Robert Williams Won’t Declare For 2017 Draft

11:06am: Several college basketball writers, including Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (Twitter links), are now reporting that Williams will return to Texas A&M for his sophomore season.

11:02am: Texas A&M big man Robert Williams is viewed as a potential lottery pick in the 2017 NBA draft, but the big man may end up not leaving school quite yet. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter), Williams is leaning “strongly” toward returning to the Aggies for his sophomore year.

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Draft Early Entrants List]

In his first year at Texas A&M, the 19-year-old Williams averaged 11.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 2.5 BPG in 25.8 minutes per contest. He is ranked as this year’s 10th-best overall prospect by DraftExpress and places 13th in Chad Ford’s top 100 at ESPN.com.

In a mock draft last month, Ford projected Williams as the No. 14 overall pick, noting that the youngster’s “athleticism and defensive potential are off the charts.” Ford also wrote earlier in March that NBA scouts are becoming convinced that Williams is more than just an athletic shot blocker.

NCAA underclassmen have until April 23 to declare for the draft. They would then have another month to withdraw their names if they test the waters without an agent and don’t like what they hear, so Williams still has plenty of time to make his decision. If he does opt to return to Texas A&M for his sophomore year, it could give him a chance to further develop his game, perhaps turning some of his raw potential into more NBA-ready skills.

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7 thoughts on “Robert Williams Won’t Declare For 2017 Draft

  1. JDonovan

    That might not be a bad idea for him. Next year’s draft is not considered quite as strong as this year’s. If he has a good year, he might move up to a top 10, perhaps even top 5 pick.

  2. 4wards

    All Freshman could use another year in collage,but if it was my son and he was going to get guaranteed money as he would get,I’m taking the money now,never know what next year could bring.

  3. Z-A

    He’s on the cusp of Lottery Pick. Not a HUGE benefit from staying 1 more year. He’s not going to stay through graduation unless he gets injured.

  4. If he was projected to be a late 1st round pick this move makes more sense; however, it sounds like he will be a lottery pick this year.

    Unless he really thinks his game will be refined that much more at A&M why risk it (due to injury, etc)?

  5. smittybanton

    Interesting. Calculated risk. He’s my #10 rated prospect already. And there’s a huge dearth of bigs in this draft. Whereas next year, there’s Ayton, Bamba, etc.

    That said, he’s 6’9, and needs to show a jimmy, because he can’t regularly hold down the five in the NBA. Maybe against Dirk, but not DeAndre Jordan or Rudy Gobert by a long shot.

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