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Gonzaga Basketball

Former Gonzaga guard Hunter Sallis declares for NBA draft while maintaining eligibility

Hunter Sallis of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons celebrates in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Second Round of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 13, 2024 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

Widely considered to be a late first- or early second-round pick, former Gonzaga guard and Wake Forest standout Hunter Sallis announced plans to enter the NBA draft on Sunday while maintaining his college eligibility.

Sallis came to Gonzaga as the second-rated recruit in program history – behind teammate Chet Holmgren – and averaged 4.4 points off the bench over two seasons with the Bulldogs before transferring to Wake Forest last offseason.

During his first and possibly only season with the Demon Deacons, Sallis finished fifth in the ACC averaging 18 points per game and posted the league’s eighth-best shooting percentage – and top percentage among ACC guards – at 48.7% from the field.

Sallis earned All-ACC First Team honors from the league’s coaches and the Associated Press, and was named the AP ACC Newcomer of the Year. The Demon Deacons were on the cusp of an NCAA Tournament berth, but wound up on the wrong side of the bubble after losing six of their last 10 games during the regular season and ACC Tournament.

“This decision was not made lightly, but I am confident that it is the right step towards pursuing my dreams and aspirations,” Sallis posted on Instagram.

With his production as a junior, Sallis moved into the majority of NBA mock drafts and was recently projected as the No. 27 overall pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to The Athletic.

Other outlets such as The Ringer (No. 42), ESPN (No. 48) and Bleacher Report (No. 49) predict Sallis will go somewhere in the second round.

“In his two seasons at Gonzaga, Sallis never hit over 27 percent from 3,” The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie wrote. “Now, Sallis has confidence and is drilling his nearly six 3-point attempts per game at a high level. If he can keep that up – and his free-throw percentages have long indicated some shooting potential – he has a chance to be the kind of scoring combo guard who litters NBA benches league-wide.

“He’s athletic and shifty and can play on or off the ball consistently.”

Former Gonzaga teammate Efton Reid started in 25 of 28 games for Wake Forest after becoming eligible midway through the nonconference season. Reid averaged 9.6 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Demon Deacons.