Tristan da Silva: Extra year at Colorado to aid draft future

Tristan da Silva is withdrawing from the NBA draft and returning to Colorado for his senior season, he told ESPN on Wednesday.

"The experience has been really good, but I still feel like I can be in a way better spot next year than I am now," da Silva told ESPN. "I would rather go back for another year to improve my stock and get higher onto NBA boards and work myself up to being a first-round draft pick instead of settling this year."

Da Silva, who was named a first-team All-Pac-12 player in 2022-23 after leading Colorado in scoring at 15.9 points per game, will enter next season as a potential conference player of the year and first-round draft contender.

"The numbers are important, but for us as a team, it's really important to string some wins together," da Silva said. "My position is being a leader and making sure we actually live up to the expectations we've set for ourselves."

Da Silva, who is 6-foot-9, is one of the most skilled and versatile players returning to college basketball. He is capable of playing a variety of positions and roles as a big wing who can create his own shot and made 39.4% of his 3-pointers last season.

Colorado, ranked in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25, should contend for a Pac-12 championship along with Arizona and USC after returning da Silva and KJ Simpson, who was named second-team All-Pac-12, and enrolling Cody Williams, the No. 7 player in the 2023 high school class, according to ESPN. The Buffaloes haven't made the Sweet 16 since 1969, but there is optimism this could be the season they get over the hump, with the most talented team coach Tad Boyle has had in his tenure in Boulder.

"We want to finish on top of the Pac-12; I want to get back into the NCAA tournament again," da Silva said. "The safest way to get there is by winning the Pac-12 championship. That's what we're aiming for. We have a really good team, potentially the best in CU history. I'm confident we can do what we want to do, but we need to put in the work one day at a time. We can't think that far ahead. It's about the right now."

Da Silva will have plenty of NBA eyeballs on him playing along with Williams, a projected top-10 pick in 2024. Williams, the brother of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams, who finished second in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting, will be part of USA Basketball's FIBA U19 World Cup training camp roster next week on a team coached by Boyle. Da Silva has some experience being the sibling of a highly regarded basketball player, as his brother, Oscar, was a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 player at Stanford who is currently playing for EuroLeague team Barcelona.

"Cody is going to bring a certain level of attention to the entire team, which will be beneficial," da Silva said. "I've heard a lot of great things about how he plays and competes. I'm excited to battle with him in practice, get on the court and win some games together."

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.