Utah standouts Branden Carlson, Lazar Stefanovic make decisions on future
Utah may have lost two of its three leading scorers from this season’s team in one day.
Standout center Branden Carlson announced on Thursday he is entering his name into the NBA Draft but will maintain his final season of eligibility. The 7-footer told The Salt Lake Tribune he plans to hire an NCAA-certified agent to help guide him through the draft process — a move that’ll let him maintain his eligibility.
The NCAA deadline to withdraw from the draft is 10 days after the Draft Combine (May 31).
“These past four years have been an amazing journey,” Carlson wrote in a message shared to social media. “I have created many relationships with amazing people who made my experience at the U a time I will cherish forever.”
— Branden Carlson (@ballerbranden35) March 23, 2023
Carlson, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection, averaged 16.3 points (fifth in the Pac-12), 7.5 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game this season for the Utes. He made 49.5% of his shots and posted a 33.1% clip from 3-point range on four attempts a night.
If Carlson sticks in the draft, he’ll depart with 104 stars across his four seasons with the program.
The Runnin’ Utes are also reportedly losing guard Lazar Stefanovic, who elected to put his name in the transfer portal after two seasons with the program and 33 starts.
Utah G Lazar Stefanović has entered the transfer portal. https://t.co/4FDCjogzsM
— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) March 23, 2023
Stefanovic was the Utes’ third-leading scorer this past season, averaging 10.3 a game. The sophomore appeared in every game as a freshman in 2021-22, averaging 7.5 points and landing on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.
The 6-foot-7 guard is the fourth player to enter the portal since the season ended, joining Jaxon Brenchley, Bostyn Holt, and Mike Saunders Jr.