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Old 04-11-2019, 08:54 PM
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Stay in school and not turn pro. Any good reason(s)?


So my Virginia Cavaliers are NCAA champions. Several of their best players have the option now of leaving for the NBA draft. De'Andre Hunter is projected as a first round pick and Ty Jerome is considered by many to be late first round. Kyle Guy would likely be drafted as well.

Is there any good reason for these players or others in a similar position NOT to turn pro? School is unpaid. Pro means lots of money. Get injured next year in school and maybe there is no professional career at all. Youth is fleeting and the years of making NBA money are few. The UVA basketball fan in me would love to watch any or all of them play here next year. I just cannot see a reason why they would. Thoughts?
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:06 PM
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My thinking would be. Go pro and get the money. If the education is important to you there's always the off season to go back to school. In a fantasy world the education would come first but I'm sure none of the players would be in college if not for basketball. Take the money while you have the opportunity.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:11 PM
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My thinking would be. Go pro and get the money. If the education is important to you there's always the off season to go back to school. In a fantasy world the education would come first but I'm sure none of the players would be in college if not for basketball. Take the money while you have the opportunity.
The biggest concern is that the player misjudges and ends up not getting drafted or only making it onto a practice squad. If that happens then there is no big paycheck and they aren't allowed to rescind having declared for the draft to return to school. Someone in that situation is stuck with no degree and no big payday from the NFL or NBA.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue View Post
The biggest concern is that the player misjudges and ends up not getting drafted or only making it onto a practice squad. If that happens then there is no big paycheck and they aren't allowed to rescind having declared for the draft to return to school. Someone in that situation is stuck with no degree and no big payday from the NFL or NBA.
But one can always go back to school and get a degree. Maybe another year of college ball gets the player better prepared for the NBA, but the risks in staying seem to heavily outweigh the possible rewards. And there is no guarantee that staying a year will improve anything. If they say you are going to be an NBA first round pick now, what is there to wait around for in school?
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:18 PM
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A logical decision would depend on the athlete to honestly evaluate his current skills against the overall NBA skill level, and determine whether it's a better option to hope for a big payoff now, or stay in skill and continue to develop his skills (although risking a career-ending injury) to enhance his chance for s bigger payoff later.

Unfortunately, 20-year old men often do not honestly evaluate their talent. Or even make logical decisions.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:31 PM
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The biggest concern is that the player misjudges and ends up not getting drafted or only making it onto a practice squad. If that happens then there is no big paycheck and they aren't allowed to rescind having declared for the draft to return to school. Someone in that situation is stuck with no degree and no big payday from the NFL or NBA.
In the NBA, the only guarantee you'll get that payday is if you get drafted in the first round. First round picks virtually always sign contracts right away with the first two years guaranteed, exceptions being foreign players who choose to stay abroad for at least one year after they've been drafted. There's no assurance of a guaranteed contract if you're drafted in the second round. In an era where nearly half the first rounders may be blue chip one-and-done guys, it's a narrow gate. You can still always play overseas if you were someone who was good enough to be on the NBA radar based on feedback received; that can be difficult to adjust to, but it's more lucrative than playing in any minor league in the states.

It does seem there some programs like Villanova and UVA that are a bit more successful than average at retaining players who could choose to leave early. It's marginal though. The incentives are what you would expect and fear that a major injury or plateauing will damage draft stock is understandable.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:33 PM
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But one can always go back to school and get a degree. Maybe another year of college ball gets the player better prepared for the NBA, but the risks in staying seem to heavily outweigh the possible rewards. And there is no guarantee that staying a year will improve anything. If they say you are going to be an NBA first round pick now, what is there to wait around for in school?
For football and basketball, which are the only two sports with this issue, once someone declares for the draft they can't just return to the team as if nothing happened should the draft not go the way they were hoping. The NCAA prohibits these players from coming back to play their sport. I suppose they could continue to take classes, but they would no longer have their scholarship.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:11 PM
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For football and basketball, which are the only two sports with this issue, once someone declares for the draft they can't just return to the team as if nothing happened should the draft not go the way they were hoping. The NCAA prohibits these players from coming back to play their sport. I suppose they could continue to take classes, but they would no longer have their scholarship.
In the NFL, at least, the league now has a team of advisors who evaluate college players who plan to come out early, and give them hopefully clear-eyed advice about when the players are likely to get drafted in the early rounds. That way, the player can make a more informed decision.

