On Tuesday night, the NBA released a full list of early entry candidates for the 2019 NBA Draft. As expected, the list included the Eagles’ leading scorer in junior Ky Bowman. However, the list also includes another BC player coming off a stellar campaign—Nik Popovic. The junior forward averaged 14.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in 2018-19.
The news may come as a bit of surprise to Eagles fans, as there was no indication that the junior forward was considering declaring for the draft until the full list was released on Tuesday, and Popovic’s name has yet to appear on mock drafts. It is also important to note, however, that Popovic declaring his intention to enter the draft in no way precludes him from returning for his senior year.
Popovic can maintain college eligibility if he withdraws his name from draft consideration before Wednesday, May 29. This means that he is allowed to go through the combine and much of the other pre-draft feedback process and still return to finish his BC career. For a player who hasn’t gotten much—if any—NBA buzz, this seems to be the most likely scenario. If anything, this provides him with the valuable opportunity to hear from scouts what he needs to do to improve his game in his final season with the Eagles before taking another shot at the draft in 2020.
The situation is somewhat similar to Bowman’s after the 2018 campaign. The then-sophomore also submitted his name for the draft before eventually deciding to return for his junior season. If the same thing happens with Popovic, he’ll return to lead a team that, now lacking Bowman, will desperately need scoring. Wynston Tabbs is the only other returning BC player that averaged greater than six points per game last season.
Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor