2008 NBA Draft: Decisions, Decisions, Who made the right choice?

Tue, 06/17/2008 - 11:31am
By Kevin Duffy

With the passing of the early entry withdrawal date, here's a look at the players who made a good decision or a bad decision about entering or pulling out of the draft:

The Good Decisions

[img_assist|nid=1105|title=Joe Alexander|desc=Icon SMI|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=450]Joe Alexander, West Virginia — Stayed in draft
After seeing his stock rise immensely in the postseason, and then seeing it rise another notch following the Draft Combine, Alexander had little choice but to stay in. He’s projected to go as high as No. 5 by some and probably won’t fall past No. 10. No matter what he did next year, Alexander’s stock would be relatively the same. His time is now.

Chase Budinger, Arizona — Withdrew
Had he stayed in the draft, Budinger would have been a mid-first rounder. But by coming back to Arizona — especially now that Jerryd Bayless is gone — Budinger will have a chance to be the go-to guy and play himself into the top ten of a weaker 2009 draft.

Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, North Carolina — Withdrew
Lawson salvaged a poor decision — last week’s DUI — with a better one by returning for his junior season. When Ellington and Green followed in his footsteps (by returning to school that is, not by operating a vehicle under the influence), the ‘Heels instantly became the preseason No. 1 team.

Anthony Randolph, LSU — Stayed in draft
Is he ready for the NBA? Probably not. But Randolph is being mentioned as a sure-fire Top 8 selection, and if that is that case, leaving is an absolute no-brainer.

Ryan Anderson, California — Stayed in draft
Never confused for a potential top ten pick, Anderson seems like a safe bet to land at the end of the first round. At this point, getting a guaranteed contract and playing for a playoff team is the best option for Anderson.

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma — Didn't test waters
Griffin never entered his name into the process, and I applaud him for that. Here’s a guy who would have gone in the Top Ten as a freshman, but didn’t even consider making the leap. Usually when someone passes up the chance to be a top ten pick, I’d call it a mistake, but Griffin is the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick next year. His skills will catch up to his physical ability much quicker at Oklahoma than it would on an NBA bench somewhere.

Mario Chalmers, Kansas — Stayed in draft
Chalmers will probably be a late first-rounder, but there’s no way his stock will ever be higher than it was after his tournament performance. Besides, Chalmers won a National Championship at Kansas. There’s nothing left for him to prove at the collegiate level.

Robert Dozier and Antonio Anderson, Memphis — Withdrew
Neither was anywhere near being considered a first round pick, so their return was no surprise. Memphis will be one of the premier teams in the country again next season, and both Dozier and Anderson will have a chance to play even bigger roles and hope to find a spot in the draft next year.

AJ Abrams, Texas — Withdrew
Abrams is the classic example of a good college player who doesn’t translate to the pros. He’s better off going back for his senior season, earning his degree, and then maybe trying to crack the league or make a go of it in Europe after he has the insurance of being a college graduate.

The Bad Decisions

[img_assist|nid=1106|title=Davon Jefferson|desc=Icon SMI|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=450]Davon Jefferson, USC — Stayed in draft
Mistake number one was participating in the Orlando predraft camp, as he failed to stand out and gave the impression that he was a second rounder. Aside from being two years older than his class, there’s no reason for Jefferson to jump ship this early. He’s just a freshman and has very little chance of going in the first round. Plus, with OJ Mayo gone, he’d play an even bigger role in the Trojan offense. I can only suspect he was wary of sharing the spotlight with Lil’ Romeo.

DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M — Stayed in draft
Jordan will almost surely be a lottery pick, but he’s nowhere near NBA ready. if he played next season at A&M and improved his fundamentals, he’d be a top five pick, if not the No. 1 overall selection. Like Blake Griffin, Jordan is more likely to take the next step as a college sophomore playing a lot of minutes than as a first-year NBA player picking splinters out of his rear.

JJ Hickson, North Carolina State — Stayed in draft
This is probably Dick Vitale’s least favorite early entry. First of all, he’s only a freshman and projected as a possible late first to early second round pick. But most importantly, he plays in the ACC and that conference should NEVER lose an underclassmen to the draft. In fact, I believe Vitale is trying to get a petition signed that would require all ACC players to stay all four years and then do two additional years to earn their Masters. Only then would they be eligible for the draft.

Bill Walker, Kansas State — Stayed in draft
Last season, Walker still wasn’t fully recovered from a torn ACL. If he had stayed in Manhattan, he would have had a chance to get to 100 percent while being K-State’s go-to scorer. He still might find a place in the late first round, but after the knee injury, odds are he’s going to slip to the second. Walker has his work cut out for him if he wants to crack any NBA rotation right now.

George Hill, IUPUI — Stayed in draft
There is some chatter that Hill could even grab a spot in the late first round. But more likely he will parlay his excellent showing at the Orlando Predraft camp into being an early to mid-second rounder similar to Ramon Sessions a year ago. Having played most of the year on the wing, it's unlikely a team feels confident enough in him as a lead guard to take him in the first round. Returning to IUPUI could have given teams that kind of confidence in him.

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Teammates Malik Hairston and Maarty Luenen unexpectedly heard their names called but Taylor didn’t.
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Siirler Hikayeler Fikralar Programlar Guzel Sozler Resimler freetemplates Taylor was arguably Oregon’s best player last season, but his 6-foot-4 frame makes him a undersized at the next level. Nonetheless, his scoring ability, length and athleticism give him a chance to make in in the league.

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