People really need to lay off Jodie Meeks for “making a bad decision”. As Matt has pointed out MANY times, Meeks was unlikely to rise above 20 in next year’s NBA Draft, and as a friend who is close to the program told me, Meeks “was gonna be lucky to get half the shots this year as he was last”. So his stats and touches were likely to DECLINE this year. Let’s also point out that FINANCIALLY, leaving school early has worked out for the last couple UK players to do so:
Kelenna Azubuike (undrafted): will make $9.3 million over 3 seasons
Randolph Morris (undrafted): will make $1.5 million over 2 seasons
Rajon Rondo: will make $7.9 million over 3 seasons
Ron Mercer: FINAL contract was for $27.0 million over 4 years
Antoine Walker: made $70.9 million over 6 years in last major contract
Jamal Mashburn: FINAL contract was for $53.5 million over 6 years
Rakaelin Sims: made $28.9 million this season in Kenya’s B-division pro league
I would say Meeks was better coming out of college than Azubuike, and that seemed to turn out OK for him. And considering Morris, despite playing all of 10 minutes in his career, can still all himself a millionaire, is proof enough that it is VERY tough to turn down the chance to play for some cash. Also, if you don’t know, players in Europe also make some SERIOUS cash, normally tax free, so that is out there as well.
So, lets all act like a fan, and support a guy who gave 100% through injury and through a laughably bad head coach. I wish Jodie the best and hope he makes loads of cash and is celebrated by UK in the near future.