Barring a late change of heart, Michigan State forward Miles Bridges, a projected lottery pick in the 2017 NBA draft, plans to return for his sophomore season, sources told The Vertical.
Despite coach Tom Izzo, family and even Spartans NBA alumni and professional agents encouraging him to leave, Bridges is telling everyone that it’s his intention to bypass the draft, sources told The Vertical.
Nevertheless, Bridges could take through the weekend to finalize his decision, sources said.
Bridges’ status holds significant impact to the NBA draft and college basketball’s balance of power next season.
The decisions of Bridges, who is 6-foot-6, and Texas A&M freshman forward Robert Williams to stay in school dilute what many had believed was one of the deepest draft classes in the past decade.
Bridges feels the necessity for another year of college preparation at small forward, a spot he’ll play significant minutes next season under Izzo, sources said. Izzo has been supportive of Bridges entering the draft based largely on his status as a lottery pick.
The Vertical and DraftExpress have Bridges projected as the No. 11 overall pick in their most recent mock draft.
The return of Bridges to Michigan States solidifies the Spartans as a top-five preseason team. Bridges averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a freshman for the Spartans.