.”


”I never really thought about the NBA this past year because I was so focused on being the best player I could be for Michigan. But now that the season is over, I’m excited to focus on the tremendous opportunity in front of me.”

Obviously, this is a blow for the Wolverines, but it is not all that unexpected. He averaged 14.8 points per game and 5.4 rebounds and made starts in every game in a maize and blue uniform this past season. At already 20-years-old as a freshman, it does feel like the right time for him to go.

Brazdeikis is pro-ready and he showcased that throughout the year. Where he needs to improve is as a defender, but as we’ve seen in the league over the last number of years, that seems to be less and less important with the game going to a more perimeter-based attack.

As far as who replaces him in the lineup, that is where things get interesting. Isaiah Livers figures to step into the starting five in 2019-20, but Charles Matthews is gone, too, leaving another spot open. Brandon Johns and Colin Castleton could be players to keep an eye on, as well as incoming freshman Cole Bajema.

Now, the Wolverines wait on a decision from Jordan Poole, who is also believed to be considering going pro. No timetable has been given on that announcement.