Auburn junior point guard Kareem Canty has decided to enter this year’s NBA draft and leave the school, as he revealed on Twitter and Instagram (hat tip to Wesley Sinor of AL.com). He faces long odds to make it in the league despite his status as Auburn’s leading scorer and assist-maker so far. Neither Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress nor Chad Ford of ESPN.com have him within their rankings.
The school suspended Canty on Saturday, citing conduct detrimental to the team. He engaged in a verbal altercation with a member of the coaching staff two days before the suspension, according to Jay G. Tate of AuburnSports.com, a Rivals.com site. Canty had been slumping, knocking down just 5 of 34 3-pointers in his last four games, as Tate notes. That’s otherwise been one of his strengths, as he’s a 36.1% 3-point shooter on the season. He’s dished out 5.3 assists per game but turns it over 3.0 times each outing, and he averages less than a steal per game.
The 6’1″ Canty turns 23 in April, so his age also figures to work against him. He sat out last season after transferring from Marshall, where he put up similar numbers in 2013/14 but shot only 30.4% on 3-pointers.
Canty, like all early entrants this year, will have a chance to get a better read on his stock and attend the NBA combine, if invited, before encountering the last day to withdraw and retain his college eligibility, thanks to a rules change. However, he’d be in less of a position to benefit from pulling out if he’s indeed parting ways with Auburn.