Senior Sports Writer
Kellan Grady ‘21 and Jon Axel Gudmundsson ‘20 have declared for the 2019 NBA draft. Davidson’s starting backcourt looks to become the first Davidson men’s basketball players to be drafted since Stephen Curry was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the seventh overall pick ten years ago. According to new NCAA rules, Grady and Gudmundsson can sign with an agent and still return next season with NCAA eligibility if they withdraw by June 10.
The NBA draft is set for June 20. This allows for both players to participate in the pre-draft combine to demonstrate their measurables and skills and connect with NBA executives before the draft before making a final decision as to their draft intentions.
Gudmundsson was the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year this past season. He was the only player in the conference in the top ten for points, assists, rebounds, and steals per game. Over his Davidson career, the Wildcats have a 62-37 record.
Grady, who was a 2018-2019 A-10 All-Conference First Team selection and the A-10 Rookie of the Year as a freshman, finished this past season with over 17 points per game on 45% shooting. Davidson has a 45-19 record when Grady has played over the past two seasons.
Both Grady and Gudmundsson catalyzed two postseason runs over the past two seasons by leading the Wildcats to an NCAA tournament berth in the spring of 2018 and a berth to the NIT tournament this past season.
Grady noted on multiple occasions that the 2019 NBA draft was on his mind. After a win against Fordham on February 12 where Grady scored 28 points after scoring a mere 9 over the previous two games, he attributed some of his struggles to external distractions of the draft in the Davidson Radio Network’s post-game interview. One such distraction were early mock drafts that projected Grady to be a top selection. On June 21, 2018, Bleacher Report released a mock draft for the 2019 NBA draft which projected Grady as the 16th overall selection. Gudmundsson had not been as public about his intentions to declare for the NBA draft.
The new NCAA rule incentivizes players to declare for the NBA draft early and sign with an agent. By allowing for players to retain their eligibility even after signing with an agent, college athletes get insight into the interest levels from NBA teams. From there, they can make the decision as to their preferred course of action up until ten days before the NBA draft. Grady and Gudmundsson announced that they intended to sign with agents on social media.
Both players made the formal announcement today on their personal Instagram accounts. Grady and Gudmundsson both thanked the Davidson community by each saying, “Thank you to my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the Davidson Community for their unconditional support. I am excited to see how this process goes and surely, excited about the opportunity to return to Davidson as well!”