Sophomore guard Jaden Akins declared for the 2023 NBA Draft via Instagram this afternoon. However, by maintaining his college eligibility, there is still an option for Akins to return to East Lansing next season.
Sophomore guard Jaden Akins declares for 2023 NBA Draft, maintains college eligibility
Akins was an essential piece of Michigan State's starting lineup this season. He averaged just under 10 points, playing 27.9 minutes a game. While Akins didn't illustrate quite the same scoring ability as fellow starters graduate student forward Joey Hauser or senior guard Tyson Walker, his athletic profile made him perhaps the best defender on the team, especially on the perimeter. Oftentimes, Akins would be tasked with the best guard on the opposing team. If he does withdraw his name from the draft, his return will bolster a backcourt that still looks to be one of the best in the Big Ten, if not the country.
He's a hyper-athletic guard that can guard, shoot the three-ball, play stellar defense and fearlessly attack the rim. In short, it's the sort of guard profile that is often sought after in the NBA. Again though, Akins' departure isn't necessarily a sure-thing. By maintaining his college eligibility, he can enter his name into the draft to get a feel for what NBA scouts think of his profile. If Akins isn't happy with what he's hearing, or he's told he needs more development, he can return to Michigan State next season.
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