Jaden Akins has decided to test the NBA Draft process while maintaining his eligibility. He has until May 31st to withdraw his name in order to come back to Michigan State. Will he ultimately return though?
On Friday, the MSU sophomore guard announced via Instagram that he would be entering his name into the NBA Draft process. The decision comes with Akins having two more years of eligibility left and the opportunity to try and compete for a championship next season at Michigan State.
“Wearing the green and white has been a dream come true. There is so much more I would love to accomplish. Next season could be special for Spartan basketball, and that motivates me to get better each and every day,” said Akins in his post.
Those words seem to be encouraging for Michigan State fans who hope for Akins to return. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard from Farmington, MI, has much higher aspirations than MSU.
“My goals also extend beyond Michigan State.” “It has always been a dream of mine to compete at the highest level,” said Akins.
Evaluation of Jaden Akins
There was plenty of potential by Jaden Akins last season, who averaged 9.8 points, 1.2 assists, and four rebounds. It was offseason surgery on his left foot that hampered his ability to start the season at full strength. Tom Izzo said that Akins wasn’t running at 100 percent for most of the first half of the season.
MSU fans got to see his highlight dunks and ability to shoot beyond the perimeter. Akins finished 42 percent from the field and was just above that from three. When Akins was at full strength, it was his solid defense and ability to energize the team that really put him over the top.
The potential is clearly there for Akins to have a breakout season, and he was on the cusp of that in the 21–22 season. Spartan fans were excited for the potential of having him on the squad. My guess is that he will ultimately return for next season, and with the threat of Akins possibly entering the transfer portal, the draft process was a much better alternative.
To emphasize how good Jaden Akins is when fully healthy, in his final seven games, he averaged 13.4 points and shot 50% from beyond the arc. With him on the team next season, Michigan State will be in a prime position to finish at the top of the Big Ten. Even if he doesn’t return, the Spartans will be in a good spot, but it would be a huge piece to have him return.
“I’ve been incredibly pleased by what Jaden has done already, but I’ve got much larger goals for him. And I know there’s much more he’d like to accomplish as well,” said Izzo.