I don't follow basketball, so I don't know if the NBA provides similar advice to underclassman basketball players.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-11-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:55 PM
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For football and basketball, which are the only two sports with this issue, once someone declares for the draft they can't just return to the team as if nothing happened should the draft not go the way they were hoping. The NCAA prohibits these players from coming back to play their sport. I suppose they could continue to take classes, but they would no longer have their scholarship.
I was under the impression that if an NBA hopeful goes undrafted, he could go back to school as long as he hasn't hired an agent. Is that no longer the case? (Was it ever the case?)
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:57 PM
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I was under the impression that if an NBA hopeful goes undrafted, he could go back to school as long as he hasn't hired an agent. Is that no longer the case? (Was it ever the case?)
I just read up on this a little more. Here's a link that describes the rules.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eligib...assmen_in_2016

Looks like I was partially wrong. Underclassmen can declare for the draft and then change their minds before May 30th as long as they have not hired an agent. Since the draft is on June 20th this means players can test the waters and then change their minds, but if they stay in through the actual draft they lose their eligibility to return.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:22 AM
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As of this year's draft, you can sign with an agent, not get drafted, and then return to school if you're not drafted. You have to terminate your agreements with the agent, though. (The Wikipedia page FlikTheBlue linked to above needs to be copy-edited; the current info is a couple of sections above where they linked to.)

With that info, I still wouldn't declare early unless I was sure I would be drafted in the first round -- either by being suggested as a lottery (1-14) pick or if a team guarantees they'll pick me in the first round. (I'm not sure how legal that is, but I've heard that it happens.) So: yes for Hunter, no for Jerome and Guy.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:56 AM
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From the NCAA's website:

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College basketball players who request an Undergraduate Advisory Committee evaluation, participate in the NBA combine and aren’t drafted can return to school as long as they notify their athletics director of their intent by 5 p.m. the Monday after the draft.
The key is there are only so many players who are invited to participate in the draft combine. I hadn't been aware of these changes and according to the founder of Draftexpress.com, fewer than 6 players would have been eligible to return to school last year based on this. https://twitter.com/DraftExpress/sta...58016972779521 You can see Woj also thinks there is little chance these eligible players would opt to return to school.

Last edited by Covfefe; 04-12-2019 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:27 AM
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I was under the impression that if an NBA hopeful goes undrafted, he could go back to school as long as he hasn't hired an agent. Is that no longer the case? (Was it ever the case?)
It used to be that way and the rules were changed a little over a decade ago. The only notable player I know of who did this was Randolph Morris.

Quote:
Morris became the first player in history to go from the NCAA to the NBA in the same week, when he signed with the Knicks.

Last edited by Covfefe; 04-12-2019 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue View Post
For football and basketball, which are the only two sports with this issue, once someone declares for the draft they can't just return to the team as if nothing happened should the draft not go the way they were hoping. The NCAA prohibits these players from coming back to play their sport. I suppose they could continue to take classes, but they would no longer have their scholarship.
Well, women's basketball lets you return "as if nothing happened" if you are not drafted and you declare your intent to return within 30 days of the draft. There is a similar rule for all sports besides football and basketball, but you only have 3 days to declare your return instead of 30.

Also, football and men's basketball both have "second thoughts" dates, where you can renounce your draft declaration without losing eligibility, but those are both before their sports' drafts.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:21 PM
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You might think about sticking around in college for another year if the upcoming draft is absolutely packed to the gills with players who happen to play the same position that you do. Maybe next year's draft is weak at your position and somebody reaches for you because they really have to fill that particular need immediately.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:28 AM
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Get injured next year in school and maybe there is no professional career at all.
And get injured next year in the pros and maybe there is no professional career at all, too. In which case you'll need to be pursuing another career, in which case the degree and what you learned in the process of getting it might turn out to be quite useful. Assuming, of course, that you took advantage of your good fortune to take a real major and learn something, instead of just skating through "jock classes" for the sake of maintaining eligibility for your minor league that everyone but you gets paid for.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:57 PM
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I saw an article a few weeks ago where Nick Saban (head coach for Alabama football, in the unlikely event you didn't know) was criticizing players for opting for the draft early. Easy for him to say, he makes like ten million a year.

Basketball might be a closer call, since you're less likely to be seriously injured, but anyone who has a chance to go in the first few rounds of the NFL draft is crazy not to do it. Even if you go late second or early third round, you'll probably end up with a few million, whether or not you ever play a single down.

