Projected first-round pick Caris LeVert will stay for another year at the University of Michigan rather than enter this year’s draft, the versatile 20-year-old junior announced through the school. LeVert was the No. 24 prospect with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and No. 29 in the rankings that Chad Ford of ESPN.com compiles.
The news isn’t altogether surprising, since he suffered a season-ending broken left foot in January, though with Syracuse’s Chris McCullough headed to the draft despite a torn ACL, LeVert wouldn’t have been alone among prospective draftees recovering from serious injuries. LeVert averaged 14.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 35.8 minutes per game to go along with 40.5% three-point shooting for the Wolverines in 18 appearances this season. At 6’7″, he’s a utility player, with Givony listing him as a point guard and a shooting guard while Ford has him as a small forward.
LeVert’s still relatively young and won’t turn 21 until August, so NBA teams will be disinclined to look askance at his age when he’s automatically eligible for the draft as a senior next year. He’s among more than a dozen prospects who were within either Ford’s or Givony’s top 60 to decide against the draft, as our early entrants tracker shows, but few of them were regarded as likely first-rounders like LeVert.