On Tuesday night, after the writing pretty much being on the wall from experts and even Rick Barnes, himself, Tennessee junior point guard Jordan Bone officially announced that he would be remaining in the NBA Draft process, effectively putting an end to his college career.
Bone made his announcement through a video released on his social media accounts:
Bone’s announcement comes on the heels of his performance in the 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Combine in Chicago earlier in the month, where he put up very impressive numbers:
3/4 court sprint:
-Jordan Bone: 3.03 seconds
-Derrick Rose: 3.05 seconds
-Russell Westbrook: 3.08 seconds
-Jordan Bone: 42.5 inches
-Derrick Rose: 40 inches
-Russell Westbrook: 36.5 inches
— Louis Fernandez Jr (@LouisWBIR) May 16, 2019
Where will he go?
Bone clearly impressed pundits and scouts with his workouts in Chicago, putting him on the radar of most NBA teams. The Nashville native now joins former teammates Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield as Vols who should expect to have their names called in the NBA Draft on June 20 in Brooklyn.
After Bone’s initial decision to test out the NBA Draft waters in April after the conclusion of Tennessee’s NCAA Tournament run, there were essentially no mock drafts which had Bone being drafted at all. This led to some speculating that he may try to earn an NBA contract via the G League or trying his luck overseas.
However, some of this has changed following what he did in the scouting combine. Here are some of the latest mock drafts that are projecting Bone to be picked during the Draft:
Sports Illustrated (Jeremy Woo, 4/9) – 2nd round, 55th overall: Los Angeles Clippers (via Portland Trail Blazers)
Sports Illustrated (Woo, 5/14) – 2nd round, 57th overall: New Orleans Pelicans (via Denver Nuggets)
Sports Illustrated (Woo, 5/20) – 2nd round, 59th overall: Toronto Raptors
So, it’s really just Woo of SI who really has Bone being taken late in the second and final round of the Draft, however expect to see some more boards with Bone’s name on it in the coming weeks as the 20th approaches.
Bone had a breakout season for the Vols, averaging 13.5 PPG, 5.8 APG and 3.2 RPG, while showcasing elite quickness and athleticism. That, alone, could be enough for a franchise to take him with its final pick.
Can he return to school if he goes undrafted?
Some fans have brought this up in the scenario that Bone does not get selected in Brooklyn, but May 29 is the deadline to withdraw your name from the Draft. A lot of confusion about this process is based on a rule change that is still pending, as this piece from mlive.com clarifies:
As the NCAA states: “This change is effective if/when the NBA and NBPA make an expected rule change, which would make undrafted student-athletes who return to college after the draft ineligible for the NBA until the end of the next college basketball season.”
An NCAA spokesperson confirmed that a player must withdraw his name from the draft on May 29 and therefore could not wait for the result of the actual draft. The post-draft rule change is not yet effective.
“If the NBA/NBPA changes the rule that allows for someone who was in the draft but undrafted to be ‘called up’ at any point in the following year, the NCAA members may allow student-athletes to return if they go undrafted in June,” the spokesperson said.
In other words, if the NCAA were to adopt the post-draft rule, given the current NBA rules, nothing would stop a player from leaving school in the middle of the following season to join an NBA team. The NCAA, as stated above, would require the player to finish the college basketball season and re-enter the draft the following year.
So, call it a career for Bone when it comes to being a Tennessee Vol. We will miss you, but we will always have highlights such as these to fondly look back upon: