Virginia Tech F Justyn Mutts Declares for 2022 NBA Draft, Maintains College Eligibility

Virginia Tech F Justyn Mutts Declares for 2022 NBA Draft, Maintains College Eligibility
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Apr 11, 2022

Virginia Tech received a partial answer as to whether Justyn Mutts will return for a sixth year of college basketball or not this evening as Mutts declared for the 2022 NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility.

Mutts declares for the draft after two highly successful seasons at Virginia Tech helping the Hokies reach the NCAA Tournament in both seasons while helping lead Tech to their first ACC Tournament title this year.

Mutts started 57 of the 58 games he played at Virginia Tech including all 36 this season while averaging at least 9 points and 6 rebounds per game in both seasons including 10.1 points and 7.4 rebounds plus 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game. He also shot 53.7% from the field including 33.3% from three-point range plus 67.5% from the free-throw line.

Mutts proved to be a dynamic player at the forward who was one of the passing big men in the country while also providing plenty of versatility both around the rim and from behind the arc. His versatility makes him an intriguing prospect

Mutts' decision does leave the door open for a collegiate return though those odds still seem low given that it would be his sixth year of college basketball and may be ready for professional basketball whether that's the NBA or Europe. His statement, though leaving the door open, also suggests that a return to Virginia Tech instead of the start of his professional basketball career is unlikely.

At this point, Mutts also doesn't have much room to grow his NBA Draft stock even with a return to Blacksburg. One thing that could boost the possibility of a return is if there is a big NIL package out there for Mutts that would be equivalent to what he could make playing basketball elsewhere in Europe or Australia or the G-League.

Mutts also has shown that he has a deep love for Virginia Tech which could also make the odds of a return slightly more likely though him deciding to return or not won't prove that to not be true.

Virginia Tech has already been trying to get ahead in case Mutts chooses to stay in the draft with the Hokies set to host All-MVC Northern Iowa PF Noah Carter this weekend. The Hokies have also shown interest in All-Southland First Team F Gus Okafor out of Southeastern Louisiana.

Of course, Tech will be hoping that Mutts returns for one more season and a return shouldn't be ruled out at this point but the odds do seem unlikely for common sense reasons.

If this is the end of his time in Blacksburg, Mutts will go down as a fan favorite who has a clear place of great memory for Hokie fans in continuing the golden era of Virginia Tech basketball and helping the Hokies reach new heights.