DJ Wilson declares for NBA Draft without an agent

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan forward DJ Wilson will enter his name in the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent.

He announced the news on Twitter today.

Because of his decision to not hire an agent, Wilson will have until May 24th to decide whether to remain in the NBA Draft or return to school. The NBA Draft combine runs from May 9th through 14th and Wilson will be able to participate in other workouts with NBA teams as well.

Wilson is currently ranked 34th on the Draft Express Top-100 and projected as the No. 16 pick in their 2018 Mock Draft. ¬†ESPN’s Chad Ford ranks Wilson as the 31st overall prospect in the draft and projects him as a “late first round pick”.

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  • Madrox

    We basically knew both him and Mo were doing this already correct? I would love him to come back, good for him if he decides to go pro, but this is just a formal announcement of what we already knew correct?

    • We didn’t know it because he hadn’t made the decision yet. It was still his decision to make. I am not surprised that he’s going through the process, but it is certainly news.

      My take: If NBA scouts know your name, you would be crazy not to go through the process and solicit feedback. If you are good enough to be a first round pick, you should go, if not come back.

      • ChiMan

        So, I know this is only the second year of this new process but man, I gotta think it’s absolutely BRUTAL for college coaches. Essentially coach could be working with 1 or 3 scholarships and won’t know until many grad transfers have signed with other teams. Curious on others thoughts on this….

      • Madrox

        Oh I agree, I think both would be foolish to not go through the process without an agent. I had just thought it was already stated that they were both going through the evaluation process without an agent. I may have taken a highly probable outcome and made it a certainty in my head.

        I had assumed they would test the waters, great evaluations would see them turn pro, and bad ones would see them return. I just didn’t realize no formal decision had been made before today. Thanks for the response.

        • Nope, the only thing that was formally announced was that Michigan asked for draft grades for Moe, DJ, Duncan and MAAR. That’s the step before actually declaring with or without representation.

          • Madrox

            Ahhhh, that is what it was. I had thought requesting the draft grades meant they were going through with the whole draft evaluation process. Thanks for the clarification, the formal announcement make far more sense now.

      • Lanknows

        What if you’re a high 2nd rounder who really wants to be a professional basketball player?

        Going in the 2nd round means less security and higher likelihood of NBDL/Europe. But it also means working on your game full-time and hitting free agency a year earlier (if you stick). These days the late 1st/early 2nd distinction is growing smaller. Some 2nd rounders are getting partial guarantees (e.g., GR3) and most most 1st rounders outside of the lotto are getting NBDL time anyway.

        The concerns with coming back to the NCAA is stunting growth (due to playing and coaching limitations and class obligations) and sacrificing a year of prime (post-rookie contract) earnings. The concerns with going in round 2 is that you could be quickly discarded by a ruthless profession. It all depends on your confidence in your skills and how much you enjoy your college experience.

        If you’re a fringe first/second round guy it also may depend on how appealing you view a career in Europe.

  • Lanknows

    Ford tends to put way too much emphasis on the tournament but DraftExpress seems more stable. But if those mock drafts that have Wilson in Round 1 are backed up by scout opinions, D.J. should probably turn pro if that’s what his dream is. Maybe even if teams think he’s a high 2nd rounder.

    In the case that Wilson gets a late 1st round grade, the question becomes how much upward mobility he has left. To make substantially more money you have to move into the top 10-15. The difference between going 15-20 and 25-30 isn’t so great once you factor in hitting free agency a year earlier in your career, so you can’t really look at moving up 10 spots as much of a motivating force.

    The top non-freshman/international is #14 in Draftexpress’ 2017 mock (Justin Jackson). Is that a best case scenario for Wilson if he returns? Next year, like this year, will likely see a lotto dominated by freshman and international players. Right now Wilson’s listed as the 3rd highest returning college player in
    2018 by draft express. One might conclude that there’s not
    much upward mobility in DJ’s stock.

    Going in Round 2 isn’t necessarily a financial hit, but you don’t have nearly as much security and you’re far more likely to be in Europe or the D-League than in R1.

    It’s hard to rationalize staying in college if you put yourself in a projected NBA draft pick’s shoes (or his parents) unless you are well-off and loving college life. Or if you truly believe that the NCAA is the best possible league to develop your skillset. In this day and age of NBDL and international ball, it’s increasingly challenging to make the case that it is. It really has to come down to off-court reasons in most cases.

    Best of luck to DJ. For now I’ll be rooting for lots more early entries and some scouts who are very concerned about rebounding, because I’d love to see him back in a Michigan uniform.

  • BlueMaze

    Jordan Bell showed them both how its going to be night in-night out in the League plus Caleb was first rounder last year but now a higher first rounder. So another year wouldn’t hurt js. You cant coach away timidness.

  • ChathaM

    I completely understand why players take this route, and are anxious to do so. But, as a fan, I find it extremely frustrating to watch a player have a handful of strong games, while being virtually invisible in several others, then have at least a foot out the door.