James Wiseman’s collegiate career is officially over.
The Memphis 7-foot star and potential No. 1 overall draft pick signed with Excel Sports on Friday for his professional representation, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He will now turn his focus completely to preparing for the 2020 draft.
Memphis 7-footer James Wiseman -- a potential No. 1 overall pick -- has signed with @excelsm for his NBA representation, league source tells ESPN. Wiseman will start preparing for the June NBA Draft now.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 27, 2019
Wiseman played in only three games for the Tigers before the NCAA ruled him ineligible after his family reportedly accepted $11,500 from Memphis coach Penny Hardaway in 2017. The NCAA suspended Wiseman for 12 games in November and tried to make him donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice, however Wiseman instead opted to withdraw from the university earlier this month.
The 18-year-old averaged 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in just 23 minutes per game in three contests at Memphis.
Wiseman is widely cosidered to be a lottery pick in the draft in June, and is perhaps the best center in the draft. While teams will not have many opportunities to see him play now with Wiseman having left Memphis, multiple NBA scouts told Yahoo Sports that they don’t see him falling out of the top five.
Whether his decision to leave Memphis early impacts his draft stock significantly or not, however, remains to be seen.
“What’s so surprising is that this kid would bail out now,” an NBA scout whose team is expected to have a lottery pick told Yahoo Sports this month. “Most kids are more competitive than that. That’s scary. Everyone’s not Kobe or MJ, but he’s already got a rep of being soft sometimes. I’m not trying to lose my job over this decision.”
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