Off-the-dribble handoffs: Trevor Giles, Drew Thiem & more who should be out of NBA draft, return to college

With the NBA draft over and a looming June 1 dropout deadline for early entry, some college basketball players are considering the tough decision of whether to stay in the draft or return to school. Some of the biggest names have made decisions, with Louisiana Tech big man Kenneth Lofton staying in the draft and other college stars like Indiana’s Trace Jackson-Davis returning to school.

Dozens more are spending their time processing all the information they’ve received from NBA executives and trying to make the right decisions. There’s some risk for players who remain in the draft but aren’t considered lottery picks, as those who slip into the second round aren’t guaranteed guaranteed contracts. Those who aren’t drafted at all will end up struggling to get two-way contracts as undrafted free agents and potentially end up in the G League or overseas.

Given that many players now have the opportunity to earn money while playing college basketball, going back to school may be more appealing than living on the fringes of professional basketball. However, some people are just ready to start the next chapter of their lives and are willing to give up some college qualifications to take advantage of their youth and start their careers.

So, with the June 1 exit deadline looming, who will benefit the most from dropping out of the draft and returning for another college season? Our writers made their picks for this week’s dribble handover.

Drew Tim (Gonzaga)

Tim is an obvious answer because I really believe he can play more and make more money in college next season if you think the most likely scenario is for him to play professionally outside of the NBA , he would be better than playing professional basketball or playing professional basketball. The G League is great for people who don’t have a better option. But Thiem clearly has a better option — especially going back to Gonzaga as a first-team All-American in the top five and making big bucks with zero chance. How much does Timme make? not sure. But if the Nijel Pack is worth $400,000 to someone, Drew Timme deserves at least three times as much per game on national television and in crowded arenas, while trying to be the man who led the Zags to their first national championship. player. Champion in school history. As I always say, it’s ultimately up to Tim and I’ll respect any decision he makes because it’s his life. But, that said, if I were him, I’m pretty sure it would be an easy decision for me, for all the reasons mentioned earlier. – Gary Parish

Jaylin Williams (Arkansas)

He was getting closer. I don’t think he’s a viable top 40 NBA rookie, but the 6-foot-10 Williams is developing his game and could put himself in the No. 1 spot if he decides to come back and play his junior season with the Razorbacks. round. If Williams is on the roster, Arkansas will be a top-five team in the preseason. This will have a double impact as this will be the most anticipated pigpen season since the 1990s. Williams averaged 14.3 points and 11.8 rebounds in four NCAA tournament games in Arkansas. He shot 24 percent from 3-point range last season; he could reasonably increase that to over 30 percent and squeeze his stock in the process. Of all the undecided players, Williams now feels close to 50/50. If he comes back, though, he might have the best of it all: Arkansas doesn’t need him to be that guy every night, but there will always be nights like that. He could lead a top SEC team and a Final Four contender, and his numbers will almost certainly improve from last season’s averages of 10.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. A national campaign is possible. – Matt Noland

Trevor Kiers (Duke)

This feels like one of the really tough decisions of this cycle, reminding me of some past decisions like Isaiah Joe in 2020, Johnny Juzan in 2021 and EJ Liddell in 2021. There isn’t an obvious and correct answer here. If Keels wasn’t a first-rounder, he’d be at the top of his 30s and would likely be signed to a guaranteed contract. This is very attractive. It’s also only to the extent that I think you have to at least think about going back to school.

Liddell’s path may be the one Keels can take — he ended up going back to college, changing his body, and trying to be a possible top-20 pick after being a late first-rounder or early second-rounder — but here goes There’s no guarantee he’d improve his stock with another season (even though I think it might be the best option). For example, the road to Juzang is different but similar to the decision a year ago, and can serve as a cautionary tale. A year ago he might have been a late first-round or early second-round pick, and this time around he’s almost certainly in the early to mid-second round. His stock isn’t necessarily going down, but another year of college hasn’t improved his stock. In retrospect, he might have been better served when he broke into the NBA in his red-hot Final Four.

For Keels, my feeling is that he is more likely to leave school. But my reading of his draft prospects is that if he’s healthy, he’ll benefit even more, and possibly sizable financial benefits, for another year of college. He’s still only 18 years old and could play another season at Duke in a bigger role, and doing so could really show — consistently — what he’s doing at the collegiate level while proving to NBA teams that he real value. I certainly can’t tell an 18-year-old what he’s supposed to do, especially with all that money, but in a blue-blooded program like Duke’s, he could well make up for what he’s lost by delaying his NBA career. Income Some would argue that good money is made on NIL trading. Might not be the right decision, but he gets more back to school than staying in the draft. – Kyle Boone

Chris Murray (Iowa)

Chris Murray doesn’t need to look very far to find a blueprint for how to get out of the draft and return to Iowa for another season in the long run. All he has to do is check out his brother Keegan’s mock draft, who will be picked in the lottery after his breakout season as a sophomore. Identical twins aren’t exactly the same players, but they’re similar enough that it’s easy to see how they’ll translate to the next level of similarities.

A versatile 6-foot-8 forward, Chriss will have the opportunity to take a big step next season, the same way Keegan did last season when he led the Top 10 in scoring. As a versatile defender, he has shown enough ability and a threat to shoot from the outside that he could be a draft pick if he stays with the team. But if he comes back and gets 35 games as the Hawkeyes’ primary option, he could be a lottery pick as well. – David Cobb

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