Two-time Gonzaga All-American and reigning WCC Player of the Year Drew Timme is entering the 2022 NBA Draft, he announced Thursday on social media. Timme, a junior, did not specify whether he intends to fully commit to the draft or is merely testing out the process, but he has eligibility remaining and could still return to the Bulldogs program after entering the draft so long as he withdraws by June 13 at 5 p.m. ET.
“The dream has always been to play professionally,” said Timme in part. “After much thought and discussion, I will be putting my name in the NBA Draft.”
Gonzaga has earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament in consecutive tournaments riding Timme as one of its stars. The nasty big man with sweet feet has played three seasons, where he averaged 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He’s coming off a monstrous junior season in which he averaged 18.4 points and 6.8 rebounds playing in a frontcourt next to potential No. 1 pick Chet Holmgren.
Leaving Gonzaga on its face seems like an easy choice for a college star who has accomplished everything but an elusive national championship, but the possibility of a return seems at least plausible for him. He’s the face of one of college basketball’s most successful programs, has endorsement deals with a number of companies and has managed to cash in on new NCAA Name Image and Likeness rules.
His draft prospects may affect this, too. He’s a fabulous college player with good post moves, but it’s unlikely he’s a top-40 pick and it’s possible he’d go undrafted. There’s money to be made professionally outside the NBA, mind you, but it’s not a guarantee he leaves given how famous a college star he…