Georgia head coach Tom Crean instructs Nicolas Claxton during a game earlier this season. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia sophomore Nicolas Claxton declares for NBA Draft

One of Georgia’s lone bright spots from the 2018 basketball season was the improvement of sophomore forward Nicolas Claxton. And Claxton made such a jump, that he declared for the 2019 NBA Draft on Friday.

As a sophomore, Claxton led the team in points (13), rebounds (8.6) and blocks (1.8). The 6-foot-11 standout announced the news on Twitter:

“First, I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity and blessing me to be in this position. I want to thank my family, coaches, and trainers for always believing in me and pushing me to be the best player and person that I can be. I want to thank Dawgnation for welcoming me with open arms. No matter what, I will always be a Georgia Bulldog for life. With that being said, I will be entering my name in the 2019 NBA Draft.”


Coach Tom Crean said in a statement issued via Twitter: “Nic has done a very good job of staying in the present while getting feedback and exploring his options for the future. The maturity of staying focused is impressive. We will continue to help, solicit feedback and be insightful and supportive through everything.”


ESPN rates Claxton as the No. 40 overall prospect in the 2019 NBA Draft. A strong pre-draft process could vault him into the first round of the draft.

Claxton has until May 30 to decide if he wants to remain in this year’s draft.

Should Claxton decide to return to Georgia, he would likely be joining a much-improved roster. The Bulldogs brought in the No. 7 signing class for the 2019 recruiting cycle. The recruiting haul is headlined by the nation’s No. 2 overall player, Anthony Edwards.

The NBA Draft will be held Thursday, June 20.

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