Michigan basketball would have been a great fit if Patrick Baldwin Jr. returned to college basketball but he’s staying in the NBA draft.
We still don’t know if Michigan basketball is going to have an open scholarship for a potential transfer portal addition or not but one of the top targets that could have been available for the Wolverines was Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Baldwin was a target of the Wolverines and it seemed like he could have been a perfect fit for Michigan basketball, especially if Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate stay in the draft.
There was even communication with Baldwin, but the former five-star recruit who struggled with injuries while playing for his dad at UW-Milwaukee, is keeping his name in the draft and he’ll probably wind up going in the first round at some point. .
All eyes are on Moussa, and Caleb, but who could be next?
It feels inevitable that Diabate and Houstan will keep their names in the draft. Diabate didn’t sound like someone that was coming back when he announced he was entering the draft and I don’t think his stock has been hurt at all by the NBA Draft Combine or individual workouts.
Even if Diabate doesn’t get drafted, he’s got enough upside and raw skill to earn a guaranteed contract of some sort. He’s going to be in the G-League next season regardless of where he’s picked because he’s a long way away from being ready for regular NBA minutes.
There has been talk that Caleb Houstan has a first-round promise and he was the guy that most expected to return next season.
If both of them leave, Michigan basketball will have to look to the transfer portal for potential fits and one that I outlined is Duke’s Joey Baker. He’s certainly a proven 3-point shooter (37 percent) as detailed here and if Houstan is out the door, 3-point shooting will be an even bigger need.
The dust will settle soon enough (June 1 deadline to withdraw) but for now, the possible targets are dwindling which makes you wonder if there will be a reconsideration of Emoni Bates?