To stay or to go: OU's Hield faces NBA choice

Sooners' high scoring guard continues to play waiting game in regards to NBA Draft

The days continue to fade away for Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield.

He has less than two weeks to make the biggest decision of his life thus far: Go to the NBA or stay one more year at Oklahoma.

Looking like he was still enjoying college Friday afternoon, Hield said he’s being patient and still waiting to make his decision.

The deadline to declare for the NBA Draft as an underclassman is April 26 but many talented players have declared already, including seven from Kentucky, KansasKelly Oubre and Texas freshman Myles Turner. The draft combine is on May 12, so Hield will have to make his decision on a reduced evaluation.

Although the deadline to withdraw is June 15, just 10 days before the draft.

So far, 24 underclassmen have declared for the draft. In each of the past two years, more underclassmen have come out than have been drafted.

In 2014, 40 underclassmen were available in the draft and 26 were drafted. In 2013, 45 underclassmen were available in the draft and 28 were drafted, including undrafted Sooners’ early entrant Amath M’Baye.

More than ever, players have to make sure they are making the right choice – with the best information available.

Here’s some of that information for Hield:

Draft projections:

Sooners Illustrated - 41st overall to Indiana in the second round (Although Buddy hasn’t asked me yet) – 22nd overall to Dallas - 2nd Round

CBS Sports - Early 2nd Round

Bleacher Report - 2nd Round

Why Hield would go?

- Buddy might not have a been individual season the rest of his career, winning Big 12 PoY and taking Oklahoma to the Sweet 16.

- There might be a sense of personal accomplishment for Hield in going to the NBA. He’s always talked about wanting to make something of himself, and he might see this as his chance.

- Hield wants to go to the NBA. That doesn’t mean he wants to leave Oklahoma, but like any college basketball star, Hield knows the next step awaits.

- Even as a volume scorer, Buddy Hield can score. There’s no substitute for being able to put the ball in the basket in the NBA. His game will take more of a jump in one year in the NBA or NBADL than it would at Oklahoma.

- Buddy talked specifically about guaranteed money earlier this month and its importance to him. He’d have to hit the first round at least to get there.

Why Hield would stay?

- Hield is undersized for an NBA two-guard and doesn’t have the ball-handling ability to run the point.

- He loves college life, you can see it in his face.

- There’s a sense that he wants to accomplish more than Oklahoma did this season.

- He still has parts of his game to adjust and needs to drive the ball with more efficiency. Defense is still a question, although his athleticism lends itself to being a strong defensively player in the NBA.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories