The 2021 NBA Draft is just weeks away. As the big event approaches, some potential draft prospects are beginning to decide whether they truly want to stay the course or head back to college for another season to boost their draft stock possibly.
Michigan Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson has decided to go the latter route, according to ESPN's Jonathan Givony. Per the report, Dickinson was believed to be a mid-second round pick at this time, which the Wolverines center wasn't exactly thrilled to hear.
"I felt where teams had me going in the draft wasn't where I wanted to be," Dickinson said via ESPN. "I am better than a mid-second round pick, and teams told me if I come back another year they see me as a top 25 guy. I wasn't in a rush to leave college, I really enjoyed my time under Coach [Juwan] Howard, and coming back for another year was always an option."
Dickinson isn't the only player to draft the test waters before ultimately deciding that returning to college could be the best bet for his future. Over the last couple of days, several players made the same decision.
St. John's standout Julian Champaigne decided to withdraw from the draft as he felt a wrist injury held him back from fully showcasing himself to NBA organizations. And like Dickinson, former Coastal Carolina guard Devante' Jones wasn't satisfied to hear he was likely a mid-to-late second-round pick this season. Therefore, he'll return to the NCAA, where he'll transfer to join Dickinson at Michigan.
Unlike Jones, Dickinson doesn't have several years of college experience under his belt. Playing just one season with the Wolverines, Dickinson started in 23 of Michigan's 28 games last year. During his time on the floor, the Freshman center averaged 14 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks.
Getting another year's worth of experience at Michigan could help Dickinson go from a second-round pick to a potential lottery selection, depending on how he does during his Sophomore effort. While going straight to the league at 20-years-old wouldn't have been a bad idea for Dickinson, he'll likely find it more beneficial to give it another year at college before taking his game to the next level.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.