Pitino: No guarantees for Telfair, others in draft

University of Louisville signee Sebastian Telfair was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. And while his stock is very high right now, Rick Pitino says there are no guarantees when it comes to the NBA Draft.

While Sebastian Telfair's stock is extremely high right now, University of Louisville head coach says he continues to counsel his star point guard signee on the realities of what lies ahead should he declare himself eligible for the NBA Draft in June.

"Having him on the cover of Sports Illustrated was an honor and certainly we've resigned ourselves to the fact that he could be entering the NBA Draft," Pitino said. "But we constantly talk to him and counsel him to understand that a work out could go bad and the team that was thinking of drafting you could make a last minute trade and lose their draft pick."

Through expereince, Pitino knows all too well that there are no guarantees when it comes to the NBA Draft, and cites Paul Pierce as a prime example.

"Unless you're number one in the draft, there are no guarantees," Pitino said. "And I can tell you that from nine years of being in the NBA. Things change. Paul Pierce was guaranteed to go number two in the draft. He slipped to number ten to us. So there are no guarantees."

Almost certainly, some sort of endorsement deal from one of the major shoe company's will likely make it impossible for Telfair to turn down the NBA right out of high school, regardless if he's a lottery pick or not.

"The higher the pick that you are the more shoe money you get in your intitial contract and that's the big part of the deal," Pitino said. "The first contract, unless it's shoe money, a player's not going to get wealthy. The second contract is where the NBA players acquire their wealth."

The first pick in the draft gets about $2.93 million and goes down 15 percent each pick. Clearly, Telfair and his family won't be set for life, as current projections have him going anywhere from 9-15. But with shoe money, possibly with Sonny Vaccaro and Reebok, he'll have more than enough to do the things he wants to do for his family.

And while he'll likely never play a second for Pitino at Louisville, the Cardinals head man said Telfair made it clear from day one where he wanted to play from day one, which can only help in future recruiting wars.

"I think Sebastian just chose us right away," Pitino said. "It wasn't like he was choosing us over four other schools. He made it clear that he was going to Louisville to play for our coaching staff. So that helped from day one."


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