We’ve seen plenty of potential first-round picks declare for the NBA draft this year. Thanks to a new rule, declaring no longer ends a player’s collegiate eligibility. There’s practically no downside to entering the draft, participating in the combine and then evaluating options.
So, Grayson Allen is bucking a pretty strong trend.
Sophomore All-American Grayson Allen will return to Duke University for his junior season in 2016-17, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Wednesday.
This will receive an inordinate amount of praise from fans who value keeping kids broke, who find virtue in Mike Krzyzewski chastising an opponent for celebrating a made shot late in a win (and lying about doing so), who see Allen’s cheap trips as a sign of his toughness. Miss me with all that. If Allen is happy at Duke and wants to spend another year at Duke, good for him. I hope he made the best decision for him. That doesn’t mean there’s something noble about it – or, by extension, dishonorable about other players declaring early.
Allen projected as a late first-round pick, though he wasn’t a lock to go in the top round. He’s an impressive shooter with deep range.
But his problem is that he’s a 6-foot-4 shooting guard. While that’s not too small, he’s shorter than ideal. Another year at Duke won’t make him any taller. Maybe he can develop the passing and ball-handling skills to become a point guard, where his size would be an asset, but that seems like a longshot.
More likely, Duke’s point guards play better (both through development and recruiting) and ease the burden on Allen. That could allow him space to score even better. More time in college also allows Allen a chance to develop his other skills.