KU's Dedric Lawson declares for NBA draft

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) celebrates after scoring a three-point basket against Northeastern in the first half during a first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas forward Dedric Lawson is going pro.

The AP third-team All-American made the announcement Monday morning on Twitter, posting a picture of his statement under the text, "I have big news!"

"First, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the talent and opportunities to play the game I love. I would also like to thank Coach Self, KU Coaching Staff, Academic Advisors, and the best fans in the country from the University of Kansas for allowing me me to recreate myself and display my talents. After prayer and discussions with my family, I will pursue my life's dream by declaring for the NBA draft. I will begin my preparation for the NBA immediately. RockChalk JayHawk for Life!!"

"Dedric informed me shortly after the season of his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft," KU head coach Bill Self said in a release. "He had a chance to go home and visit with family about this and we totally support his decision and wish him nothing but the best moving forward."

"Dedric came here, sat out last season, and had only one year to participate in competition," Self added. "Dedric had such a great year. There are not very many players who have played at Kansas, or players that I have coached, that average 19 points and 10-plus rebounds in a season.

"I feel like it is in his best interest to use this year as a springboard into his professional future. He could not have represented our program, the University or his family any better than how he did. All Jayhawk fans should be excited for him."

In his first year with the Jayhawks, Lawson took on a heavy production load, leading the team in scoring and rebounding. He was the only player in the Big 12 to average a double-double. The redshirt-junior was the first Jayhawk to average a double-double since Thomas Robinson did it in 2011-12.

An unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection, Lawson tied for second nationally with 22 double-doubles. He was also named the 2019 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

The early entry deadline for the draft for underclassmen is April 21. The NCAA's early entrant withdrawal deadline is May 29.

Basically, Lawson has until May 29 to remove his name from the draft and retain college eligibility. He can also hire an agent and still return to school or even come back if he goes undrafted. Lawson will have needed to request an undergraduate advisory committee evaluation and participated in the NBA combine to do so. The deadline for undrafted players is June 24.

Lawson and his brother, K.J., transferred to Kansas from Memphis after the 2016-17 season. On Thursday, K.J. Lawson said he planned to transfer again, although he did not give his destination. Earlier in the week, point guard Charlie Moore announced he would be transferring from Kansas.