Gary Parrish of CBS Sportsline, like many NBA executives we’ve spoken with this week, can’t believe how many top-shelf players have decided to go back to school this year.
It's unclear whether they love school, hate money or simply believe the best route to maximizing their long-term potential as a basketball player is to spend one more year on campus. Anyway, the bottom line is the same: The projected lottery picks who are returning to school at an unusual rate have simultaneously killed the 2009 NBA Draft and enhanced the star power of the 2009-10 college basketball season.
That's the story of the week.
Seems like every day somebody is delaying millions.
First Ed Davis confirmed he will return to North Carolina, which was followed by Kansas' Cole Aldrich, Georgetown's Greg Monroe, Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu and Oklahoma's Willie Warren each also promising to spend at least one more season in school. Add it up, and what we have are four -- and perhaps five, depending on what you think of Aminu -- near-certain lottery picks now off the table. And when you consider that fifth-year high school star John Wall has repeatedly insisted he won't try to enter the draft despite the presence of a loophole that could make it possible, what that means is that as many as six of the top 15 or so prospects who could be in the 2009 NBA Draft won't be in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Which is good news for Jordan Hill.
And bad news for the franchise that has to take Jordan Hill third.
"I want to say that people are looking at Blake Griffin and seeing how much he improved himself [by returning for his sophomore season at Oklahoma]," said Jonathan Givony, president of DraftExpress.com, a website dedicated to thoroughly covering the NBA Draft from all angles. "That might be it. But more than anything else, it's probably just coincidental."