Reasons to go:
- James is already 24 years old
- James is one of the NCAA's best shot blockers
- Boston College's Sean Williams (pictured below) was drafted 17th overall last year by the Nets and is a similar player to Shawn James. Williams was a noted shot blocker in college and measures in at 6'10 235 pounds.
Reasons to stay:
- James simply isn't big enough or strong enough to play down low in the NBA.
- James should take his extra year of eligibility and finish his degree, that way if he can't make it in the NBA he has something to fall back on.
Personally I think James should stay at Duquesne, and not just for selfish reasons. Unless a player is guaranteed to be a 1st round draft pick there is no reason to leave school early. 1st round draft picks in the NBA receive 3 year guaranteed contracts, however 2nd round picks do not get guaranteed contracts. In my mind the thought process on a decision to go pro or not is simple: if the word is that you will be a sure first round pick you should go pro, 3 years guaranteed in the NBA should never be turned down. However if you are slotted as a maybe for a late 1st round pick or early 2nd round, why not stay at school for another year to get stronger and work towards your degree at the same time?
One player comes to mind when thinking about awful draft decisions: Chris Taft formerly of Pitt and the Golden State Warriors. Taft had a fantastic freshman season at Pitt, and many felt he had a future in the NBA. Taft regressed as a sophomore and at that time many scouts felt he did not have the work ethic needed to play pro basketball. Taft hired an agent after his sophomore season and went pro. Taft was taken in the 2nd round of the draft by Golden State, and played 17 games there as a rookie without much fanfare. Taft was injured for most of his rookie year and has yet to play another game in the NBA. Golden State waived him in October of 2006.This was 1 of Taft's 6 career free throw attempts in the NBA
This is one of the clear cases of a player leaving too early for the NBA, failing, and ruining his potential pro career. I would hate to see this happen to Shawn James.