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Chicago native Matas Buzelis declares for the 2024 NBA Draft

Buzelis interviewed with NBC Sports Chicago recently before declaring for the draft

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Chicago native and G-League Ignite star Matas Buzlelis is declaring for the 2024 NBA draft, he confirmed on X (formerly Twitter). Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news.

Buzelis, 19, was born and raised in Chicago. His parents are both Lithuanian-born and former professional basketball players; his father for the Lithuanian Basketball League. Initially a strong swimmer, he shifted his focus to basketball after playing one Covid-shortened season at Hinsdale Central High School in the Chicago suburbs.

He transferred to two different boarding schools before graduating. By the end of high school, Buzelis earned Gatorade Player of the Year, McDonald's All-American, and was selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoops Summit. From there, he decided to play for the G-League Ignite team, opting against playing in college, before the 2024 NBA Draft.

In 26 games with the Ignite this season, Buzelis is averaging 14.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He's shooting 44.5% from the field and 27.3% from beyond the arc. Buzelis is also posting 2.1 blocks and 0.9 steals per game, flexing his versatility on the defensive side of the floor, too.

ESPN's most recent 2024 NBA Mock Draft from Jonathan Givony projects Buzelis to go with the No. 6 pick in the draft. Buzelis is undoubtedly one of the premier talents in the upcoming draft. Givony says Buzelis offers "the type of projectable size and skill combination that teams always deliberate over."

MORE: Top NBA draft prospect, Chicago native Matas Buzelis reacts to potentially being drafted by the Bulls

As it stands, the Bulls have the 11th-best odds in the NBA draft. How would Buzelis feel about playing for his hometown?

"I'd feel good about it. Hometown hero!" Buzelis said. "It'd be fun to play for Chicago. Just watching them when I was younger, watching Derrick Rose play. It'd be a dope experience. ... We would go to games often when the Grizzlies would play them because one of my dad's clients, who he works with, plays for the Grizzlies. We would go every time they play the Grizzlies."

What would the Bulls, or any team, be getting in Buzelis?

"I'd say they're getting a versatile player that's gonna come to work every day, even on bad days," Buzelis said. "They're gonna get a person who, whatever the coach tells him to do, he's gonna do it."

To read/watch Buezlis' full interview with NBC Sports Chicago, check it out here.

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