New Mexico State center Sim Bhullar is declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft and foregoing his final two years of college eligibility, the school announced Friday.
Bhullar, a 7’5″ sophomore center, averaged 10.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and a WAC-best 3.4 blocks in 26.3 minutes per game for the Aggies last season. He also shot 64.8% from the field to lead the WAC.
““I have always dreamed of playing professional basketball and I have decided to officially pursue this by entering my name into the NBA Draft,” Bhullar said. “I want to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for all their support during this decision making process. Most importantly I want to thank all the Aggie fans who have followed and cheered us on. The support and love I received here has made my time in Las Cruces an amazing college experience.”
Bhullar is currently projected to go undrafted. Despite his fantastic height and 355-pound frame, his conditioning is a big question mark. He made great strides in conditioning between his freshman and sophomore seasons, but he struggled to get up and down the court at times and rarely played extended minutes.
Still, it’s easily imaginable for a team to take a chance with him as an undrafted free agent.
Although Bhullar will likely not be taken in the NBA Draft, Yahoo Sports writer Jeff Eisenberg wrote a great article on how that does not make Bhullar’s decision a bad one.
The window to make money as a professional basketball player is considerably shorter for a 7-foot-5 center conservatively listed at 360 pounds because his joints and feet are likely to break down sooner than even the average center’s would. Bhullar already had foot injuries during his redshirt season and last year, so it’s tough to blame him for wanting to maximize his earning potential.
When you look at it that way, it’s very understandable why Bhullar made the decision he made.
“We are so happy for Sim and are 100% supportive of his decision to play professionally,” head coach Marvin Menzies said. “He has had an unbelievable impact on this program, community, and school in his short time here. We will always be thankful for the time he spent here and will work as hard as we can to ensure he graduates from New Mexico State University.”