A day after learning that Rick Barnes wasn’t heading west to UCLA, the Tennessee Vols learned that star forward Grant Williams will “test the waters” in regards to the NBA Draft. He’s not closing the door on a return to UT.
Grant Williams announces he's going to "test the waters" and enter the NBA Draft process but won't close the possibility of returning next season.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) April 9, 2019
Williams will hire an agent to help him navigate the process, which is something new draft rules allows.
The decision is far from a surprise. Williams, who made the announcement during a press conference on Tennessee’s campus on Tuesday morning, is coming off back-to-back SEC player of the year awards. His draft stock will likely never be higher than it is right now, but he’s still not a lock to be a high draft pick.
In three seasons at Tennessee, Williams saw his numbers steadily improve each season. He went from averaging 12.6 points per game as a freshman to 18.8 points per game as a junior this past season. Williams also averaged 7.5 rebounds per game in his final season on Rocky Top.
Williams was a big reason why Tennessee basketball turned a corner over the past two seasons. His impact on the program will be felt for a long time (and there’s a strong case that his jersey should be retired).
ESPN, Bleacher Report, NBC Sports and The Athletic have Williams being selected in the first round of the upcoming NBA Draft (anywhere from pick 17 to the end of the first round).
Some publications, including Sports Illustrated, have Williams going in the second round.
The Charlotte, NC native has until to May 29 to withdraw his name from the draft if he wants to retain his NCAA eligibility.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports