You can’t really blame Derrick Williams for deciding to leave college and enter the NBA draft — even if you’re an Arizona fan.
You only get so many kicks at the can, and after a fantastic NCAA Tournament Williams was a clear high draft pick (he went No. 2 overall to Minnesota). While I get the whole “value of an education” argument when we are talking millions of dollars guaranteed, you have to think that money can secure his future.
Except Williams money is locked up as the whole NBA is locked out.
That seemed to keep some guys in school (a lot of likely lottery picks went back to college for another year). Williams has gotten some money by signing with Under Armour to be his shoe company, but in talking with Holly McKenzie at The Basketball Jones he expressed concern of talk that the season could be lost.
Yeah. If they told me I was going to miss all 82 games next season I would have stayed in college and enjoyed myself and enjoyed all of my teammates and everybody else who is involved with Arizona. I definitely would have went back.
Rookies are in a tough spot, because they are not in the union (they don’t have a contract yet) and so all they can do is watch and workout. For first round picks like Williams, going to Europe means risking that NBA money (if he got injured his team may not sign the deal). For second round picks, who have no NBA guarantee, they have to consider getting paid somewhere.
It’s all just a big mess.