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Report: Virginia’s Justin Anderson entering NBA draft

Justin Anderson

Virginia’s Justin Anderson (1) reacts after being called for a foul against Michigan State during the second half of an NCAA tournament college basketball game in the Round of 32 in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, March 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)


Justin Anderson injured his hand late in Virginia’s season, and he returned just in time to struggle against major competition in the ACC and NCAA tournaments (though he played well against Belmont in the 2-15) matchup.

If Anderson wanted to turn pro, it wasn’t exactly a great jumping-off point from what had otherwise been a strong junior season.

But it seems that won’t stop him.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

University of Virginia junior forward Justin Anderson plans to enter the 2015 NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Anderson is in the process of setting up agent meetings for later this week in Virginia, sources said. As long as he doesn’t formalize an agreement, he could still change course and return for his senior year of college basketball before the underclassman deadline of April 26.


That’s not exactly a denial, though based on Wojnarowski’s wording, I wonder whether Wojnarowski is equating setting up agent meetings with entering the NBA draft. A player can talk to an agent to assess his options – at least without hiring the agent – and not declare for the draft.

If Anderson turns pro, though, he’s mostly considered a borderline first-round pick.

I rate him solidly in the first round, though.

He’s a 6-foot-6 wing with excellent strength and explosiveness. He blocks plenty of shots for his position, and he projects as a strong defender.

He shot 45 percent on 3-pointers last season, up from 29 and 30 percent the previous two years. His free-throw percentage was also up to 78 percent after 72 percent and 76 percent, another indicator Anderson has truly found his stroke.

He fits the 3-and-D mold every team needs, and I see his ceiling as much higher. His on-court intensity is excellent. I’d happily take him in the middle of the first round – if he’s in the draft.