Earlier this week, the Michigan State Spartans got some big news as junior forward Aaron Henry declared for the 2021 NBA Draft. Most expected this after Henry put together an impressive 2020-’21 season, but he confirmed it officially yesterday.
Aaron Henry announces he declaring for the draft and will forego his senior year at MSU. Based on nothing but opinion, seems like a late-first round or early/mid-second round pick.— Brendan Quinn (@BFQuinn) April 12, 2021
During his three seasons in East Lansing, Henry played in 97 games and averaged 10.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. He was Michigan State’s most consistent and productive player last season, leading the Spartans to a great performance in March that helped the program keep its NCAA Tournament streak alive.
From a Draft perspective, Henry is widely projected to land somewhere in the late 1st or early 2nd Round. Perhaps he can elevate his status a bit with some quality workouts for NBA teams, but that seems like the safest landing spot. Michigan State had two players (Xavier Tillman and Cassius Winston) selected in the 2nd Round of last year’s Draft.
While losing Henry will leave a mark on Michigan State’s depth chart, it should be a little easier to stomach given how expected it was. Expect Tom Izzo to try and use the transfer market to replace some of Henry’s contributions. Other players who will be asked to step up include Gabe Brown and Malik Hall. Neither played anywhere close to Henry’s level last season, but they will have an offseason to improve their games.
We’ll have to wait and see what Michigan State does to replace Henry’s contributions, but Spartan fans will certainly wish him the best of luck at the next level.