Transfer DeVante' Jones withdraws from NBA Draft, will head to Michigan

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

DeVante’ Jones is putting the start of his professional journey on hold for one more year to suit up at Michigan.

After going through the pre-draft process and weighing his options for the past couple of months, the grad transfer guard from Coastal Carolina announced Monday he has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will join the Wolverines next season.

Coastal Carolina guard DeVante' Jones withdrew his name from the NBA Draft on Monday, clearing his way to play next season at Michigan.

"I decided to withdraw from the NBA Draft because there's a stigma of the level I played at my three years at Coastal Carolina," Jones told ESPN. "Being able to transition to the Big Ten and play under Juwan Howard will be the perfect opportunity for me to showcase my abilities on a higher stage. I had great conversations with NBA teams, but I would love to keep proving the world wrong because a lot of people believe I'll get to Michigan and fall off.'"

Jones announced his intention to head to Michigan in May. At the same time, he put his name in the draft to test the waters and pursue an NBA career, with the option to return to college.

He had several workouts with NBA teams and participated in the G League Elite Camp, a pre-draft showcase where he had a solid showing, but he wasn’t invited to the NBA Draft Combine. He's already projected to be a second-round pick next year by ESPN.

"I showed teams I belong with the 'high-major' players,” Jones told ESPN. “I'm hungry and willing to do whatever it takes to win and become the best player I can. Teams knew I could score, but doing it against better competition opened their eyes. I know I have a lot more to prove and work on."

The 6-foot-1 Jones averaged 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.8 steals last season and was named the Sun Belt Player of the Year. He shot 48.7% from the field and a career-best 36.8% from 3-point range.

Jones played both guard spots during his three years at Coastal Carolina and gives Michigan an experienced option to help fill the void left by point guard Mike Smith. He’ll have a strong shot to start in the backcourt alongside fifth-year senior Eli Brooks.

With Jones' decision made, Michigan's attention shifts to Hunter Dickinson, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year who also declared for the draft. Dickinson has until Wednesday to withdraw his name and maintain his college eligibility.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins