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Syracuse men’s basketball: Judah Mintz to declare for NBA Draft

Mintz will leave the door open to return

NCAA Basketball: Empire Classic Championship Game-St. John at Syracuse Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Well so much for Adrian Autry’s honeymoon period. The new Syracuse Orange head coach got his first challenge tonight when freshman guard Judah Mintz announced he would enter the 2023 NBA Draft.

Mintz says that he’ll retain his college eligibility and leave the option to return on the table, but it’s probably not too surprising after last week’s JJ Starling news. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Mintz has been rising on NBA Draft boards.

His All-ACC Freshman honors should remind those Syracuse fans that think this is a mistake that Mintz had a strong freshman campaign. He averaged 16.3 points, 4.6 assists and led the ACC with 1.8 steals per game.

One knock on Judah’s offensive game was his outside shooting, but he was 11-21 from beyond the arc in the last nine games of the season. His ability to get into the lane and draw fouls will certainly draw the attention of NBA front offices....oh and being able to do this from the guard spot doesn’t hurt.

Mintz will be able to begin workouts and will likely earn an invite to the NBA Combine in May. He has until the end of May to remove his name from the Draft to be eligible to return to Syracuse.

Should he stay in the Draft, Syracuse would have JJ Starling and Quadir Copeland as guards. Would Chris Bell or Justin Taylor slide up to shooting guard? Will Joe Girard or Symir Torrence decide to return? Or maybe the Orange will be back into the transfer portal to round out the roster.

Whatever happens, we wish Judah well in his pursuit of his NBA dream.