NBA Draft Decisions: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft was yesterday and some prospects including Jodie Meeks, Luke Harangody, and Greivis Vasquez didn’t make their decisions until the final moments. In this article I’m going to discuss and analyze the decisions made by some prospects. The NBA Draft takes place on June 25.
Scottie Reynolds, PG, Villanova
Reynolds decided to return to Villanova for his senior season. The Wildcats made the Final Four last year and will try to repeat this season with a stacked recruiting class.
Reynolds though, hasn’t improved much since his freshman year and his stock was high as it was ever going to be after his clutch shot against Pittsburgh.
With incoming freshman Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns set to steal playing time from Reynolds, this doesn’t look like the right decision.
Luke Harangody, PF, Notre Dame
Harangody waited until the final day to decide to come back to Notre Dame for his senior season.
Harangody was a likely second-round pick in this year's draft if he stayed in. Harangody will return to Notre Dame and try to make up for a poor seaosn which saw the Irish miss the tournament.
Also, by coming back, Harangody will break many Notre Dame school records, making him go down as one for the best to ever play at Notre Dame.
His draft status probably won’t change much, but the allure of the records and fame make it worth going back for Harangody.
Jeff Teague, PG, Wake Forest
Teague waited until the last minute to decide whether or not to stay in but it seemed like a forgone conclusion he would stay in from the start.
Teague had a great start to the season but tailed off a little at the end, including a dreadful performance in the NCAA Tournament against Cleveland State, but his stock is still solid.
Teague should go somewhere from the mid-first round to the early 20’s in the draft.
A shooting guard in a point guard’s body, Teague will need to work on his decision making skills in the NBA to be an effective point guard.
Damion James, F, Texas
Jones tested the draft waters and apparently couldn’t get a first-round guarantee to stay in the draft.
Jones was a borderline first-round pick and it makes sense to go back to school. With James back at Texas, the Longhorns look like they are a top-five team and title contender. James has a great opportunity to improve his game and become a mid-first round pick in the 2010 draft.
Tyler Smith, SF, Tennessee
Smith was in a similar situation to James, not being able to lock up a first-round guarantee and did the same as James and returned to school. Smith was All SEC the past two years could be again this upcoming season.
Smith made the right decision and with a good season should be a first rounder next year.
Greivis Vasquez, G, Maryland
Vasquez also decided to pull out of the draft on the deadline day to come back for his senior season at Maryland.
Vasquez was a borderline first-round pick, but more than likely would have been a second rounder. Vasquez is a combo guard and in a draft stacked with guards he made the right decision.
Vasquez was Maryland basketball last season, leading them in points, rebounds, and assists and no one is happier to see him return that Maryland coach Gary Williams.
Taj Gibson, PF/C, USC
Gibson decided to forgo his senior season at USC and stay in the NBA Draft.
Gibson is projected to be an early second-round pick but it was a wise move to stay in the draft. There has been a mass exodus at USC thus offseason with DeMar DeRozan and Daniel Hackett both leaving as well. Along with the departure of coach Tim Floyd and possible sanctions to the program gave Gibson more than enough reason not to come back. Gibson is also 23-years-old which surely played a role in his decision as well.
Austin Daye, F, Gonzaga
Daye is one of the biggest enigmas in the NBA Draft.
This guy has all the potential in the world but never put it all together in his two seasons at Gonzaga.
Daye is very raw but has the athletic ability that teams covet and thus will likely go higher than he should.
Unless he lands in a perfect situation where he doesn’t have to play right away, he would have been better off going back to Gonzaga to refine and improve his game.
Jodie Meeks, SG, Kentucky
Meeks shocked the Kentucky fan base with his decision to stay in the NBA Draft.
By staying in the draft, Meeks is passing up playing for John Calipari and his dribble-drive offense, which Meeks was said to be a great fit in.
Meeks is considered a mid-second rounder now and while he may not have improved his stock by coming back, he definitely could have improved his overall game under Calipari. He also passed up a chance to win a national title with Kentucky slated to be a preseason top-10 team.
Patty Mills, PG, St. Mary's
Mills came onto the national scene last year with a great performance at the Olympics with Australia and followed it up with a good sophomore year at St. Mary’s before he injured his wrist.
Mills is a borderline first-round pick but you can’t blame for staying in the draft. There wasn’t much more left to be accomplished at Saint Mary’s for him and if he falls to the second round, he could be a steal for one team.
Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech
Lawal’s decision to return to school came as a mild surprise. He was projected by most to go somewhere in the 20’s of the draft and maybe higher due to the lack of quality big men in the draft.
But by returning to Georgia Tech, Lawal will get to play with top recruit Derrick Favors next year which should help raise his stock.