When Charles Matthews announced he was staying at Michigan for his third season instead of leaving early for the NBA two months ago, the move was met with fanfare.
It was viewed as a wise decision since Matthews wasn’t invited to the NBA Draft Combine — a sign teams might not think he’s ready for the next level yet — has room to improve as a shooter and ball-handler, and likely would’ve faced long odds of being drafted.
But, apparently, there was another underlying reason.
In a lengthy interview on The Ringer’s “One Shining Podcast” this week, former Michigan forward Duncan Robinson revealed Matthews injured his wrist during the pre-draft process and said that was the leading factor that led to his return.
“He was going to leave, honestly, but he ended up hurting his wrist,” Robinson said about Matthews toward the end of the interview, which touched on topics from Michigan’s NCAA Tournament run to his recent signing of a two-way contract with the Miami Heat.
“He missed some workouts so he decided to come back because he wasn't able to work out for some teams.”
It was reported Matthews had at least two pre-draft workouts — with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks — during the week before the May 30 early entrant withdrawal deadline. However, Robinson didn’t say when or how Matthews suffered the injury, nor did he specify the severity of it.
Robinson added, though, staying in Ann Arbor and playing another season under coach John Bielein is in Matthews’ best interest. Matthews is already projected as a late first-round pick by ESPN and ranked No. 39 in Sports Illustrated’s top 60 prospects for the 2019 draft.
“I think it'll probably be a good decision for him in the long run,” Robinson said.