In a surprise to say the least, Ohio State center Trevor Thompson will take advantage of the new NBA Draft rules and make himself eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft, but not hire an agent in order to preserve his amateur status and allow him to return to OSU next season.
There are no mock drafts anywhere that project Thompson to even be a second round pick.
The NCAA announced a rule change this past January that allowed prospective underclassmen college basketball players to wade into the NBA Draft waters without outright losing their ability to return to school. Underclassmen are able to attend the NBA Combine and participate in one private workout with each of the 30 NBA teams. They have until May 25, or 10 days after the 2016 NBA Draft Combine, to withdraw from the draft and still be eligible to play college basketball.
Though Thompson has just about nothing to lose if he follows the NCAA's guidelines and restrictions, it would be the upset of the century were he to stay in this year's draft. Even if an NBA team fell in love with a workout, giving the hundreds, if not thousands, of players who will prematurely make themselves eligible under this year's new rules, workouts are going to be at an all time finite status. And given the sheer amount of players putting their names out there and traveling to workouts and the like, competition will be as stiff as ever too.
Thompson averaged just 6.5 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, and .2 assists per contest this past season for OSU. While he was unquestionably the Buckeyes' starter at center, he wasn't even honorable mention All-Big Ten. It'll be interesting to see if players like Thompson prematurely declaring for the draft will lead to the NBA changing the rules on their end when their collective bargaining agreement expires in a few years to try and more streamline the process.