Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Chad Ford over at ESPN has been pondering the NBA draft declarations. Here’s his take:

A lot has been made the past few weeks about the significant number of early entries into the draft. A dispassionate analysis says the influx of underclassmen is directly related to the fact that the NBA can now pay for workout expenses for underclassmen without them losing their eligibility. That rule change means that essentially every underclassman gets one free look. In other words, in the minds of some prospects, "What can it hurt to declare?"

Frankly, I'm surprised more of them didn't take the NBA up on its offer to let them fly from NBA city to NBA city, get to work out in front of GMs and scouts, and try to improve their draft stock. As long as prospects don't hire an agent, they're free to return to school if they don't like the feedback. has more than 60 underclassmen (including young international players) on the early-entry list. That number likely will grow as a few lesser-known names trickle in.

So, who made the right decision to declare for the draft? Who declared too early? And who should've declared and didn't? We have the answers.

(*To preserve eligibility, player has not hired an agent.)

THE RIGHT MOVE: Michael Beasley, F, Kansas State; Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis;
Brook Lopez, C, Stanford; O.J. Mayo, G, USC; Jerryd Bayless, G, Arizona; Eric Gordon, G, Indiana; D.J. Augustin, PG, Texas; * Russell Westbrook, G, UCLA; Brandon Rush, G/F, Kansas and Chris Douglas-Roberts, G/F, Memphis.

THE WRONG MOVE: DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A&M; * Kosta Koufos, C, Ohio State; * Donte Greene, F, Syracuse; JaVale McGee, F/C, Nevada; Nicolas Batum, G/F, France; Robin Lopez, C, Stanford; Davon Jefferson, F, USC

* J.J. Hickson, PF, North Carolina State - I love Hickson's game, but the draft is so crowded. He'd be better off going back to school, dominating for a year and then testing the waters as a sophomore;


* Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina – Laws on struggled down the stretch for the Tar Heels and saw his draft stock plummet. I wonder whether he's going to look great in workouts. He runs the risk of hurting his stock even more coming into his junior year.
So if Lawson shouldn’t be in the draft, what does that say about UNC’s Wayne Ellington and Danny Green? They’re wrackin’ up some frequent flyer miles? Remember, the NBA draft only has two rounds – 60 players chosen.

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