It was announced on Monday by the Michigan Basketball program that junior forward Isaiah Livers has entered his name into the NBA Draft pool. He will go through the evaluation process, while leaving the door open for a potential return to Michigan for his senior season.
Livers released a personal statement on Monday regarding the decision, stating “Following the cancellation of the season, my family and our coaching staff have had several discussions on my future as a basketball player. After much reflection and prayer, I have decided to enter my name into the 2020 NBA Draft and start the full evaluation process. The University of Michigan has done so much for me and helped me get to a position where I might be able to reach my goal of playing professional basketball. While this is only the start of the evaluation, I have appreciated your encouragement and will continue to need it as this process moves on.”
The 2019-2020 season was shaping up to be a breakout campaign for the junior forward before a couple of injuries derailed him for 10 games during the Big Ten season.
In 21 games this season, Livers averaged 12.9 ppg, while shooting 40% from deep and 95% from the free-throw line. Not just thought of as Michigan’s best shooter, Livers is a versatile defender who can guard every position. He was the best player out on the floor and Michigan was at their best when he was healthy.
First year Michigan Basketball head coach Juwan Howard released his own comments on the decision, saying “We know Isaiah has had the desire to reach the next level of playing professional basketball and going through the NBA Draft process will give him the information he is looking for to make the proper decision. Even with everything going on with COVID-19, myself, and our staff, will continue to work closely with Isaiah and his family to gain as much information as possible in the weeks ahead before he reaches his final decision.”
Just in recent years, the rules surrounding early entry to the NBA Draft have changed. The new set of rules will allow Livers to hire an NCAA approved agent with the possibility of a return to Michigan. The next few steps for the junior would be participating in individual and team workouts as well as the NBA combine, if invited.
This year’s combine is scheduled to take place in Chicago from May 21-24. The NCAA gives participants 10 days to decide to either stay in the draft or return to school.
Following the completion of the combine, Livers would have until June 3 to make his decision regarding his future. The coronavirus pandemic has placed the NBA season on hold, placing these current dates in flux.
Livers’ potential departure adds to the list of unavoidable attrition for Michigan’s Basketball roster this offseason. With a 2020 recruiting class that features five freshmen as well as nine returning scholarship players, Michigan is currently one over the 13 allotted scholarships.
The Wolverines could potentially add a sixth recruit to their already outstanding class with five star guard Josh Christopher. Howard has also reached out to two Ivy League point guard transfers in the past week. Howard’s pursuit is a definite sign that there will be more turnover down the road.