The star point guard that lead the Florda Gator basketball team for the past two years is taking the next step to the NBA....most likely. He has declared for the NBA draft and is projected to go late first or early second round, but he has not hired an agent.
Not selecting someone to represent him for the NBA allows him to return to the University of Florida should he not like how things are shaping up for him, specifically NBA projections as the draft comes closer.
“I spoke with coach Donovan (on Sunday) night and told him of my intentions,” Calathes said in a statement. “(He) was nothing but supportive, (and he) told me he’d do whatever he could to help me and my family make an educated decision.”
Calathes just finished his sophomore season in which he lead the Gator basketball team to the NIT for the second straight year. Many fans and analysts believed that the only piece of the puzzle the team was missing to make a Tourney run this year was size in the middle.
Next year they'd have the size with Macklin and Kadji coming in to play Center. They believed that a larger center would take a lot of the pressure off of Calathes and allow him to spread the ball out some more.
But, not many were projecting Calathes to leave early and leave a void for seasoned leadership at the point guard position. Walter Hodge is graduating.
Calathes averaged just under 20 points a game this past season, along with over six rebounds and five assists. He has two triple-doubles in his Gator career, and only three have been accomplished this feat in Gator Basketball history. His 231 assists as a sophomore broke the record for number of assists in one season as a Gator, the record that he set as a freshman at 221.
The Gators will dearly miss him next year if he does indeed stay in the draft, but they will have true freshman Kenny Boynton and sophomore Erving Walker ready to lead the team at point guard if he doesn't return.
He has until June 15th to decide to stay in the draft or remove his name from the list and return to UF. If he does go, we wish him the best of luck in the big leagues, but I'm sure I join all Gators in wishing he'd come back for at least one more year.
Rusty Thompson is one of the founders of GatorTailgating.com.