When Should a Underclassman Declare for the NBA Draft?
One of the most debated questions surrounding college basketball's elite and the NBA Draft is when should a underclassman declare for the draft.
This question has become a make or break decision for some guys who are at a fork in the road on the path to pro hoops.
I have talked to many NBA folks over the years from execs to players coaches to media and my conclusion on the matter is as follows for underclassmen.
If you are going to be a lottery pick, you always go to the NBA. The money will be great, but the opportunity may be better than you will ever experience by going back to school and possibly slipping in the following years draft even though the hopes were of moving up.
If you are a projected fringe lottery pick or a pick on the outside looking in on the lottery, you declare 8 out of 10 times. There will be cases where the individual may need more development mentally or physically that could assist long term by not declaring. Plus, there will be those cases where a national championship is within reach and that individual may chase a title at the college level one more time.
If you are a projected first round or early second round pick it becomes a percentage game along with looking at each years class. If your position is a hot commodity, it may benefit to leave early, while if your position is a crowded position in that draft class then it may benefit to wait a year.
Finally, if you are a projected second round pick as an underclassman, stay in school. The only exception would be if financially the money is a must and then I say make the jump. I would never tell someone not to take care of themselves and their family.
As the April 26th deadline comes for underclassman to declare for the 2015 NBA Draft, this question of whether or not to enter the NBA Draft is being debated by many. I just hope they make the right decision.