Villanova’s Maalik Wayns to ‘test the waters’ of NBA draft

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The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that Villanova junior point guard Maalik Wayns will enter him name into the 2012 NBA draft but will not yet hire an agent, leaving the door of possibility open for him to return to Villanova for his senior season.

“I want to test the waters at this point to see where I stand,” said Wayns in a statement.

Wayns is a graduate of Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School and led Villanova with over 17 points and four assists per game in 2011-12, earning him the honor of being named to the All-Big East second team.

Reports are that Villanova coach Jay Wright was expecting the move, and Daily News sources indicate that there is a strong possibility that Wayns remains in the draft, though he likely will not be a first-round pick.

“I think this is a smart decision for Maalik at this stage of his career,” said Wright in a press release. “I look forward to working with him as we go through this process.”

If he does not hire an agent and maintains his amateur status, Wayns can withdraw his name from the draft by April 10 and return to Villanova.

Recent Villanova guards Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, and Corey Stokes now continue their careers overseas, and former Jay Wright guards Randy Foye and Kyle Lowry are enjoying solid NBA careers.

New NCAA rules concerning declaring for the draft have made the situation more complex. Players must decide whether they want to be in or out by April 10, but the NBA early-entry deadline is April 29.

As Jonathan Givony of Draft Express explains,  “NBA teams can’t work out or interact with underclassmen until the early-entry list comes out a few days after the deadline (around May 1st).”

This would seem to render the April 10 NCAA deadline insignificant because players have until the 29th to submit their names, without the NCAA’s ability to “hold players back,” if you will, from entering the draft. If Player X were to enter the draft on, say, April 21st, the NCAA has no way to keep that from happening. That would only mean that Player X would not be able to return to school.

The difference this year is that players will not be able to go through the work out process with NBA teams, gauge their value, and decide, as that cannot take place until after about May 1st.

Trust that this discussion won’t go away, as players continue to throw their hats into the ring for the 2012 draft.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_