Archive for Friday, April 3, 2009

NBA offers tempting

April 3, 2009


In all the discussion about whether Kansas University basketball stars Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins will bypass pro status and return for KU’s 2009-10 season, a human side of the equation too often is swept under the rug.

There is wishful agreement among Jayhawk fans that both young men would benefit greatly from another year of college seasoning. Of course, a lot of zealots realize how good KU with its holdovers and newcomers could be next season with those ’08-09 mainstays. They’re trying to hope the guys into returning.

With Collins, some solid sources say he’s not good enough with the ball to be a solid NBA point guard and too short and inconsistent to make the grade as a shooting guard. How easily would his 5-11 height allow 6-4-type pro defenders to wear him out in post-ups?

Another angle, however, is that Collins has a child in the Chicago area, and given a chance to make a six-figure salary he just might go that route to benefit his family and youngster. Sherron is not a top-10 draft prospect. But if he could be assured of going in the second round as Mario Chalmers did last season, could he end up making the $700,000 wage Chalmers is making his first season?

Sure, Collins could use another year at the Bill Self Academy, but would that appeal to him if he could earn at least $500,000?

Touchy as the subject might be, Aldrich’s dad has been out of a job, and the son might decide to boost the family income. There’s no question Aldrich is NBA material even if he could use more Danny Manning tutelage at KU. But suppose he learned he could be a top-10 draftee this spring. Let’s consider some figures.

The 2009-10 NBA rookie scale calls for the No. 1 draft choice to get a guaranteed contract of $4,152,900 for the first year, $4,464,400 for the second and a third-year option of $4,775,900. The No. 10 draft pick would range from $1,807,100 the first year, $1,942,600 the second and $2,078,100. The No. 30 draft combo is $824,200, $886,000 and $947,800. Anything on the 30-and-better chart might appeal to Aldrich.

It’s tough to believe Aldrich, green as he might seem, wouldn’t be a 30th-or-better selection.

As for the glitzy Lance Stephenson and Xavier Henry, who admit they’re thinking one-year-and-out as collegians, maybe Self and Co. can accept that kind of deal (they originally took Brandon Rush that way, then got three years instead of one). I’m so old-fashioned I’d lean to an Aldrich or even Julian Wright, who at least gave two productive years to the cause. Let the one-shot egos fish or cut bait.

Probably KU’s most notable year-and-gone player was Pekka Markannen in 1990, after which he went home to a pro career in Finland. Darrin Hancock (1993) was a juco who left for Indiana State. In the 1970s, some thought Salina’s Nino Samuel was so good he might enter the NBA right out of high school. At 6-6, 225 but no shooting touch at all, Nino lettered in 1973 at KU, transferred to Salina’s Marymount and now at age 55 is a personal trainer in Georgia.

Selfishly, we KU loyalists want Collins and Aldrich back for another season. Reality-wise, it’s understandable if they depart because of needed $500,000-and-up incomes.


shadowbox66044 9 years, 2 months ago

Why do people go to college? Could it be to get a job when they graduate? Well, on that note, if someone was to offer you a job paying you millions without even finishing college, would you take it? I would. Besides, if they don't make a career out of the NBA, they certainly can afford to come back to finish their college degree...if they get drafted that is.

kerplunkr 9 years, 2 months ago

First off, I'm a huge believer in college players sticking around all four years and getting an education. Secondly, I will respect the decisions that Collins and Aldrich make regarding going to the NBA or staying at KU. Having said that, I don't see how more time at KU would hurt. Collins would graduate next year with a degree, which would be helpful if his career in the pros doesn't pan out. Sure, he could go play ball in Europe, but how long will all of it last? What if he suffers a career ending injury within his first few years of professional play? It'd be nice to have an education to fall back on.

I understand half a million (and up) per year is a lot of money and it would surely help Collins's situation with his child. With Cole Aldrich, and I'm not saying this is true, it would truly be a sad thing if his family were putting pressure on him to jump to the NBA because his father doesn't have a job. I hope Cole's parents know better than to push a responsibility like that on him. I'm sure Cole wants to help his family any way he can and that is commendable, but I hope the family realizes the value of his education.

I think Bill Self is a wonderful coach and he seems like decent guy who is morally sound. However, there was an article written a week or two ago in which he commented on Collins and Aldrich going to the NBA. I believe he said he had is own personal opinion on what is best for the players regarding whether or not they stay or leave. I certainly hope that his opinion is that they should stay and earn an education. Although Self was hired by KU to win championships, I'm sure those kids look at him as a mentor and an educator. Let's hope he's teaching them to be responsible.

kerplunkr 9 years, 2 months ago

I wanted to add a few more things. This article only talks about two things. Going to the NBA to make money or KU loyalists selfishly getting what they want by having their players return for another year. Mayer fails to mention the players could benefit from an education.

While I don't make a habit of watching FoxNews, Karl Malone was on Sean Hannity's show providing commentary about the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was interesting because Malone made a comment that he would like to "slap" the congress people who criticize our troops after returning home from duty. Hannity then replied with "I know you're being facetious." Malone then said: "I’m being facetious? What do you mean? … No, seriously, what does facetious mean?"

Malone did not graduate from college and he was ignorant regarding the meaning of the word "facetious."

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