Michigan State basketball can move forward with the presumption Nick Ward won’t be back in 2019-20 after his official NBA draft decision.
The wait is over for Nick Ward. After wanting to test the NBA draft waters last offseason, the junior big man made it official on Friday afternoon, stating that it’s his intention to move on from Michigan State and enter the NBA draft, hiring an agent.
Has Ward truly played his last game in a Spartan uniform? It seems that way as he’s hired an agent, but new NCAA rules state that if the agent is approved, they can still come back to school.
Remember, Ward declared a year ago and then decided to come back for his junior season to improve on his post game as well as add some other dimensions to his play. He developed a decent mid-range jumper — although it was used sparingly — and his defense had its moments (most notably against Ethan Happ).
Ward’s season did take a turn for the worst, however, when he suffered a broken hand against Ohio State at home, missing four weeks and losing confidence in the process. When he returned, he didn’t quite look like his old self, which led some to believe he’d return for one more season.
While it’s still possible he could ultimately come back, there’s an overwhelming feeling that he’s going to remain in the draft and see where the professional ranks take him.
Ward had a heck of a ride in East Lansing, and it wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies, but the kid will be missed for his hard work and improvement both on and off the court.