Bobi Klintman declares for the 2023 NBA Draft

The Wake Forest wing will prepare for the draft process while maintaining his NCAA eligibility


Evan Harris

Bobi Klintman takes the ball into the paint against NC State.

Avikar Khakh, Staff Writer

Yesterday afternoon, Wake Forest freshman Bobi Klintman announced his decision to declare for the 2023 NBA Draft while also retaining his eligibility to return to Wake Forest. 

Klintman is an extremely athletic, 6-foot-10-inch wing with great perimeter-shooting and ball-handling skills. In today’s game, NBA basketball revolves around skilled, athletic big men, two attributes that Klintman has already shown signs of in his short time here at Wake Forest. 

By retaining his NCAA eligibility, Klintman can return to Wake Forest if he does not wish to follow through with the draft process or is not selected on June 22. Players do this often to — at the very least — gain an understanding of how draft preparation unfolds early in their collegiate careers. 

As this past season progressed, Klintman showed that he will only get better as a player and that the sky’s the limit for him. He played a crucial role for the Demon Deacons in the second half of the season, playing close to 29 minutes per game and averaging 8.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. As a versatile big man, Klintman also proved to Head Coach Steve Forbes that he can be trusted to knock down his shots from outside the paint as well — Klintman shot an impressive 45% from the field and 41% from three. 

By the end of the Demon Deacons’ season, Klintman was playing the highest level of basketball that he has played in his career. In two ACC Tournament games, Klintman played to averages of 12.5 points, 11 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. 

If an NBA team were to take on Klintman for this upcoming season, there would need to be a mutual dedication toward his growth as a player. Scouts often call a potential draft pick like this a “project.” However, projects have developed into more-than-noteworthy NBA stars. A perfect example of this is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks at 18 years old with the 15th overall pick. Antetokounmpo only improved throughout his years in the NBA, and with a high level of hard work and dedication toward his personal development, he succeeded. Antetokounmpo went on to win back-to-back MVP awards in his sixth and seventh seasons with the Bucks, along with an NBA Championship and Finals MVP award in his eighth season. 

Realistically, comparing Klintman to a player like Antetokounmpo is a stretch, but it does serve as an example that it is possible for NBA front offices to take a chance on a young player with extreme upsides. However, the predominant opinion now is that Klintman will be back for Wake Forest’s 2023-2024 campaign.