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Husky Men's Basketball

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March 20, 2007 at 9:17 AM

More on Hawes

I wrote a little about Spencer Hawes and his looming decision today for our paper and Web site.
As noted in the story, Hawes is leaving for a vacation this week, during which he figures to spend a fair amount of time debating what he’s going to do.
And while I know there are rumors making the rounds in both directions — he’s staying, he’s going — I don’t think any decision has yet been made.
I also think it’s hard to read much into anything one way or the other. For instance, one could argue that the fact he still hasn’t decided anything is a good thing — if he were gone, he’d just be gone. On the other hand, the more removed he gets from the UW season may make it that much easier to walk away.
There are a number of factors at play, to be sure, including strictly emotional ones such as his legacy at UW. Hawes knows if he left now, he wouldn’t be remembered in quite the way he hoped when he came to UW because of the team’s struggles this season.
Then there are more practical considerations such as his draft status and readiness for the NBA. There seems little doubt he would be a top 10-15 pick, at worst, if he came out.
Here’s a mock draft from published March 1 that has Hawes at No. 6
And here’s one from published March 19 that has him at No. 11.
As for his readiness for the NBA, I think that comes into play in a way some often miss. It’s not so much whether NBA scouts think he’s ready in terms of drafting him — teams draft on potential as much as they do immediate production and a couple bad Pac-10 outings aren’t going to scare away anybody from taking a 7-footer with his obvious skills — but how it may affect his future earnings.
The new NBA collective bargaining agreement calls for rookies to receive only two-year guaranteed contracts with an option for a third year instead of three years with an option for a fourth (You can find more detail on that here).
That means players who aren’t as ready to contribute immediately risk getting a contract down the road that may not be as lucrative as if they make an instant impact. This is something Hawes has mentioned several times this year, and I had one knowledgable person tell me this would have as much as anything else to do with Hawes’ decision this year.
If he thinks an extra year of college will help make him readier to maximize a contract two years after his rookie deal (remember, all rookie contracts are slotted and not negotiated so his immediate reward won’t vary much) then he may be more inclined to stay an extra year. If he’s not worried about it, then it’s one step closer to the door.
As I detail in the story, the deadline for declaring is April 29. If he doesn’t hire an agent, he can pull out of the draft by June 18. If he doesn’t hire an agent, he could still attend pre-draft camps to get a gauge on his stock — players can do that once and return to college.



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