This may turn out to be a terrible tease of our own creation — where our hopes and dreams and fevered desires have more to do with it than his actual intentions, but Collin Sexton still hasn’t declared for the 2018 NBA Draft.
In an interview yesterday with ESPN during the Geico Regionals, Sexton say down for a few minutes and discussed a wide range of things, but particularly interesting is that he’s still weighing a return vs. going pro. A return would allow him to become a better all around player on both ends of the floor and be a better leader now that he’s not thrust in the fire (his words, not mine.)
Interview with Collin Sexton during #GEICONationals discussing playing under @CoachAvery6 & his decision making process regarding the NBA draft. pic.twitter.com/wG3PyCDo0v— Alabama Roundball (@BamaRoundball) March 30, 2018
Still, why would Sexton come back for one more year?
There are a few reasons: he really does seem to enjoy the collegiate experience and is a serious student, posting a 4.0 GPA thus far. Other reasons include ones from his own mouth: to improve as a player. Sexton did have a tendency to turn the ball over a ton. Sure, he averaged 3.8 assists per game, but he turned the ball over almost as much (2.6 TOPG). For a PG, his steal numbers were fairly low as well, notching under one per game. He should probably improve his perimeter jumper and free throw shooting as well — his .336 / .778 is a bit weak, but not out of the realm of respectability.
Still, all that is nitpicking. He’s NBA ready, with more than a few commentators saying there’s a good bit of Russ Westbrook in Young Bull (including Westbrook himself.)
Factors about his play aside, Sexton’s final decision may come down to the cold hard calculus of cash. The 2018 NBA draft is absolutely loaded: Trae Young, Mo Bamba, Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter, Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson, presumably Kevin Knox, and, of course, Sexton himself.
Last year, the difference in a four-year contract between the 1st and the 5th pick was $33 million vs. $22 million. At 6th, the highest that Sexton is projected to land, the salary drops another $2 million to $20.1 million. And, so down the list it goes, with each successive draft pick being worth $1.8 million less then the preceding one. By the 14th pick, where he has been mocked, earnings were “just” $12.4 million over four years.
However, next year should prove to be much more fertile ground for the SEC’s two bad ass freshmen point guards. The increase in salary alone could prove to be a sufficiently compelling reason to put off that second contract (and the lure of max money) for a year.
NBA scout at McDonalds Game just texted me:— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 28, 2018
“Next year’s class is unbelievably weak. Really disappointed. Only one sure thing (Barrett) and 2-3 high upside guys. A guy like Kevin Knox comes back and he could go Top 5 next year.”
Again, this could all be a terrible tease on our part: Sexton was in New York, ostensibly visiting his girlfriend. And the conspiratorial amongst us will note that he has been mocked to the Knicks on more than one draft site. NY drafts 9th overall, in case you were wondering. And the difference between a 9th pick and 5th pick is almost $7 million over the four-year rookie deal.
In 99 out of 100 cases, you tell Sexton to enjoy his career, come back and finish his degree in 15 years, and have a great life. Yet, in this case, it is not hard to argue that he really is better served with another year in college — to look at the addition of $10 million down the road as deferred compensation for those 30 more games in Crimson and White.
Hope for the best...for everyone. It’s not going to be an easy decision, but he has a good family and a good head on his shoulders.
Just in terms of his own benefit, should Collin Sexton return next season?
This poll is closed
Yes. That’s too much money to pass up over the course of a career.
No. That’s too much money to immediately pass up.
This is tough for me to answer. I can’t imagine how hard it is for him.