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Gonzaga forward Drew Timme has decided to forgo the 2022 NBA draft and return to the Bulldogs for his senior season, according to The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania.
Timme confirmed the news on Twitter.
The 21-year-old initially declared for the draft in April, writing that his “dream has always been to play professionally.” It’s unclear why he decided to change his mind and return to Gonzaga.
Timme averaged 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in his first three seasons with the Bulldogs, shooting 61.9 percent from the field for his college career. But the modern NBA has moved away from centers whose primary value comes from scoring in the post. Even great scorers at the position like Joel Embiid (elite rim-protector) and Nikola Jokic (visionary facilitator) offer other valuable skills.
Given that Timme seemed unlikely ever to develop into a top-notch rim-protector and will be undersized (6’9″) at the position, NBA teams likely wanted to see if he could add a perimeter jumper to his repertoire and operate as a stretch 5 in the modern floor-spacing game.
He gave scouts a hint that such development might be possible in the Friday scrimmage at the NBA combine, hitting four threes in five attempts. That will be his swing skill at the next level—if he can continue to develop it during his senior season at Gonzaga, Timme will offer enough offensively for teams to potentially overlook his defensive deficiencies come 2023.