I am not going to pretend I know what makes a college player become a perceived first-round player in the minds of experts for the NBA Draft. I mean I have an idea. Things like size, athleticism, potential and blind optimism are all surely parts of the evaluation process. But as sure as the sky is blue (it is blue, right?), no one really knows what scouts or general managers are going to do when they start deciding who is worthy of a guaranteed contract.
That is what weighs on the mind of many players while they are deciding if they want to declare early entry into the NBA. No matter how confident they may be as players or people, being guaranteed money is a lot better than being selected in the second-round and having to fight as well as claw your way on to a team’s roster.
It must be what is keeping Michigan State Spartans Adreian Payne up at night. The 6’10″ forward has yet to make an official decision as to what he plans to do with his basketball career. And not to put any pressure on him — time is running out! Sunday is the last day in which players can throw their name in the NBA Draft hat.
Assuming that the first-round/second-round issues is what is keeping Payne from making his decision, it is understandable. In experts’ mock drafts, Payne has been moved back and forth from the early second to the late first more times than a ladder company builds ladders.
Hopefully, he is getting some good, honest and unbiased advice. People within his circle are not all going to be looking out for him. Some are self-serving while others think they are smarter than they actually are.
As I say with every athlete’s decision on such a topic — no decision is a wrong decision as it is his alone. Well, that is as long as they are basing their decision off of solid information and not the kind that winds up with you playing hoops in Mother Russia.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone