In a blow to the Wake Forest Men’s Basketball Team, freshman forward Bobi Klintman will allegedly not be returning to Wake next season.
Sources: Bobi Klintman has pulled out of the NBA Draft Combine. Klintman has also recently informed Wake Forest that he is not returning to college.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 15, 2023
Klintman is currently ranked 15th on my big board in The Ringer’s NBA Draft Guide. pic.twitter.com/x7NFbTyJeh
The news comes ahead of the NBA combine, taking place this week, and the deadline for the early entrants to withdraw from the NBA Draft in order to maintain their eligibility, which is May 31st.
Klintman averaged just 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season, but the NBA draft is all about potential—and it’s pretty clear to anyone who watched the Deacs this season that Klintman has that in spades. Towards the end of the year, Klintman was really coming into his own and stepped up when the Deacs needed it, improving his averages to 9.6 points and 9.8 rebounds over the final 5 games of the season. That stretch of games probably has a lot to do with his decision to forego his college eligibility.
By both remaining in the draft and withdrawing from the NBA combine, it is a possibility that Klintman has been informed by a team of their interest in drafting him. It is also possible that he believes he has more to lose than gain by the increased exposure the draft combine would bring to him. Either way, it’s not difficult to see what NBA scouts would like about a 6-10 wing player who can easily develop into a matchup nightmare at the next level.
I’m excited to see what Klintman can do in the NBA, but also a little disappointed that we won’t get to see him develop into an All-ACC caliber player next season. I won’t say it's a good thing for the program when players leave early for the draft, but it does mean that the level of talent at Wake Forest has increased significantly under Steve Forbes. The Deacs have a chance to have 1st round picks in back-to-back NBA drafts, which hasn’t happened since Jeff Teague and James Johnson were taken in 2009 and Al-Farouq Aminu was taken in 2010.
Good luck to Bobi and Go Deacs!