The deadline to enter the NBA Draft is Sunday, and John Calipari is meeting with his players today and tomorrow to discuss their options. This morning, he met with Julius Randle in what was surely the easiest of the five conversations. Julius has earned a spot in the hearts of the BBN forever, but is projected to be a Top 5 pick, which means it’s silly not to go.
This afternoon, Cal will meet with Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson. Because DeWayne Peevy totally found out about my hidden camera, let’s use our imaginations to picture what’s going down in the meetings, starting with Poythress. Cal says that in these meetings, he presents each player with the information he’s gathered from the NBA, and asks the players to explain why they would like to stay or go. I’m big on lists, so here’s my list of reasons Alex needs to come back:
— Getting your degree: Alex is practically a 4.0 student, and on track to graduate at the end of his junior year. This is a big priority for Alex, who enjoys school, and his family. For Alex more so than any of the other players deciding right now, this is a huge factor.
— Achieving consistency: With Julius gone, there’s a good chance Alex can work his way back into the starting rotation. At times, Alex was the team’s most dependable sixth man, and in the tournament, he had an uncanny ability to make the plays the team needed the most. Alex still slumped a little this past season, but if he can build on his performance in the postseason, beast mode will become the norm instead of the exception.
— Enjoying college for college: Our Alex Poythress source (Ryan Lemond) says that Alex truly enjoys being in college, and wants to stay another year. Ryan also said that if he’s making this decision with his heart, Alex will stay because he loves being at Kentucky so much.
— No guarantee, even in the second round: Alex isn’t even listed on most mock drafts. Chad Ford says he’s the 51st best prospect, but that’s a pretty big gamble, especially just to get into the second round, where contracts aren’t guaranteed. Scouts say Alex would be a second round pick at best. I’ve read that some in Alex’s camp say they’re getting a lot of interest from a few teams, but I can’t help but think that if he’s drafted, Alex would be sent to the D-League for a few years until he becomes more consistent, and for a player who sometimes gets down on himself, that may not be a great option. Why not continue that development while getting closer to your degree?
What reasons would you give Alex for staying or going?