Draft Notes: Garza, Walker, Nembhard, Mann

The uncertainty surrounding this year’s draft process may cause Wooden Award runner-up Luka Garza to return to Iowa for another season, writes Myron Medcalf of ESPN.

“I think it all depends on what teams are telling me in these interviews and what they’re seeing on film,” Garza said. “I’m not leaving for an unknown or an uncertain. That’s the one thing about this process, is I need to know for sure there will be an opportunity for me next year (in the NBA) because if I don’t, it’s too risky to leave behind what I have at Iowa. I don’t want to do anything that I’m not sure about.”

The 6’11” junior says he’s not “leaning” either way, but wants an opportunity to prove himself at NBA workouts. He averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds this season, but isn’t projected to be drafted. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Garza 80th on his list of 2020’s top 100 prospects.

“This year is obviously an interesting process with everything that’s going on,” Garza said. “I haven’t been able to work out in front of teams. I think I could prove a lot of things in workouts. Unfortunately, I’m not able to do that.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Ohio State guard CJ Walker announced today on Instagram that he will take his name out of the draft and return to school for his senior season. Walker averaged 8.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists this year. “After talking to my family and coach (Chris) Holtmann, I have officially notified the NBA that I am withdrawing from consideration for the 2020 NBA Draft,” Walker wrote. “The feedback we received was very helpful and I’m looking forward to getting back to work with my teammates. I love playing in front of Buckeye nation and I can’t wait to finish my degree and my playing career here at THE Ohio State University!”
  • Florida point guard Andrew Nembhard is also leaving the draft, but he won’t be returning to the Gators, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN. With two years of eligibility remaining, Nembhard plans to transfer and may seek a waiver allowing him to play next season. Nembhard hired agent Jaafar Choufani, who is certified by the NBA, so he is free to return to college basketball.
  • Nembhard’s spot in Florida’s starting backcourt will likely be taken by Tre Mann, who has also decided to withdraw from the draft, sources tell Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.
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7 thoughts on “Draft Notes: Garza, Walker, Nembhard, Mann

    • x%sure

      Just sayin’, Andrew Nembhard could look up from his place on the page and see a place to visit. (We used to just call it Ohio State!)

  1. hiflew

    He averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds this season, but isn’t projected to be drafted.

    Yeah, because why would any NBA team want a player that has proven to be productive in one of the toughest conferences in the NCAA? It’s much better to take a guy that has a great vertical, but doesn’t know how to shoot.

    • El Don

      I totally agree with you hiflew… I was convinced this guy was a lock for the 1st round he is been great this season, instead they talking about guys who project a lot but never will be the player Luka Garza is, even right now, SMH!

  2. Chris Ekstrand

    An NBA team would have to commit to using Garza in a way that he can be effective and productive. Most of the NBA teams don’t want this kind of player anymore. Only a handful even know how to utilize his skill set these days. Unless he can find his way to one of those teams, he’s better off in Europe. He’s a very good player whose skill set is exactly the opposite of what most NBA teams crave now.

    • 123Redsox

      Teams don’t want a 6 ft 11 guy that can rebound, block shots and stretch the floor at a decent clip?.. i wouldn’t say his skill set doesn’t fit in the NBA today

  3. Chris Ekstrand

    Garza just had an unbelievable season where he could hardly have played better. He was a consensus First Team All-American. After that season, ESPN’s most recent Top 100 ranked him as #80. So no, his skill set isn’t what they are looking for. And I think that’s a shame.

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