Every year, young players bolt for the NBA the first chance they get. Many of those players never live up to the expectations set for them once they leave college, which makes us all wonder:
“What would happen if they stayed another year in college?”
It’d give them all time to improve their game, take more of a leadership responsibility, and prepare themselves for the NBA lifestyle. It makes sense in principle, but it’s not about principle. It’s about the money and living a dream.
How can we really blame anyone for taking the chance to make multi-millions of dollars and bring their dream to life at the same time? As we saw with Baylor’s Isaiah Austin, who was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome right before the NBA draft, playing in the NBA is not a right. Playing in the NBA is a privilege, and sometimes a player has to jump at the opportunity to play in the league.
It’s not all about the NBA and playing professional basketball, though. Sometimes it’s the only option. If a player has issues with his current college team, it’s a lot easier to test the waters of the NBA rather than transfer to another school and sit out a year. You also need to take into account that we don’t know what’s going on in every single situation. Often, there’s stuff going on behind the scenes in college basketball that some of us don’t even realize. Most of these players are used to being the big dog on campus in high school, who suddenly find themselves playing about half the time and not getting all the touches they want in college. They’re are infinite factors into why a player might choose to go to the NBA, instead of staying in college.
In this case, we’re going to take a look at five players from the 2014 NBA draft who may have needed another year in college for their development as basketball players and to lengthen their professional career: