ATHENS — Georgia forward Nicolas Claxton will unveil his NBA draft decision today.
As of Tuesday morning that decision had not been reached, according to Charles Claxton, his father.
“We’re still talking about it,” the senior Claxton said as he made his son an omelette late this morning at the family home in Greenville, S.C. “We’ll have an announcement to make later this afternoon.”
The NCAA’s declaration deadline for underclassmen is midnight tomorrow, or May 29. The NBA sets its own deadline for underclassmen as June 10. The draft is June 20 in New York.
Georgia coach Tom Crean, in Destin for the SEC Spring Meetings, confirmed that Claxton’s decision was imminent, but did not hint as to the outcome.
“He has a great family and support system,” Crean said. “No matter what happens, you support it, and you move forward.”
Claxton, a 6-foot-11 sophomore forward, led Georgia in scoring (13.0 ppg), rebounding (8.6 rpg), blocks (81) and steals (34) and finished second on the team in assists (58). Likewise, Claxton notched team-high efforts for double-digit scoring performances (21), double-figure rebounding counts (12) and double-doubles (eight).
Claxton was the only Bulldog to start every game last season. He was named second-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches and was on the SEC Academic Honor Roll for two straight seasons.
Claxton is the son of former Georgia star and NBA player Charles Claxton, who has served as primary adviser throughout this two-month process. Charles Claxton wasn’t wishy-washy about the families’ criteria for its decision. Nic Claxton would need to be assured he would be taken in the first round, otherwise “we’re coming back for the ‘Revenge Tour.'”
Crean seems well prepared for a potential departure by Claxton. Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class that has been ranked as high as No. 5 nationally (by ESPN) and carries an average rating of No. 9 at this point.
It includes five of the nation’s top-100 prep prospects: Anthony Edwards, who is ranked No. 1 or No. 2 by virtually every scouting service; Christian Brown, who is listed at No. 60 nationally by ESPN.com; Jaykwon Walton, who is rated No. 67 by ESPN.com; Sahvir Wheeler, who is listed at No. 76 by ESPN.com; and Toumani Camara, a who has been tabbed No. 96 by ESPN.com and the 247Sports.com composite rankings. Georgia also has 6-2 guard Donnell Graham of Northeastern University coming in as a graduate transfer.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs have continued to recruit big men in anticipation of Claxton’s eventual departure. Rodney Howard, a 6-10 forward from Roswell, has named UGA and Tech as his finalists in a recruitment that is expected to conclude soon. Howard actually signed with Ole Miss out of high school but has requested that it be rescinded.