Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga's 6-foot-11 forward who was a crucial component of their Sweet 16 team this past season, will leave school early to declare for the NBA draft,'s Jeff Goodman reported on Wednesday. Where will he be drafted?

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Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga’s 6-foot-11 Lithuanian forward who was a crucial component of their Sweet 16 team this past season, will leave school early to declare for the NBA draft,’s Jeff Goodman reported on Wednesday.

In a news release Thursday morning, Gonzaga confirmed that Sabonis has declared for the NBA draft, with the caveat that he’s exploring his options and is not hiring an agent at this time.

“After a great deal of thought and discussion with family, I have decided to forego my final two years of eligibility and declare for the 2016 NBA Draft,” Sabonis said in the release. “This has been a very difficult decision for me because of the amazing two years I have had at Gonzaga. I want to thank the coaching staff, my teammates, and all of our great fans for making this such an incredible experience for me. Zag Nation welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home in Spokane and, for that, I could not be more grateful.”

Sabonis, the son of former Portland Trail Blazer Arvydas Sabonis, averaged 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season — his first as a starter for Gonzaga. He is currently Gonzaga’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage at .632. Despite playing only two seasons, he scored 1,002 points to become the 41stplayer in school history to score 1,000 points, and posted 694 rebounds to pass current NBA player Robert Sacre for eighth all-time.

“[Domantas] is as impressive of a person and player as I’ve ever coached,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said in the release. “He has an insatiable desire to get better.”

Sabonis’ athleticism, length, rebounding ability and deft shooting touch that’s rare in a big man make him an enticing NBA prospect.

Here’s a look at where some national basketball media analysts project Sabonis will go in the NBA draft on June 23.

—’s Jeremy Woo has Sabonis ranked as the 17th-best prospect  on his big board in this year’s draft.

Woo: “The big man was one of the stars of March, and a breakout game against Jakob Poeltl and Utah turned some heads. Matching up with a taller opponent, Sabonis used his physicality and instincts to compensate for his lack of length, a good indicator for the next level.”

—’s Gary Parrish has Sabonis going to the Toronto Raptors, No. 26 overall.

Parrish: “He’s just tenacious around the basket in a way that should allow him to contribute as a rookie.”

—’s Sam Vecenie has Sabonis going to the Indiana Pacers, No. 20 overall.

Vecenie: “Sabonis has an extremely polished game, and might be able to step in quickly and help a Pacers team that really needs help at both forward spots. He’s not a perfect prospect, as he doesn’t have terrific explosiveness and his wingspan isn’t great. But he’s one of the smartest players you’ll find and he can really rebound and move laterally.”

Vecenie has a more in-depth analysis of Sabonis’ game here.

— USA Today’s Derek Bodner sees Sabonis going No. 18 overall to the Denver Nuggets.

Bodner: “Sabonis doesn’t tick a few boxes that executives covet, mainly three-point range and shot blocking, but he was dominant at times as an interior scorer and rebounder for Gonzaga, averaging 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore.”

— Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling has Sabonis going No. 24 overall to the Boston Celtics.

—’s Chad Ford ranks Sabonis the 15th overall player on his NBA draft big board.