Every year we see a slew of "report cards" and "winner/loser" style articles written by clairvoyant college basketball journalists criticizing underclassmen for electing to leave the cozy confines of college basketball. More often than not we read about "bad decisions" made due to "poor advice" received from people in a players' inner circle (agents, runners, greedy parents and AAU types).
There is a flip side to that argument, though, and that story deserves to be told as well, with a sober analysis more in line with the realities of today's professional basketball world.
A few of these realities:
• Players have a limited window of approximately a decade or less to exploit their athletic prowess and maximize their career earning potential.
• Some players just aren't that interested in the academic side involved in being a student-athlete and would instead rather begin a professional career while helping support their family. That
• The NCAA refuses to provide underclassmen with a fair opportunity to evaluate their options with the new May 8 early-entry deadline.
• Being drafted in the second round is no longer the death sentence it was once considered to be.
• The NCAA does not hold a monopoly on developing talent. The NBA Development League is an increasingly viable option for players looking for an alternative route to the NBA, as is Europe.
With that in mind, let's evaluate the decision made by each early entry.