AUBURN, Ala. — A third Auburn basketball star has put his name into consideration for the 2018 NBA Draft — but Austin Wiley isn’t necessarily done with the Tigers just yet.
Wiley announced Tuesday morning on Twitter that he is declaring for the NBA draft, but he “will not sign with an agent to keep my NCAA eligibility.”
— Austin Wiley (@__Austinwiley50) April 10, 2018
Wiley, a 6-foot-11 center from Birmingham, Ala., sat out the entire 2017-18 SEC championship season for the Tigers due to eligibility issues. Wiley’s family accepted thousands of dollars from an advisor that was set up by former Auburn basketball assistant coach Chuck Person.
“In spite of all that we went through this season, Austin is still in a great position to accomplish all of his goals,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement. “I think as much as any player in the country who is testing the waters, Austin has the greatest chance to move up in the draft. He’s in great physical condition and has worked extremely hard. He will be impressive at the Combine.”
There doesn’t seem to be a consensus with draft experts on Wiley’s stock. Late last month, Reid Forgrave of CBS Sports mocked Wiley to the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 30 overall pick in the first round. Wiley is currently projected as a mid-second round pick by NBADraft.net to the Rockets.
The NCAA declared Wiley ineligible for the entire season but cleared him for the 2018-19 season. Fellow Auburn player Danjel Purifoy sat out as part of the same scandal and was cleared for most of the 2018-19 season.
Wiley was a mid-season enrollee at Auburn in 2017-18, playing the entire SEC schedule. The former high 4-star recruit averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a freshman. He was the captain of the United States’ U-19 World Cup team last summer in Egypt, averaging 10.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
Auburn now has three players currently in the mix for the 2018 NBA Draft — Wiley, small forward Mustapha Heron and point guard Jared Harper. Wiley and Harper don’t plan to sign with an agent, but Heron does.
Bruce Pearl’s roster currently has three open scholarship spots with Heron’s decision, backup point guard Davion Mitchell’s transfer and reserve Patrick Keim’s graduation.