BYU sophomore forward Yoeli Childs announced Tuesday afternoon that he will declare for the 2018 NBA draft, but still maintain his college eligibility by not hiring an agent. The deadline to to withdraw from June’s NBA Draft while maintaining NCAA eligibility is May 30.
BYU fans will surely have flashbacks to Eric Mika, who declared for the draft last year and didn’t hire an agent before ultimately deciding to go pro. Mika’s situation is a bit different, however, in that he was two years older than Yoeli at the same point in their careers, and Eric and his wife both served their missions in Italy, where Eric is now playing.
Before Mika, guys such as Jimmer Fredette, Jonathan Tavernari and Lee Cummard all tested declared for the NBA Draft after their junior years before deciding to return to BYU.
According to Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune, “Childs has said that if he believes he will be taken before midway through the second round he will stay in the draft.” As of now, no major draft site has Childs being one of the 60 guys selected.
For Childs, the chance to work out in front of NBA teams will allow NBA scouts and front offices to become familiar with him. He also will get the chance to receive feedback for how he can better prepare himself for the NBA. If a team falls in love with him and promises to draft him, Yoeli may decide to bolt.
My best guess is that Yoeli goes through the process and ultimately decides to return to BYU for the 2018-2019 season. With most draft pundits currently not having him in the top 60 picks, and Yoeli would have a ways to go to work his up to the top 45 picks. But hey, it only takes one team to fall in love with you.
Either way, best of luck to Yoeli as he goes through the NBA Draft process!