Calathes Doing the Right Thing

I have no problem with Gator basketball player Nick Calathes exploring his options as it relates to his professional basketball future. The system in place is extremely player friendly and anyone who thinks he might want to make the jump to the next level should investigate the situation thoroughly.

If I were advising Calathes I would tell him to do exactly what he's doing; declare but don't deal with an agent and keep your options open.

The next two months – admittedly a ridiculously long time – will give Calathes a chance to participate in camps have individual workouts and get feedback from a number of people in the pro game. He'll get an outside opinion of his strengths and weaknesses and a variety of opinions about when he could expect to hear his name called on draft day. There are just two absolute truths he must remember.

NBA teams lie ---- Not all of them, but most of them will inflate your draft status because they want the biggest talent pool possible. The more players they have to choose from the more likely it is they can get talent that is greater than the draft slot would normally generate. Philadelphia didn't lie to Marreese Speights last year, but ask Anthony Roberson and Matt Walsh about the "guaranteed" first round promises they were given.

Agents lie more ---- Again, not all of them, but I suspect an even higher percentage than is acceptable. Like NBA teams, agents want lots of guys in the pool, because they can't make commissions if they don't have clients that are in the mix. They will tell you just about anything to get your signature on a representation agreement and once that's done it's over.

Fortunately for Nick he has a great family and his father and brother can help make certain he doesn't get confused along the way. Team Calathes won't sign with an agent, but they shouldn't even exchange text messages. At the point, Billy Donovan will represent his interests better than anyone.

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Time will tell if the consensus view that Calathes is a second round pick is an accurate one. While he has off-the-charts passing skills and basketball smarts he also has some issues. Calathes needs to show the NBA a willingness and ability to defend quicker players off the dribble. That is not going to be easy to accomplish in a short period of time. Additionally he needs to develop a real jump shot that he releases over his head. Calathes' shooting accuracy is more than adequate, but with the closing speed that NBA defenders possess his low release point makes it easy to block. I would also expect him to hear things about his need to add physical strength.

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There's no reason for there to be almost three months from the decision to explore the draft until the deadline to pull out of it (June 15). A month is more than enough time to do the research necessary to make an informed decision. Why is it that a football player gets three days from the declaration deadline? That's far too little time for them. Can't we find a balance?


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