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Is Nick Calathes ready to turn pro?

Florida guard Nick Calathes declared his intention to enter the NBA Draft. Does the sophomore star need more seasoning?

GAINESVILLE — Florida sophomore point guard Nick Calathes announced on Monday his plans to enter the NBA Draft pool. Calathes will do so without an agent, meaning he can return to the University of Florida if he is not drafted.

Calathes informed Florida coach Billy Donovan of his plans on Sunday night. Calathes averaged 17.2 points per game and 6.4 assists per game. He scored 1,170 points in his two seasons with the Gators, which is a program record for an underclassman.

“This is a great opportunity to take some time, look at my future beyond college, collect information and see where I’m at,” Calathes said in a written statement distributed by the University of Florida.


If Calathes does not return, he would be the second sophomore in as many years to leave the program for the NBA. Former UF forward Marreese Speights was drafted in the first round last season by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 16th overall pick.


Calathes’ numbers this season were almost identical to statistics compiled by former Florida point guard Jason Williams, who turned pro after his sophomore season.  Williams, who was kicked off the Gators’ team during his sophomore season, averaged 17.1 points per game and 6.7 assists per game. Calathes considers Williams a friend and mentor.

“I talk to him all the time,” Calathes said.

OK, anyone out there think Calathes is a first-round pick? My opinion: If Calathes is going to be a first-round pick then he should turn pro. If Calathes is going to be a second-round pick, then he should return to Florida.

Do I think Calathes is a first-round pick? No. Do I think Calathes' draft stock will rise after another year of college? It all depends on who the other point guards are in next year's draft. Does UConn's Kemba Walker return to school? Does Memphis guard Tyreke Evans return to school? Is Calathes better than Villanova junior guard Scottie Reynolds? How does Calathes' game compare to North Carolina junior guard Ty Lawson or Michigan State sophomore guard Kalin Lucas?

Donovan said during the post-game press conference after the Gators' final game of the season that NBA general managers draft players based on potential? Should Calathes sit the bench in the NBA the next couple of years or start for the Gators his junior and senior seasons and make a run at the NCAA Tournament? How could Calathes consider going pro after never even playing in the NCAA Tournament? When Speights turned pro, at least he had a ring.

-jo-

Comments

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1) Unless you are going to be a lottery pick, you stay in school until junior year and improve your game at least. Being picked in the first round doesn't mean as much in the NBA as it does in the NFL. And if he fell to the second round? He's basically just as good as having been undrafted. Look at Taurean Green and Chris Richard.

2) Calathes is not a 6'11" big-time center, he is a puny guard that has only shown inconsistency and inability to play up to his competition. He folds like a cheap suit in most big games and the team that he has captained for two years, as you said jo, hasn't even made the NCAA tournament.

3) Yeah, Jason Williams...unemployed last time I saw him...which was a week ago.

Jason Williams is not unemployed, he is retired. There is a difference. He signed a contract with the Clippers in the offseason and retired a couple weeks later.

Calathes will be an NBA bust, mark it down! Simply not athletic enough to compete consistently and won't be able to guard any 1 or 2 on the court or have the qicks to create space for his shot. I practiced in Sacramento out of school and watched lots of JayWill...Calathes is no JayWill, not even close.

Calathes won't be a bust because no one is expecting big things from him in the NBA. One can not be a bust without expectations.

I said, "Hey, J, you gonna be playing anywhere next year?"

His response, "Nah, I'm unemployed."

You would retire too if you signed with the Clippers!

Agreed, you can't be a bust without expectations.

Just because he doesn't know the difference, doesn't mean there isn't one. I agree, he prob woke up the next morning, realized Mike Dunleavy would be his coach, and retired immediately.

Since when does a first round pick (even late) not carry expectations, at least for the team the wastes a pick...knuckle head comments...expectations come with being drafted last time I looked.

Except every draft expert asked about him expects him to be a early-mid second round pick. LAst time I looked, most second round picks don't make it. When one does make it, they are called surprises. I have never heard of anyone complaining about a second round pick that doesn't pan out. Why? No one expects them to.

the kid couldn't even make the Greek national team...eventually made the under-21 and rode pine. and he wants to go NBA already?! please...

hey Jo, assuming he does bolt, do you have any word on potential late 2009 PG recruits that Billy D is eyeing to replace him?

These fools have him No. 23 first round and this newspaper has consistently said late first round / early second...Hey, as a die-hard Gator Alumni/Fan, I wish the dude all the best and hope it pans out for him...just don't see it…of course continuing to play in college will further expose him as we saw in the latter part of this season when teams figured his gig out.

http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-mock-draft/2010/

Retard, you posted a 2010 mock draft. As in, the site expects him to return for his junior year because he won't be drafted in the first round this year.

Richie,

Florida is recruiting Rico Pickett (formerly of Alabama) and Eric Bledsoe (Birmingham (Ala.) Parker High) to replace/complement Calathes. Even if Calathes returns, UF could use another ball handler -- preferably someone who can create his own shot at the end of a game (not Calathes), drive to the hoop and freaking dunk the ball (neither Calathes nor Erving Walker) and not have his three-point shot at the buzzer rejected (not Walker).

-jo-

Call it what you will...I’ll settle on "forced retirement" if that is what you want...but the dude is not working. He’s still young enough to play and has more talent than a good amount of guys in the league right now...but he isn't playing.

[and not have his three-point shot at the buzzer rejected (not Walker). ] TWICE!!! TWICE!!!

And Adam M. is right...there are really no expectations or "busts" outside of the lottery or if someone trades up in order to pick a certain player.

Calathes would seem to be a project in the NBA even though he has some real skill. Is it possible that he is looking at Boynton and other players in the pipeline behind him and getting nervous?

Chad Ford, the main source for all things nba draft has this years pg prospects ranked liked this:
Chad Ford: Yes ... it's the strength of the draft. I think you could see 12 of them in the first round if they all declare. Here's my Top 12 PG prospects (note: it's still unclear which of these guys will actually be in the draft)

1. Ricky Rubio
2. Willie Warren
3.Brandon Jennings
4. Stephen Curry
5. Jonny Flynn
6. Eric Maynor
7. Ty Lawson
8. Jrue Holiday
9. Jeff Teague
10. Darren Collison
11. Patrick Mills
12. Nick Calathes

NO one is expecting alot out of the 12th best player at his position in a given nba draft.

Good stuff. I can't wait to buy my Ricky Rubio jersey. J/K

-jo-

thanks Jo...good info

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