Michigan Wolverines basketball forward Isaiah Livers was always planning on testing the NBA waters after his junior season. He obviously didn’t know that world events would put the Draft and everyone’s status in limbo.
Coronavirus concerns have put sports on the backburner, and rightfully so. Livers acknowledged as much before going into his reasons for declaring for the draft without an agent.
“It’s more of a decision of my family, coaches, mentors, loved ones,” he said. We all came together and just decided it was a beautiful opportunity that the NBA created testing the waters, an opportunity for players to show teams what they’ve got, get evaluated and get some feedback, Basically, if they like you, they draft you. If not, you go back to college.
“It’s kind of a win-win for me. The NBA is my dream, but I can still retain my eligibility for college to play another year and get my education.”
He’s a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, he added, noting he wasn’t ready to say world events cost him an opportunity. There are many others in his position, he knows, and this is low on the priority list, relatively speaking.
While he hasn’t received any feedback from NBA scouts yet, Livers is hopeful he will in the days to come — and hopeful there will be a draft combine in which he can performer in front of coaches and scouts. He’s also still rehabbing from ankle and groin injuries, jumping rope and doing rehab exercises, having barely picked up a basketball.
None of that was going to deter him from seeing what the NBA thought of his game.
“I definitely wanted the feedback, and I definitely wanted to keep my eligibility,” he said. “I wanted to keep both doors open, kind of … the door to keep my name in the draft or the door to keep my eligibility.
“I definitely went with the option to keep my eligibility, just because if things don’t work out and they say I need another year of school or it would be really good if I go back to school one more year, I don’t have a problem with it. I’m successful either way because I can get my education or diploma and then declare for the draft next year, or if they like what they see right now, I can easily keep my name in the draft. It’s good to have two options.”
Livers has until June 3 to take his name out. He’s an “open book” and not leaning either way, though he said he’d likely go if he had an assurance he’d be drafted.
“I’m open until the last day possible. It’s always good getting feedback,” he said. “I’m actually blessed to be in this opportunity so I can get feedback from these top tier leagues in general, just hear their thoughts on me and what I can go back and work on.”