It’s finally official basketball fans: Arizona Wildcats freshman Lauri Markkanen has announced today, he will enter the 2017 NBA Draft.
The announcement comes just one week after the Arizona Wildcats lost in the Sweet 16 to the Xavier Musketeers. Markkanen refused to comment on whether he’d declare following the game. But, now that the freshman has had the time to weigh his decisions, he decided it was best to move forward.
The move contradicts a statement made by Markkanen’s parents early in the season that the family had a two-year plan in Tucson. But the numbers Markkanen put up this season had put the seven-footer from Finland on the radar for a potential lottery pick this year.
Per DraftExpress.com, Markkanen is projected to go eighth overall in the draft. That could put Markkanen’s first-year salary at $2.91 Million with the potential to make an addition $3-4 Million over the next couple years afterwards.
In the 2016-2017 season, Markkanen averaged 15.6 minutes per game and 7.2 rebounds on 30.8 minutes per game.