Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr. is declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft after one season with the Razorbacks

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Nick Smith Jr. pic

Head coach Eric Musselman and the Arkansas Razorbacks took down #1 Kansas in the round of 32 in this year’s March Madness tournament. The season ended early for Arkansas when they took a tough loss to UConn in the Sweet 16. After one season with Arkansas, Nick Smith Jr. announced on his social media today that he’s declaring for the 2023 NBA draft. 

A right knee injury held Smith Jr. to just 17 games but he made 14 starts this season. Despite that, he’s still projected to be a lottery pick in the upcoming draft after his strong season when he was healthy. He returned on 2/11 for the Razorbacks and played in their final 12 games.

His elite athleticism and ability to score in the paint is a premium that not all guards are able to do in the NBA. Smith Jr. offers a six-foot-five frame and is versatile on both sides of the ball.

Nick Smith Jr. is declaring for the 2023 NBA draft

In 17 games played for the Razorbacks this season Smith Jr. averaged (12.5) points, (1.6) rebounds, and (1.7) assists per game. He had a much stronger second half of the season when he played their final 12 games in a row. Smith Jr. averaged (18.1) points, (2.6) assists, (2.1) rebounds, and (1.4) over that stretch.

He shot (.375) percent from deep and was taking (5.7) threes per game. His one flaw coming out of college is that he needs to improve on his defensive skills. Smith Jr. still has a ton of potential to develop in the pros and could be a solid addition to any team that drafts him.

Smith Jr. was a McDonald’s All-American last year and had a lot of potential coming to Arkansas. However, his right knee injury kept him sidelined for an extensive period of time. He missed 13 games in a row but will be ready for his next journey in the NBA.