Florida’s Nembhard to again test NBA draft waters

Florida rising junior guard Andrew Nembhard. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Florida sophomore point guard Andrew Nembhard will sign with an agent and enter the 2020 NBA draft, the school announced. 

“After speaking things over with my friends and family, I have decided to enter my name into the 2020 NBA draft,” Nembhard told Corey Evans of Rivals.com on Sunday, the final day NCAA underclassmen had to decide. “I will wait to hear back for the appropriate feedback as far where I might be selected in the upcoming draft and have left the door open for my return to Florida in the fall.”

The Aurora, Canada, native will sign with Jaafar Choufani, one of 23 NCAA-certified agents, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, to retain his college eligibility. 

It’s a route in which Nembhard is familiar. 

After starting in every game while averaging 8.0 points and 5.4 assists per contest, Nembhard entered the 2019 NBA draft soon after making the All-SEC Freshman Team, only to return to Florida in the 11th hour.

He would once again start every game as a sophomore, upping his production across the board to 11 points, 5.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds while leading the Gators in minutes per game.

However, the 6-foot-5 point guard wasn’t featured in many mock drafts prior to the coronavirus shutdown primarily due to the perception Nembhard may lack the elite athleticism required for the NBA. Furthermore, the restriction on in-person workouts may limit Nembhard’s ability to impress scouts with his attributes – his elite passing ability and high basketball IQ are consistently in high demand in the NBA – although it’s worth noting the process remains fluid, especially after ESPN reported the NBA will reopen team practice facilities as soon as May 1 in states that have eased restrictions. 

Underclassmen have until June 3 to withdraw their name from the draft, which is scheduled for June 25.

Forward Keyontae Johnson announced on social media two weeks ago that he plans to return for his junior year. Guard Scottie Lewis announced the week before that he will be back for his sophomore year because “we have some unfinished business.”

If Nembhard does remain in the draft, the Gators will have a point guard competition next season between Tre Mann and former Cleveland State transfer Tyree Appleby.