FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas junior guards Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford will enter to the 2017 NBA Draft.
Neither player will hire an agent, however. That allows them to return to Arkansas if they remove themselves from the draft before June 12. The draft itself is June 22.
Macon and Barford spent 1 season with the Razorbacks after transferring from Holmes Community College in Mississippi and Motlow State Community College in Tennessee, respectively. Macon was second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.4 points per game. Barford was third with 12.8 points per game.
“My ultimate goal is to play at the next level and this is an opportunity to see where I stand and get feedback from NBA teams,” Macon said in a release from the school.
— Daryl Macon (@YoD4__) April 15, 2017
No NBA draft projection websites have either player among the top-50 junior prospects for the draft.
Their circumstance is similar to that of Moses Kingsley this time last year. Kingsley entered the draft and didn’t hire an agent. Shortly after he didn’t receive an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine, he decided to return to Arkansas. Kingsley was named Preseason SEC Player of the Year for 2016-17. He also helped Arkansas reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
This year’s NBA Draft Combine is May 9-14 in Chicago.
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said in a statement:
“The new rule for the NBA draft provides a great opportunity for these guys to workout with NBA teams and get the necessary feedback to make an informed decision. Daryl and Jaylen had productive years for us and we will support them every step of the way through this process.”
The NBA is not the only option for either player. Macon or Barford would also consider a professional basketball career overseas, according to a source. That, probably, would be the most likely landing destination — or the D-League — if either player decided to stay in the draft.
What it means
Losing Macon and Barford would create a void for Arkansas for the 2017-18 season. Anderson already will be without Kingsley and leading scorer Dusty Hannahs. If Macon and Barford join those 2 and also-exiting senior Manny Watkins, the Razorbacks will lose 74 percent of its scoring from this season.
A potential depth chart would look like this.
The leading returning scorer would be Beard at 7.2 points per game. Daniel Gafford, Darious Hall and Khalil Garland are incoming freshmen. Adrio Bailey and CJ Jones averaged 7.4 and 6.0 minutes per game, respectively, as freshmen in 2016-17.
Two years ago Arkansas lost its best players early to the NBA draft — Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls. The Razorbacks finished .500 in the 2015-16 season — 16-16 overall, 9-9 in the SEC.