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San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn enters NBA draft


PROVO, UT - NOVEMBER 09: San Diego State Aztecs guard Malachi Flynn (22) during a game between a game between the San Diego State Aztecs and the BYU Cougars on November 09, 2019, at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Malachi Flynn will be entering the NBA draft and giving up his final season of eligibility.

The San Diego State point guard, who averaged 17.6 points and 5.1 assists while leading the Aztecs to a Mountain West title and a 30-2 season, told ESPN that “it was a tough decision deciding to declare. One of the biggest things that had me wanting to come back was not playing in March Madness.

“I talked to a lot of people about it, especially my family. My coaches were on board with me going all-in and trying to make a name for myself at the next level, which helped me out a lot. I think I showed teams enough, and it was time to make that step and move forward to the NBA.”

Preseason Top 25 | Mock Draft | Early Entry Tracker

Flynn is in a tough spot. On the one hand, he just finished his fourth season in college by having an All-American campaign while leading the Aztecs to a 30-2 record and the brink of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. He turns 22 in May. It makes sense for him to leave now, striking while the iron is hot.

But just how hot is that iron, so to speak? Flynn is a plus-shooter that shines in ball-screens and thrived in an offense that was built entirely around his ability to do those two things. But he’s 6-foot-1, somewhat limited physically and a borderline first round pick at best.

At this point, I think that he is what he is as a player — a career NBA backup with a chance to get a couple of contracts in the league doing just that -- and, for Malachi Flynn, entering the NBA draft is probably the right decision.

Losing Flynn is a massive blow for the Aztecs, who will go from being a top ten team in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25 to outside of the top 25.