Arizona point guard James Akinjo has declared for the 2021 NBA Draft but may still return to the Wildcats next season, he announced Wednesday.
“I look forward to going through the pre-draft process, gathering information and making the best decision for me and my family,” Akinjo said in a statement. “Coming to University of Arizona to play basketball has been one of the best decisions of my life. Coach Miller, the coaching staff and my teammates have supported me and pushed me to achieve my goals from day one. They have helped me be successful on and off the court and every one of them is like family to me.”
Akinjo was an All-Pac-12 First-Teamer in his first season with the Wildcats after transferring in from Georgetown. The junior started in all 26 games and averaged career highs in points (15.6), assists (5.4), field goal percentage (.380) and 3-point percentage (.408).
Akinjo is not projected to be drafted, but nowadays that is not a hindrance to players forgoing their college eligibility. Him leaving would obviously be a big loss for the Wildcats, who have seen Jemarl Baker Jr. and Terrell Brown Jr. enter the transfer portal. (Brown has since committed to Washington.)
The 2021 NBA Draft is set for July 29 and the deadline for early-entrants to withdraw is July 19, though the NCAA is expected to set its own date. The NBA Draft Combine is scheduled for June 21 through June 27.