The news of Austin Wiley's planned return to The Plains couldn't have come at a better time for Auburn fans.
Minutes after reports emerged of Wiley's apparent withdrawal from the NBA Draft, guard Mustapha Heron will reportedly do the same -- with the intent to transfer from Auburn. According to a report from The New York Times' Adam Zagoria, who reported weeks ago that Heron was "50-50" on his return to The Plains, the Waterbury, Connecticut, athlete will withdraw from the draft pool and transfer.
According to Zagoria's story, Heron is applying for a hardship waiver to be immediately eligible. Heron is transferring to be closer to his mother, who suffered a massive concussion and has been "sick for a year."
BREAKING: Auburn's Mustapha Heron to withdraw from NBA Draft, transfer closer to home— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 29, 2018
In his two seasons as a Tiger, Heron led the team in scoring, spearheading Auburn's 27th-ranked offense last season in their first conference championship season since 1999. In an April 25 report by Zagoria, Heron disclosed his decision to return to Auburn after considering a transfer.
Heron was named second team All-SEC last year by the Associated Press after averaging 16.4 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Heron's starting small forward slot will likely be filled by Danjel Purifoy, who was ruled eligible for next season, granted he serves a 30 percent suspension that should equate to nine games. Former VCU transfer Samir Doughty, a 6-foot-4 guard who sat out all last season due to NCAA transfer rules, should also prove useful in making up the lost depth.