Michigan Star Tim Hardaway Jr. Will Declare for NBA Draft

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2013

Tim Hardaway, Jr. announced on Wednesday that he has decided to forgo his senior season at Michigan and declare for the 2013 NBA draft.

Per Hardaway's announcement on the Wolverines website:

"After talking it over with my family, the coaching staff, and others in my support system, I have decided to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA," said Hardaway. "I have appreciated everyone's support and patience while I made this decision. It has always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA and I feel that I am ready to work toward this dream.

"There will be challenges ahead, but I am looking forward to what the future holds. I know with what I have learned about being a Michigan Man, I will be more than ready for this next phase in my life. This has been the greatest experience playing at Michigan and something I will never forget.

"I cannot thank Coach (John) Beilein, the coaching staff, my teammates, the basketball support staff, and the U-M administration enough for the opportunity they provided me to play at Michigan and the support they gave me along the way. More importantly, I want to thank the Wolverine nation. The positive support they have shown me and this program cannot be measured."


Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo first reported the news of the junior's decision:

The shooting guard is the son of the former NBA player of the same name who spent parts of 13 seasons in the NBA. He scored over 15,000 points in his career, mostly with the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors.

His son has also turned himself into quite a prospect and was a major factor in the Wolverines' run to the national championship game earlier in the month. Hardaway Jr. finished second on the team with an average of 14.5 points per game, making 37.4 percent of his shots from three-point range.

This was a huge jump from last season, when he only hit 28.3 percent of shots from deep.

In addition to his shooting talents, the 6'6" player often showed great athleticism at both ends of the court and an ability to finish at or above the rim if given space.

Unfortunately, he often forced shots, even with numerous talented teammates on the floor. This was exemplified in the NCAA tournament, when he made only 37.7 percent of his shots from the floor. He finished the year hitting only four of his final 19 shots from behind the arc.

Between this lack of efficiency and a less-than-stellar ball-handling ability, Hardaway is unlikely to be drafted until the second round if at all.

According to ESPN draft expert Chad Ford (subscription required), the junior is the No. 52 prospect in the 2013 class and the No. 14 shooting guard.

However, teammate Trey Burke has already declared for the draft (via Michael Rothstein of ESPN), and Hardaway is unlikely to see his stock rise any higher than it is now.

This move will make Michigan relatively barren heading into next season as it loses some of its best players from the previous year. It will be up to coach John Beilein to reload with talent to get back to the top of the college basketball world.