Colorado Buffaloes star guard Spencer Dinwiddie announced Thursday that he will forgo his senior season in Boulder and enter the 2014 NBA draft.
BuffZone.com's Brian Howell reported the news:
Dinwiddie tore his ACL in January in the midst of leading Colorado to a strong season, but he isn't short on confidence despite what's heralded as an extremely talented pool of prospective draftees. Pac-12 Networks host Michael Yam documented Dinwiddie's bold proclamation amid Thursday's announcement:
Perhaps that argument could be made if Dinwiddie were healthy, but he still has a ways to go before he returns to 100 percent and is able to contribute in the pros. Before he got hurt, Dinwiddie should have been considered a first-round prospect.
ESPN draft expert Chad Ford feels that he's still on the edge of Round 1:
Hmm … bubble first rounder RT @GoodmanESPN: Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie officially announces he's headed to the NBA Draft.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) April 24, 2014
Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Eisenberg weighed in on Dinwiddie's stock, implying that he was facing an uphill battle regardless of his decision about whether to go pro:
Dinwiddie was taking a risk no matter what he chose. Likely has to play his way into the NBA as second-round pick coming off ACL tear now.— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) April 24, 2014
Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reported several weeks ago that Dinwiddie was leaning toward leaving the Buffaloes, citing multiple sources in the know. Goodman also talked to one NBA general manager who felt that Dinwiddie could bounce back from his injury without much issue.
"I don't think his stock changes," said the general manager. "Guys come back from torn ACLs all the time -- and it's not as if he was super-athletic."
Where should Spencer Dinwiddie be drafted?
A strong 2012-13 campaign saw Dinwiddie average 14.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals per contest. That is an indication of how strong his all-around game is. At 6'6" and 200 pounds, he could stand to add more bulk to his frame, but he has the size and skills to play either guard position, though he primarily ran the point in college.
In addition to being a capable distributor, Dinwiddie can fill it up from all areas of the court, evident by his sharp 41.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The problem he might have in the NBA is getting to the bucket, since he doesn't possess elite athleticism and leaping ability.
But Dinwiddie was able to carve out a productive career at Colorado with a limited supporting cast and against strong competition. He's crafty, deceptively quick and should be able to get his own shot in the Association as well as create opportunities for others.
If his health checks out, his confidence remains high and he can make even modest improvements to all facets of his game, there's a good chance Dinwiddie will reward a team for taking a flier on him and become one of the steals of the upcoming draft.