Aaron Henry declares for NBA Draft but could return to Michigan State

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Xavier Tillman won’t be the only Michigan State player testing the NBA Draft waters.

Aaron Henry entered his name into the pool of draft early entrants on Sunday night, the last day for players to declare for the 2020 draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Henry will maintain his college eligibility throughout the process “for now,” according to Givony.

Michigan State's Aaron Henry entered his name into the NBA Draft on Sunday night.

Henry, a 6-foot-6 wing, started in 29 of 30 games for the Spartans as a sophomore this past season. He averaged 10 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 29.1 minutes per game but didn’t quite take the next step some had hoped.

During his two years in East Lansing, Henry has had up-and-down stretches and has struggled with his consistency. Still, he has NBA potential with his versatility, lockdown defense and ability to create his own shot.

Henry and Tillman, who is also retaining his college eligibility, will have until June 3 to withdraw their names and return to Michigan State for the 2020-21 season. With the pre-draft process being severely altered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two Spartans won’t be able to participate in any in-person workouts or interviews with NBA teams, which have been prohibited by the league until further notice.

It’s unclear if the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline will change due to the NBA’s suspended operations. The dates for the NBA Combine and draft, which are scheduled for May 21-24 and June 25, respectively, are also in doubt.

Tillman’s name has appeared anywhere from late in the first round to late in the second round in mock drafts. He’s projected to go No. 28 to Toronto by Sports Illustrated, No. 32 to Charlotte by The Athletic and No. 50 to Oklahoma City by ESPN. Henry wasn’t listed in the three outlets' two-round mock drafts.

Tillman also ranks No. 21 and No. 47 on The Athletic’s and ESPN’s lists of top 100 draft prospects, while Henry checks in at No. 82 on The Athletic’s big board.


Twitter: @jamesbhawkins