Nick Ward Declares for 2019 NBA Draft After 3 Seasons at Michigan St.

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 19, 2019

Michigan State forward Nick Ward speaks during an NCAA men's college basketball news conference in Washington, Saturday, March 30, 2019. Michigan State plays Duke in the East Regional final game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Nick Ward is ending his three-year run at Michigan State by declaring for the 2019 NBA draft. 

The Spartans junior announced on Instagram he was forgoing his final year of eligibility to turn pro:

"First off I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity. These last 3 seasons at Michigan State have been incredible for me. I have been able to become not only a better basketball player but also a better man. I want to thank Coach Izzo and the entire coaching staff for believing in me and pushing me to be better everyday. I want to thank all the fans for the love and support and I also want to thank my teammates for helping me each and everyday. After consulting with the coaching Staff and my family I have decided to take the next step to pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA by declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft. I have also hired an agent. Thank Spartan nation for everything. I will forever be a spartan!"

There is some good news for Michigan State heading into next season. Cassius Winston, who was named Big Ten Player of the Year in 2018-19, announced Friday he will return to school, per Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News.

Ward has been a steady presence at Michigan State since he arrived on campus in 2016. The Ohio native averaged at least 12.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in each of his three seasons, and he led the team with a 59.2 field-goal percentage as a freshman in 2016-17.

B/R's Jonathan Wasserman didn't have Ward ranked among the top 75 prospects in this year's class on his most recent big board. 

Ward previously put his name in the NBA draft pool last year but opted to return to school after going through predraft workouts. He could do the same this year, as he has until May 29 to remove his name from the pool and sever ties with his agent.

On the heels of averaging 12.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season, Ward was named to the All-Big Ten third team.

Ward was limited down the stretch after fracturing his left hand during a Feb. 17 game against Ohio State. He didn't play more than 20 minutes in eight games upon returning to the lineup on March 15. 

Related

    NBA GM Survey Results Revealed

    Survey polling GMs on return-to-play formats revealed 75% voted for a play-in games, 25% voted for group stage

    NBA logo
    NBA

    NBA GM Survey Results Revealed

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Every NBA Team's Biggest Mistake

    @GregSwartz goes back and looks at every team's worst move in the last 20 years

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Every NBA Team's Biggest Mistake

    Greg Swartz
    via Bleacher Report

    Dame Calls Out Former NFL QB

    Lillard tells Dan Orlovsky 'Mf watch yo mouth' after he said Dame came off as 'entitled' for comments on not playing

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Dame Calls Out Former NFL QB

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Riskiest NBA Draft Prospects 👀

    Our draft expert @Jonwass picks five top prospects that teams in the lottery may want to avoid ⬇️

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Riskiest NBA Draft Prospects 👀

    Jonathan Wasserman
    via Bleacher Report