For the second year in a row, Kaleb Wesson will enter the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound big man who recently wrapped up his junior season at Ohio State plans to put his name in the 2020 NBA Draft, he announced on Wednesday.
In the announcement, Wesson said he plans to sign with an agent, though he's able to do so while also maintaining his college eligibility. He must decide whether or not to remain in school by June 3.
Wesson went through the pre-draft process last year, taking workouts with the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, but he ultimately chose to stay in school.
Though he's not guaranteed to get selected by an NBA team on June 25, he put himself in a much better position to reach his ultimate goal of earning a roster spot in the NBA by dropping 34 pounds in the offseason, improving his stamina, diversifying his offensive game, putting together a notably improved season-long defensive output and cutting his foul rate to a career low.
During the 2019-20 season, he averaged 14 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 29.5 minutes per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and a team-high 42.5 percent from behind the 3-point line. His efficiency near the rim dropped, leading to a career-low 2-point percentage as a junior, but he compensated by putting forth his best season by far from beyond the arc, shooting more than three triples per game.
Wesson is largely viewed as a second-round prospect. He's No. 47 in The Athletic's rankings and No. 54 on ESPN's big board. The Athletic's mock draft has him getting picked No. 49 overall by the Golden State Warriors, and ESPN predicted he'd go at No. 35 to the New York Knicks.
As a projected second-round pick, the possibility exists that he'll go undrafted in June. But as of now, he's a heck of a lot closer to reaching the NBA compared to last year, when he thought his draft stock would have forced him to play in another league – possibly in Europe – if he wanted to professionally.
“People were telling me overseas that I have a buzz over there,” Wesson said in June. “I mean, I can go over there and make money, but there's millions of dollars on the table and I have still have time to make that money at the biggest spotlight I can, so why not do that.”
At the time, Wesson understood he didn't “really have any draft stock.” He no longer has to say those words.
With an improved physique, diversified offensive game and better defensive output, Wesson can now see a path to an NBA career potentially beginning as soon as next season.