Saban is correct that you would make millions more if you wait a year and get drafted in the early first round (a pretty big if, BTW), but the difference between zero and millions is much, much greater than the difference between millions and more millions. And in big time college football, you are always one play away from a career-ending injury.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:33 PM
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And get injured next year in the pros and maybe there is no professional career at all, too. In which case you'll need to be pursuing another career, in which case the degree and what you learned in the process of getting it might turn out to be quite useful. Assuming, of course, that you took advantage of your good fortune to take a real major and learn something, instead of just skating through "jock classes" for the sake of maintaining eligibility for your minor league that everyone but you gets paid for.
Assuming you went early enough for it to be worth it, you've got SOME money socked away. Even in the NFL, most young players that get injured and flame out get at least an injury settlement on top of whatever guaranteed money they received. Players drafted at the very end of Day Two receive ~$750,000 straight off the bat, at 22 years old, before even reporting to training camp. Hell, even Mr. Irrelevant gets 75 grand, which will get you a degree at a state school all by itself.

If you're one of the top one hundred players to come out of college football, you're set for life, even if you end up working at McDonald's. Even a 5% return gives you $40,000 a year without ever touching your principal. If you're top thirty, you're walking across the stage to get a jersey and five million dollars or more. That buys a LOT of college.

I used the NFL because they don't guarantee contracts, unlike the other three major sports in the US. Every other sport, you get that entire first contract - $4.5m+ for the NBA or a cool million for the NHL. The MLB, with its farm system, is wonky as hell, and there's a fairly significant chance even a first round pick will never make the majors.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:32 AM
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College athletes should be able to stay in school, compete and make money while doing so. That is both logical and just and it's past time that the country came around to this line of thinking.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:02 AM
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It's all about money, so the only reason to stay in school would be to further prove yourself so you could move up in the draft when you do go pro.

I really think Zion Williamson hurt his standing when Duke showed so horribly in the NCAA tournament. It's not just that they lost, it's that they should have lost two rounds earlier and then again and finally for the third and final time. A true super star doesn't allow that to happen, at least not to the level of teams that they played in those games.

So, for him, staying another year to further prove himself might be worth it if his stature has dropped in the eyes of the NBA. If he feels he wasn't really hurt from it, then he should go now.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:43 PM
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But one can always go back to school and get a degree.
This. With the right agent, a signing bonus alone can cover tuition.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:46 PM
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Blake Griffin is probably the best NBA prospect in the last 10-ish years who returned to school who would have definitely been picked in the top 10, maybe top 5 if he had left after his freshman season. If a player is practically a lock to be picked in the top 10, the chances of entering the draft early are extremely high. This is especially true since 2015, because beginning with that draft more freshmen than ever (15-20 on average) are going pro early, in part because improved scouting means teams are more willing to take the chance on one and the advice they receive reflects this.

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It's all about money, so the only reason to stay in school would be to further prove yourself so you could move up in the draft when you do go pro.

I really think Zion Williamson hurt his standing when Duke showed so horribly in the NCAA tournament. It's not just that they lost, it's that they should have lost two rounds earlier and then again and finally for the third and final time. A true super star doesn't allow that to happen, at least not to the level of teams that they played in those games.

So, for him, staying another year to further prove himself might be worth it if his stature has dropped in the eyes of the NBA. If he feels he wasn't really hurt from it, then he should go now.
Zion has been rated no worse than top 2, so this is a no brainer and it's where he will go unless a medical red flag pops up. From the perspective of NBA organizations, this is an 18-year old. No 18 or 19 year old is a superstar there. It's about the potential, although plenty of his is already virtually proven. Even Lebron didn't make a 1st All-NBA team until his third season. Performance in the tournament is one smaller piece of the pie of total evaluation that usually doesn't affect mock drafts much. Scouts and analysts aren't holding any 18-year old to that high of a standard where not successfully carrying an NCAA team is a demerit.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:00 AM
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I really think Zion Williamson hurt his standing when Duke showed so horribly in the NCAA tournament. It's not just that they lost, it's that they should have lost two rounds earlier and then again and finally for the third and final time. A true super star doesn't allow that to happen, at least not to the level of teams that they played in those games.
I don't understand what this means. A really good player doesn't let the rest of his team get outplayed? Williamson didn't disappear in those games, and especially in the UCF game, carried the rest of an underperforming squad across the finish line by himself. That's the sort of result you want to see a player post up: the ability to win even when the rest of the team falls apart.

I can't see what else he has to prove: NBA teams have never shown much concern in how a player's team did in the tournament or the season, just how the player did in those. Nerlens Noel got drafted sixth overall the year after Kentucky went to the NIT and lost in the first round to Robert Morris.
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