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Archive for Monday, April 9, 2007

Kansas forward likely going pro

Wright expected to make announcement today

April 9, 2007

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Julian Wright, who has said numerous times he'd be back for his junior season at Kansas University, this afternoon is expected to announce his intention to declare for the NBA Draft.

KU coach Bill Self on Sunday night issued a statement to the Journal-World from Las Vegas after getting inundated with phone calls from media members in response to a Sunday afternoon story on the paper's Web site, KUSports.com.

That story indicated the sophomore forward had a sudden change of heart and likely would leave school early.

"Due to the volume of calls I've received, and me being on the road (recruiting), I want to say Julian's intent is to make a formal announcement Monday afternoon concerning the future status of his career," Self told the J-W.

Self earlier Sunday afternoon told the Journal-World that the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Wright "will strongly consider his options regarding the draft. We expect he'll have a decision at the first of the week. At that time, we'll have a formal announcement."

That announcement will come today, likely at an afternoon news conference.

Sources close to the situation told the J-W that Wright early last week told Self he had completely changed his stance on the NBA. At that time Wright told Self he'd likely leave rather than return to graduate after his junior year. The two agreed to meet again today upon Self's return from his recruiting trip to the West coast. Barring some overnight change of heart, Wright's decision will be to turn pro.

Some of KU's players were informed Sunday by staff members that Wright had decided to leave KU.

It comes as somewhat of a surprise considering Wright said after KU's season-ending loss to UCLA: "I made my decision before the season (to return). It hasn't changed."

Yet things did change, "drastically the last two weeks, ever since the season was over," a source close to the situation said. "He may have decided, 'I am not going to help myself by staying.' His mind is made up."

KU forward could make jump to NBA

After two seasons in Lawrence, KU forward Julian Wright may be ready to test the waters of the NBA draft. Enlarge video

Various draft analysts believe Wright will be a certain top-10 pick in the draft.

"This is no surprise," one agent told the J-W Sunday night. "He's a lottery pick, if not a lottery pick close to it. I had heard he might be staying, but I was a little bit leery when I heard that. A lot of players say they are staying during the season."

Players have until April 29 to declare for the draft. A player can retain his collegiate eligibility by not hiring an agent and withdrawing before June 18.

"That way if you get a freak injury you can stay in school," the agent said of players guaranteed multi-million-dollar contracts electing to not sign with agents. "I would not be surprised if he signs and goes back and works out in Chicago."

Self said there was no change in the status of KU's other players considering the NBA.

Sophomore Brandon Rush currently is considering his options. He's taking notice of which players decide to enter the draft and where he'd be selected. No other players have indicated any desire to leave, Self said.

"I saw Brandon yesterday, and we did not discuss it at all," Rush's grandmother, Jeannette Jacobs, said of the draft. "I guess he's not sure. He hasn't said he's leaving. Until he tells me there's no reason for me to give my opinion."

Her opinion? "Whichever way he goes, I'll back him," Jacobs said.

Comments

common_cents 7 years, 4 months ago

I'll miss his play, but if this is what he wants to do, then more power to him. It would be a shame for him not to finish that degree, considering he's on a fast track to success on that front.

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