Will Amir Coffey return to the Gophers for his senior season or officially turn pro with hopes of being picked in June’s NBA draft?
Coffey’s decision could heavily shape the expectations for Minnesota’s 2019-20 Big Ten season. The guard is expected to participate in a workout with the Sacramento Kings early Wednesday afternoon, but the deadline for non-seniors to remove their name from the draft is Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. (Central).
The 6-8 former Hopkins standout earned All-Big Ten honors and led the Gophers to the NCAA tournament second round in March. Coffey declared early for the draft in April to pursue his NBA dreams.
“It’s all about what’s best for Amir,” Gophers coach Richard Pitino said last week. “If he has an opportunity to change his life, we’ve got to support that.”
During a breakout junior season, Coffey averaged 16.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists. In his last eight games, Coffey took his game to an elite level with averages of 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals.
Coffey participated in the NBA G League Elite Camp earlier this month in Chicago. That didn’t lead to an NBA combine invite, but he has worked out with nearly a dozen NBA teams. The general feedback Coffey received from NBA personnel so far is he could go from the 45th pick to undrafted June 20.
If Coffey returns, the Gophers would have three starters back from a 22-win team, including sophomores-to-be Gabe Kalscheur and Daniel Oturu.
“Hopefully, he gets as much information as possible and makes a great decision,” Pitino said. “If he does come back, I really do believe it could be one of our best seasons since I’ve been here.”