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Steve Kerr favors letting undrafted players return to school

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There’s been no shortage of opinions on amateurism and the NBA Draft process from those in the NBA, with people such as Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James among those advocating for changes to be made to the current setup or voicing their displeasure with the system.

On Tuesday Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr offered his thoughts on the process for players who leave school early to enter the NBA Draft. In Kerr’s view, undrafted players who have not hired an agent should be allowed to return to school.

“One of the things the NCAA needs to look at is, if a kid signs with an agent and he doesn’t get drafted, welcome him back,” Kerr said according to ESPN. “Why not? What’s the harm? We talk about amateurism and all this stuff, but if you’re truly trying to do what’s right for the kid, and the kid declares for the draft and doesn’t get drafted, you know what? Welcome him back. Do something good for the kids.”

At present time, players have to withdraw from the NBA Draft prior to the set deadline in order to return to play college basketball. Given the issues in basketball, there are some major issues that need to be addressed at all levels for the long-term health of the game.

With the NBA looking into moves such as having a G-League affiliate for every NBA franchise and how to reach top talents earlier in their development process, it’s clear that the league is re-evaluating the landscape and how it can benefit. Will the powers that be at the collegiate level do the same, or will they look to maintain the status quo?

Nik Stauskas will decide to declare for NBA draft or return to Michigan in ‘next week or so’


Following  a sophomore season that ended with a team-high 17.5 points per game and Big Ten Player of the Year honors, Michigan wing Nik Stauskas is home in Ontario, contemplating whether to declare for the NBA draft or return to Ann Arbor for his junior season.

“I’m talking with my parents and taking some meetings with people to figure this situation out and see what’s best for me and my future,” Stauskas told Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto on Friday according to Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com. “That’s a decision that I’m probably going to come up on in the next week or so.”

MOREThe entire list of players entering the 2014 NBA Draft

Currently, the 6-foot-6 Stauskas is projected as a first-round pick in June’s draft, being selected No. 16 overall according to DraftExpress.com’s latest mock draft. An Eastern Conference scout told MLive that Stauskas will “be drafted in the late lottery and I think have a good career.”

Last season, head coach John Beilein saw his back court Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. leave early. This year the Wolverines could see multiple players declare for the draft again. Fellow sophomores Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary, who played in only eight games, both have a decision to make regarding their future. Robinson and McGary are viewed as early second round picks.

Stauskas, Robinson and McGary have until April 27 to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft.

Larry Brown disagrees with Mark Cuban’s stance on NCAA/D-League debate


Last week Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban voiced his opinions on college basketball and the D-League, stating that the best young prospects would be better-served to play in the D-League instead of going to college. Cuban opined that players would make greater strides in regards to skill development playing in the NBA’s developmental league instead of attending college for a year.

And then there’s the whole “student-athlete” angle.

“A major college has to pretend that they’re treating them like a student-athlete,” Cuban said according to the Associated Press. “It’s a big lie and we all know it’s a big lie. We can do all kinds of things that the NCAA doesn’t allow schools to do that would really put the individual first.”

While this is also to be considered, it doesn’t have a great impact on the argument of which route would be better for young players when it comes to making sure they’re prepared to play at the next level. And on Wednesday SMU head coach Larry Brown voiced his thoughts on the matter to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, disagreeing with Cuban’s statement.

“They don’t teach guys how to play, in my mind,” Brown said of the D-League. “The head coaches in the NBA and a lot of the assistants do, but [college basketball] is the greatest minor league system in the world. If you didn’t go to one class and just live in a college environment, then you’re way ahead. And I think most coaches are responsible enough to make them go to class, make them go to study hall, give them life lessons.

“How about being around [SMU assistants] Eric Snow and George Lynch? Those two guys played 13, 14 years in the league, have families, are successful. In all honesty, I love Mark, but [college basketball] is pretty good.

“Now, it’s our job to make [players] realize getting an education is something that’s important, because here’s the deal: Life after basketball is a real long time.”

One thing to keep in mind with regards to the D-League is that there are only 17 franchises for 30 NBA teams, 14 of which have direct “one-to-one” relationships with a parent organization. In the case of those 14 teams maybe there is better instruction going on, as there’s a direct pipeline to the next level. But without every NBA franchise having a “one-to-one relationship with a D-League franchise, doesn’t that limit the amount of teaching going on?

Of course there are skills that can be honed at the D-League level, regardless of the relationship between that particular team and the NBA. But a better argument for the D-League route being better for elite young players than college basketball if every NBA franchise had its own D-League franchise to use in developing young players.

Both routes have their positives, but ultimately this comes down to the player and his family and what route they feel is the best to take.