Arizona Wildcats' star freshman guard/forward Allonzo Trier is "likely" to enter the 2016 NBA Draft, according to a recent report from DraftExpress.com.
Trier "is hoping to show enough in the NCAA Tournament to convince scouts he's worthy of being one and done," the report states.
Trier choosing to declare for the NBA Draft after just one season at Arizona could hardly be considered a surprise. The former McDonald's All-American was a top prospect coming out of high school and has continually improved since arriving at Arizona.
He got off to a relatively slow start, and suffered a broken hand at the start of Pac-12 Conference play, but he has arguably become Arizona's best and most consistent scorer, averaging 15 points per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point land.
The new early-entry rules also make Trier's decision to declare more likely since they allow players to attend the NBA combine and go through one team workout before making their decision. In other words, Trier could declare and get plenty of feedback from NBA teams before making his final decision.
As far as how Trier projects to the NBA game, his considerable strength at his height along with a smooth shooting stroke, crafty finishing ability, and good ball-handling skills leave no doubt that he has the talent to one day be a quality NBA player. That said he'll have to make major strides on the defensive end and improve his floor game before he would be ready to make an impact. But, given that he would be entering the NBA at age 20, he'd have plenty of time to improve those aspects of his game.
As it stands now, Trier is currently projected to be drafted 35th overall (just outside the first round) in the 2017 NBA Draft, and I imagine his projection would be similar in the 2016 NBA Draft if he decides to enter it. Either way, it appears to be a matter of "when and where" he'd get drafted, not "if".
And if you're skeptical about the legitimacy of the report, it's worth noting that DraftExpress broke the news of Kaleb Tarczewski returning for his senior season, and is widely considered to be a reputable source around the industry.
Still, Trier has until May 25 to make a final decision, and obviously a lot can change between now and then.
In the meantime, Trier and the Wildcats will start NCAA Tournament play on Thursday against the winner of the Wichita State-Vanderbilt play-in game.