For the second consecutive year, Justin Smith has entered his name into the NBA Draft pool.
Smith is one of 163 college players — and 205 prospects overall — to declare for early entry, utilizing a player-friendly rule that allows amateurs to receive direct feedback from NBA decision-makers. Entering the draft pool is only way for players to work out for teams and receive those reports, though it’s unclear just how interactive this year’s round of evaluations will be. According to the Indianapolis Star, it is believed that Smith has retained his college eligibility, making it possible for him to play for IU next season.
The 6-foot-7 rising senior forward started all 32 games for Indiana this past season, leading the team in minutes (971), tying for second with 5.2 rebounds per contest and averaging 10.4 points. He also improved at the free throw line, shooting 67 percent from the stripe after posting a 51 percent success rate as a sophomore. Smith also cut his turnover rate from 21.5 percent to 16.5 percent as a junior.
Smith is the lone Hoosier to declare for early entry this year, and he has until June 3 to withdraw his name so that he can return to IU for his senior season.
The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 25, though ESPN has reported that a plan to push the date until later in the summer is under consideration.