In the age of looser restrictions on players wanting to gauge professional interest, sometimes surprising names are reported to declare for the NBA draft. Today was one of those days, as Fox Sports’ Evan Daniels reported that sophomore forward Brendan Bailey is declaring. The Marquette sophomore also posted a notice on Instagram.
The wording of that tweet as well as the Instagram post is loaded with implication that Bailey is intending on getting as much feedback as possible to make a future professional career likelier. Brendan clearly has the physical tools that can make him a capable pro prospect, so any acceleration of that process should be expected and desired.
Bailey averaged 7.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game for Marquette in 2019-20. After shooting just 25% from behind the three-point line as a freshman, the Utah native cashed in 38% of his attempts in his sophomore campaign. He did that on twice as many attempts per game, which is a pretty good way to go about raising your shooting percentage by 13 points. At 6’8”, Bailey has the potential to create mismatches on both ends of the court, and if he can connect on threes at that rate, you can see why NBA front offices might be interested in what he can do.
I wouldn’t anticipate much to come from this process, though. Maybe you guys have heard, but there’s a global coronavirus pandemic going on right now that’s affecting how NBA scouts are able to look at players who are already on their draft board. No matter if the NBA Draft happens in June as scheduled or if it delayed eventually, things are going to be very weird, and that’s for guaranteed lottery guys like Obi Toppin and James Wiseman. NBA scouts willing to dedicate research time to a 22 year old secondary member of a fringe NCAA tournament team might be hard to come by. Still, Bailey is risking absolutely nothing in doing this, so more power to him if he finds a front office willing to convince him to jump ship and fully enter the draft process.