Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jodie Meeks may not be done as a Wildcat

Remember Randolph Morris?

He played center for Kentucky for three seasons, finishing his junior year as an all-SEC player.

Awesome. But wait, remind me again why I should care about some kid that ended his collegiate career three years ago, and has been a mediocre-at-best presence in the league since?

Because he entered the 2005 NBA Draft after his freshman season, but went undrafted. Despite having "a relationship" with an agent, Morris was allowed to return to Kentucky (albeit with a 14 game suspension). He ended up playing two more years, but due to a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement, Morris was considered a free agent during his last two seasons in Lexington. Five days after UK lost in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, Morris had signed a two-year, $1.6 million contract with the Knicks.

Once again, why do we care?

Because Jodie Meeks has yet to sign with an agent.

And because Jodie Meeks is projected to go somewhere in the 40's or 50's.

And because it is very possible for a player projected to go somewhere in the second round to end up not getting drafted.

Add that up, and what you get is a scenario where Jodie Meeks could return to Kentucky for his senior season.

Now, this is incredibly unlikely. For starters, I really doubt that Meeks will go undrafted. Remember, we are talking about a guy that was an all-american and averaged some 23.7 ppg. Regardless of how he projects as a pro, Meeks clearly knows how to put the ball in the basket. Someone will almost assuredly take a second round flier on him simply because the entire country knows who he is.

But just for a second, let's pretend he doesn't get drafted. Would he attempt to return to Kentucky, where he would immediately make the Wildcats the overwhelming favorites to win the national title? Or would he try to finish off what he has already started, and try to latch on with an NBA team before heading overseas?

I think he is gone regardless. While I really doubt that he would be able to latch on with an NBA team after not being drafted (especially in a fairly weak class like this year's), Meeks is perfectly suited to the European style of play. A salary of six-or-seven-figures would be a lot to turn down.

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