Lauri Markkanen, Kobi Simmons and Chance Comanche chose to turn pro.
Allonzo Trier and Dusan Ristic decided to stay.
Rawle Alkins, for now, is not sure what he’s going to do.
The NBA Draft Combine that begins this week in Chicago offers players another chance to show off for teams, and for some — like Alkins — it may prove to be the difference between turning pro and going back to school.
Players who entered the 2017 draft but did not sign with an agent have until May 24 to make a final decision, and while that date is still two weeks away, it is apparently thought that Alkins should go back to Tucson for a sophomore campaign.
In a piece by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman breaking down some players who will be attending the combine, he notes that NBA executives believe Alkins is not ready for the NBA.
A 6-foot-5 guard, Alkins averaged 10.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG. He is torn about whether to leave or go back to school. The Wildcats have Allonzo Trier coming back and will bring in talented big man DeAndre Ayton. Coach Sean Miller also might get Pittsburgh transfer Cam Johnson, so that could further complicate Alkins’ role this coming season. “He needs to go back to school,” every single NBA executive interviewed said. One added: “I love how hard he plays, but he doesn’t really have a position.”
Range: Mid to late second round
NBA says: Back to school
Alkins was quite productive in his first season with the Wildcats, finishing third on the team in scoring, fourth in rebounding and fourth in assists per game. Billed as an explosive and strong athlete, he also made 37 percent of his three-point attempts.
Yet, for all he accomplished as a freshman, he has not yet shown the skillset necessary to play shooting guard in the NBA, and he is a bit short to play small forward.
Hence, the lack of a true position.
As Goodman noted, however, the team Alkins could return to in Tucson differs from the one he just played with in terms of the role he will play, which could also impact his draft stock next year.
No doubt all of this will factor into Alkins’ decision, which is likely not an easy one for the 19-year-old.
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