San Diego State's Malachi Flynn entering NBA draft

Flynn steals and slams for SDSU (0:25)

Malachi Flynn picks off a pass on defense, then takes it the other way for a one-handed jam in transition. (0:25)

San Diego State junior Malachi Flynn is entering the 2020 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Thursday.

"After receiving feedback from NBA teams and after thoughtful conversations with my family and Coach [Brian] Dutcher, I have decided to forgo my senior season and have declared for the NBA draft," Flynn said. "I have immensely enjoyed my two seasons at San Diego State. The bond that has been forged with my teammates during this magical season will never be broken. I am grateful to my teammates, coaching staff and university for helping me become the basketball player and man I am today."

Flynn, the No. 40 prospect in the ESPN Top 100, is coming off a breakout season for the Aztecs in which he averaged 17.6 points and 5.1 assists per game and was named Mountain West Player and Defensive Player of the Year. San Diego State started 26-0 and had a 30-2 overall record that put it firmly in consideration for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before the coronavirus pandemic brought the season to an abrupt end.

"It was a tough decision deciding to declare," Flynn said. "One of the biggest things that had me wanting to come back was not playing in March Madness.

"I talked to a lot of people about it, especially my family. My coaches were on board with me going all-in and trying to make a name for myself at the next level, which helped me out a lot. I think I showed teams enough, and it was time to make that step and move forward to the NBA."

A Final Four run could have positioned Flynn as a strong contender to be a first-round pick.

"For me personally, March was going to be huge for my stock," Flynn said. "The level of talent in the Mountain West was in question by some, which is not something I can control or really understand. In the tournament I could have shown that I can play at the highest level of the sport and win at the highest level. It would have been a huge positive for our entire team."

Flynn was named to the Wooden Award All-America Team and was one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's top point guard.

His biggest appeal as a pro prospect revolves around his basketball IQ and advanced scoring instincts, as he has deep range on his jump shot, can create space inside the arc and can finish in a variety of ways.

"I showed NBA teams that I'm a winner, that I play the point guard position with a high IQ," Flynn said. "I showed them how well I can play on and off the ball. That I can score, but also get teammates involved. I showed teams that I can defend bigger and smaller guys."

"I am 6-1, and I don't get off the ground as much as NBA guys do," he added. "I need to have all those floaters and pull-ups or I won't have a chance. I have to be super skilled to go up against guys that are freaky athletic. I can get faster and stronger, but I won't ever be super athletic. I needed to learn to find other ways to score, be pesky defensively and do the little things. That's why I study a lot of film on guys like Chris Paul and Fred VanVleet to see how they are able to carve out a niche in the NBA."

Dutcher expressed his pride for Flynn and his contributions at the school.

"When he arrived on campus, we knew he was a uniquely talented basketball player," Dutcher said. "What we quickly learned was that he had an intense work ethic and a team-first mentality, which endeared him to his teammates and the community."

The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25, but following worldwide suspensions of basketball activities, NBA front-office executives and others in the industry told ESPN they are bracing for a delayed 2020 draft and a heavily reduced pre-draft process.

"Right now I am back home with my family in Tacoma, Washington, preparing and seeing what happens," Flynn said. "It's weird not knowing if we will be able to work out for NBA teams. Individually I am trying to social distance as much as I can, stay away from older people in my family who are higher risk, just being sensitive to all the lives that have been touched and using the platform I have to inform people how serious it is. Hopefully one day it will all be over and the damage isn't too great."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.