After one season in Ann Arbor, Joey Baker has hired an agent and will be pursuing a pro career, according to a report from CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
Michigan's Joey Baker tells me that he plans to sign with an agent and begin a professional career.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 10, 2023
Baker came to Michigan after four seasons at Duke. He was mostly a bench contributor this past season, averaging 5.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game while shooting 39.3% from the field, 39.1% from three and 68.6% from the free throw line.
He is the fifth scholarship player from last year’s roster to depart this offseason. Hunter Dickinson and Isaiah Barnes both entered the transfer portal, and Jett Howard and Kobe Bufkin opted for the NBA Draft.
The sharpshooter told reporters after the NIT win over Toledo he planned to return to Michigan if his injury waiver to the NCAA got approved. But in an interview with MLive’s Andrew Kahn, Baker said he decided it was just time to turn pro.
“I’ve been going back and forth over the past few weeks since the season ended,” Baker told MLive. “But me and Juwan last week had a conversation, and that’s what I’ve decided.”
Michigan is losing a key veteran piece in Baker, who could have provided three-point shooting for a group in need of it. With how the current roster sits, he probably would have started at small forward.
We’ve already seen Michigan be quite busy in the portal, picking up guards Caleb Love and Nimari Burnett, and forward Tray Jackson. With those additions, Michigan is currently at the limit of 13 scholarship players if Jaelin Llewellyn returns.
If a scholarship opens up, it would be a blessing for Michigan to land a commitment from a small forward who can knock down threes. There are not a lot of guys on the roster who are pure small forwards, as the only guy who makes sense to play the 3 on a regular basis is Jace Howard, and he played sparingly last season.
Unless Michigan wants to play three guards or utilize a really big lineup, small forward is a position of priority should another scholarship open up.
We at Maize n Brew wish Joey Baker the rest of luck with his professional career, and we’ll be here to break down the latest news during what’s already been a busy offseason for the Michigan Wolverines.