Evidence for staying vs. going pro?

Submitted by denardogasm on April 4th, 2012 at 12:33 PM

So I have a question, given all the Burke chatter that we seem to go through every summer these days either with football or basketball.  Clearly the trend right now in both bball and football is to leave early while the iron is hot, for fear of losing money by staying around longer either by having a worse season or getting injured.  But how many guys have actually lost money by staying?  The only example I can think of off the top of my head is maybe Kalin Lucas, but he (like Burke and Morris) wasn't really a can't miss if he entered the draft before his injury year.  I feel like the number of guys who have stuck around, improved even more, and still got their money in the draft is a lot higher than the number of guys who lost it all by "gambling" with another year in college.  Does anyone have any examples of guys who flamed out and missed out on their draft money?  I'd be interested to see one of our stats gurus do a write-up on this.

Additional question: How did this whole idea get started?  There must have been one guy that actually did lose out on the pros in the last ten years to make this become such an issue for players.



April 4th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

I think it's more play basketball and get paid or play basketball and juggle school. If someone thinks they can make atleast league minimum for a longer period of time 19-30 instead of 22-30. Not everyone is going to be a megastar making millions. He can go to school when he's done.


April 4th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

2 examples from last year in football: Greg Jones and Adrian Claiborne. Both had senior seasons less productive than their junior seasons. AC was a potential lottery pick. Jones could've probably ended up in the 3rd or 4th round.

Only recent example I can think of in basketball is Ty Lawson. Stayed an extra year, and his draft stock fell (granted he still got drafted in the 1st).


An opposite example: Anthony Roberson of Florida a few years back. Left after his junior year in 2005 and did not get drafted. Could've came back to a stacked team.

It goes both ways.

R Kelly

April 4th, 2012 at 12:48 PM ^

Not true about Ty Lawson, he got a DUI after his sophmore season.  His draft stock was going to fall because of that, so he stayed for his junior year.  Also, he came back and won ACC player of the year, and dramitically improved his 3-point  shooting percentage, so I don't think the way he played had any negative impact on where he was drafted.

Harrison Barnes, on the other hand, is probably going to be an example of a guy who's draft stock fell because he stayed an extra year.  He likely would've been picked #2 overall last year, now it looks like he'll slide out of the top 5.


April 4th, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

Good point about Barnes. I didn't recall the story about Lawson's DUI but that's important. A lot of it also has to do with the amount of competition also. This year's draft is heavy on the bigs (Robinson, Davis, MKG, Sullinger, etc) so Barnes will likely be drafted lower. Last year he was competing against Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, and Jimmer.


April 4th, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

Unfortunately there are tons of examples.  Over at State, beside Lucas, Durrell Summers was a mid 1st round pick after his Junior year, he stayed and had a terrible senior season.  Jared Sullinger was a top  5 pick last year, now he's as low as 15.  Harrison Barnes hurt himself.  It's just the way it is now.  The NBA minimum for a rookie is $470K, it goes up a few hundred thousand each year, basically if you can stay in the NBA for 3 years you are a millionaire, some teams will keep you areound that long just to try to develop a young guy's talent.


April 4th, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

Chris Thomas, former PG at Notre Dame in the early 2000's, would have been a lottery pick after his freshman year.  He came back and gradually regressed each year before finally going undrafted as a senior.  He still made a pretty good living playing overseas, but the example still stands.  Another is Dominic James from Marquette.  His career played out in similar fashion to Thomas.


April 4th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

Terrance Morris was probably a lottery pick if he came out after his junior year at Maryland. He stayed and scouts realized that he'd struggle to get his shot off in the NBA. They were right. He was a late second-round pick and never really caught on in Houston.

coastal blue

April 4th, 2012 at 4:43 PM ^

Would Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette have went as high last year without coming back for their final seasons?

Would Adam Morrison have been a #3 pick had he left the year before?

Sullinger probably lost ground in the draft by staying, though I've seen him as the #5 pick this year which is about where he was last year. 

Joakim Noah lost money by staying. Al Horford gained money. Same with Corey Brewer. 

If you take away financially helping the family (dunno if thats true in Trey's case, it just is for a lot of guys) and looking this at purely a basketball decision, it comes down to this: Do Trey Burke and his advisors think that he has peaked in regards to his draft stock? If the answer is yes and a late second round pick is all he feels he can become, then by all means go pro. There's no point in losing money by waiting a year and missing out on a contract.

But if the answer is no, he can improve his draft stock (say Michigan wins the Big Ten, he's1st-Team All Conference or even B1G player of the year, Michigan makes a run in the tournament, it will undoubtibly shoot him up the board) then he should stay and try and get into the first round because its a better decision for him as a basketball player and as a financial decision. 

I feel like he's making a mistake - much like Morris last year - and he should come back for one more season to try and get into the lottery. But if he's leaving because he feels he needs to help his family or because he can't stand Beilein...well, then he's free to make that decision.