With Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker bounced from the NCAA Tournament, we will likely see them go straight to the NBA after their required year in school. They didn’t benefit from this year, and they won’t benefit from another.
Andrew Wiggins will not gain anything from tearing through defenses for another year, nor will Joel Embiid improve by playing in an offense where his physical advantage, which won’t exist in the NBA, is his biggest asset.
Fab Melo’s only value in college was his size, and that’s really all that was utilized. In the D-League, he has the ability to make a first round pick’s salary and refine his game for use in a couple of years.
College isn’t giving these predestined first round picks anything useful. They were top recruits out of high school, and in most cases, that’s what gets them drafted in the first place. They would have been taken right after graduation, if it were allowed.
It’s far smarter to leave college while your draft stock is still high and take the money guaranteed to you. Andre Drummond did it at 19, while many thought he was far too immature to play, and had the benefit of learning on the job with a subpar Pistons team a year ago.
Whether it’s on a crummy team, or at the D-League affiliate of a good team (see Lamb, Jeremy), players can develop better at the next level than they can in college for another year. Under the guidance of NBA coaches and more sophisticated offensive and defensive sets, the learning is richer and financially fruitful.
Marcus Smart listened to every opponent of this argument ever and stayed at Oklahoma State to get better, and he wound up stuck in the middle of a mid-season losing streak that saw his draft stock, once top-three, plummet. By staying in school, where he seemingly hasn’t grown at all as a player this season, he has likely cost himself hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Many players benefit from four years of college; just ask Doug McDermott or Thomas Robinson. Those aren’t the players I’m telling to skip out of school early. I’m talking to those players who are already first round talents after a year. There’s nothing good that will come of another year other than some NCAA Tournament fun. The risk, meanwhile, is becoming Marcus Smart.
As NBA clubs begin to value youth more and more, and utilize the D-League, a year with few minutes on an NBA bench or big minutes on a D-League team will put you in a better spot than an extra year playing against college competition.
— Kenny Ducey
Leave a Reply