Azuolas Tubelis entering NBA draft, eyes breakout combine

Arizona junior Azuolas Tubelis will enter the 2023 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Thursday.

Tubelis, the No. 68 prospect in the ESPN 100, is not expected to return to play college basketball next season.

A 6-foot-11 Lithuanian power forward, Tubelis had a decorated three years in Tucson, receiving first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a sophomore and junior while being named a second-team All-American in 2022-23 after a breakout season in which he averaged 19.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 30.2 minutes.

He helped Arizona to a 28-7 record, a second straight Pac-12 tournament championship and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, though the Wildcats were upset by No. 15 seed Princeton in the first round.

Tubelis was the go-to scorer for one of the quickest and most potent offenses in college basketball, shooting 59% inside the arc and 76% from the free throw line. He ran the floor with purpose on every missed basket, establishing deep post position and using his soft touch around the basket, while drawing fouls with his unorthodox style. He did quite a bit of damage from the perimeter as well, either with high-low entry passes to 7-footer Oumar Ballo or beating slower-footed defenders off the dribble with his left hand.

He said he will look to compete at the NBA draft combine May 15-21 in Chicago in hopes of showing teams he is worthy of hearing his name called on draft night June 22.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.