Trey Burke, the fantastic Michigan point guard who helped lead the Wolverines to the NCAA title game a week ago, has decided to leave school early for the NBA. This was a no-brainer. So is Nerlens Noel, the Kentucky shot-blocking machine. Also a no-brainer.
Russ Smith? Curious decision. Burke? Smart decision. It’s nearly impossible to think of a scenario where staying in school would have helped Burke, who captured virtually every Player of the Year award imaginable.
But since Burke was such a lock to leave – I’d peg him somewhere in the 9-15 range the real question at his press conference Sunday was regarding the status of three of his teammates – Tim Hardaway Jr., Glen Robinson III and Mitch McGary.
All seem likely to leave. As I’ve said repeatedly on the site, the 2014 draft is much more top-heavy, and even if Hardaway/Robinson/McGary aren’t ready, there is a shot all of them go in the Top 20. My guess today is Burke – will he be as good as Mike Conley at the next level? Conley went 4th overall – goes Top 10, Hardaway and McGary go 10-20, and Robinson in the 21-30 range.