Michigan State's Aaron Henry goes undrafted, signs with 76ers
For the second time in the last three years, the NBA Draft came and went without a player from Michigan State being selected, as Aaron Henry never heard his name called.
However, it didn’t take long for the 6-foot-6 wing to learn he’d get his shot at the NBA after all, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Henry had agreed to a two-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Henry had been projected to go anywhere from late in the first round to late in the second. An injured quad muscle limited him during the NBA Combine in late June and could have contributed to Henry falling down teams’ draft boards.
Last season, Xavier Tillman and Cassius Winston each were second-round picks out of Michigan State after the Spartans did not have a player selected in the 2019 draft. Before that Michigan State had seven players selected over a five-year stretch, including five first-rounders (Adreian Payne and Gary Harris in 2014, Denzel Valentine in 2016 and Jaren Jackson and Miles Bridges in 2018).
Henry figured to be the latest Spartan to be selected after he first entered his name in the NBA Draft following his sophomore season. However, he decided late in the process to return to Michigan State for his junior season.
While it was a difficult season for the Spartans, who navigated a nearly three-week COVID-19 shutdown before needing a late regular-season surge to keep its NCAA Tournament streak alive, Henry thrived. He averaged 15.4 points a game while grabbing 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists, earned third-team All-Big Ten honors and was named to the conference’s all-defensive team.
In 97 career games, Henry averaged 10 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Seven Big Ten players were selected during Thursday night’s draft with only one going in the first round — Michigan’s Franz Wagner.