Florida freshman PG Andrew Nembhard enters name in 2019 NBA Draft

By Adam Silverstein
April 12, 2019
Florida freshman PG Andrew Nembhard enters name in 2019 NBA Draft
Basketball

Image Credit: UAA Communications

Point guard Andrew Nembhard, coming off a stellar SEC All-Freshman season with the Florida Gators, announced Friday that he has entered his name in the 2019 NBA Draft. In a statement posted to Twitter, Nembhard explained that he was taking advantage of NCAA rules that allow players to be evaluated but give them the opportunity to remain in college if they so choose.

“Today, I informed Coach [Mike] White that I wish to take advantage of the new NCAA rules and enter my name into the 2019 NBA Draft. Playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine and I know I have a unique opportunity to fulfill this dream,” Nembhard wrote. “I plan to take this process seriously and ultimately evaluate what is best for me, my family, and my long term goals as a basketball player. With that being said, I appreciate your ongoing support and Go Gators!”

Though Nembhard improved as the 2018-19 season went on and started every game for UF, the freshman floor general averaged 8.0 points and 5.4 assists, shooting 41.4 percent from the field. He had a coming out party in the 2019 SEC Tournament with 20 points and six dimes in a win over a ranked LSU team, but he also had four turnovers in each of Florida’s final two losses of the season. He finished the season with 196 assists, fourth-most for a single season in program history.

Simply put, it is unlikely Nembhard remains in the draft past the May 29 deadline for withdrawal unless he receives a stellar evaluation that puts him as a late first-round choice or early second-round selection with the ability to negotiate for a guaranteed contract. Should Nembhard remove his name from the pool, he will retain his NCAA eligibility with three years remaining.

Florida has already lost three starters to graduation and three other scholarship players to transfer since the end of the 2018-19 season. The Gators do have a tremendous recruiting class on the way in, and it would likely be a boon for Nembhard to play with some of those incoming players next season as a means of boosting his stock. Losing Nembhard to the NBA would not be crushing to Florida, but it would be a major step back as he is expected to be a cornerstone for the 2019-20 squad.

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