Did Josh Selby Ruin His NBA Future By Coming Out Early?

April 15, 2011 – 3:47 pm by Ryan Phillips

We discussed Josh Selby’s decision to enter the NBA Draft before it actually became official because we had sources saying it was a done deal. Now that the Kansas freshman has gone public with his choice to turn pro, we feel the need to dissect it further.

Selby entered Kansas as the top rated recruit in the nation according to Rivals.com. He was firmly in the mix to be the most talked about freshman in the land, along with North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Duke’s Kyrie Irving and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger. Then things went awry.

Selby had to serve an NCAA-mandated nine-game suspension to open the season because of his dealings with Robert “Bay” Frazier. Frazier is Carmelo Anthony’s business manager, and served as an “advisor” during Selby’s recruitment.

After serving his suspension, Selby was less than impressive as he simply didn’t live up to the hype or adjust well to the college game. He averaged just 7.9 points, 2.2 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game in 26 appearances, and only averaged 20.4 minutes in those contests. It was obvious to virtually all observers that another year in college was needed for his development.

But Selby ultimately decided to turn pro and now faces an uncertain future. There is no doubt he is immensely talented but while he was slated as a sure top 10 pick at the beginning of the season, he’s now a borderline first round selection. ESPN’s Chad Ford has Selby rated as the No. 36 prospect in a very weak 2011 draft class. The 6’2, 183-pounder is listed as the sixth-best point guard in the draft behind Irving, UConn’s Kemba Walker, Kentucky’s Brandon Knight, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette and Boston College’s Reggie Jackson.

In two recent Mock Drafts, NBAdraft.net has Selby coming off the board with the third pick in the second round (No. 33), and DraftExpress.com has him being taken with the 27th pick. That’s quite a fall from the top rated high school player in the nation.

The good news for Selby is that a bad draft position and a terrible decision to turn pro don’t necessarily mean his NBA career is doomed. Last year Texas guard Avery Bradley and Kansas guard Xavier Henry both left school far too soon, but both ended up drafted in the first round and on NBA rosters. Two years ago UCLA’s Jrue Holiday left too soon, and three years ago Arizona’s Jerryd Bayless also made an ill-advised jump. Holiday is now playing extremely well for the Philadelphia 76ers, and while Bayless is on his third team in two years, he seems to have found a solid rotation spot with the Toronto Raptors.

So the news isn’t all bad for Selby, but he has a ton of work to do at pre-draft workouts and camps. He’ll also have to impress teams in his interviews because the public perception of his attitude is less than stellar.

He’s a good slasher and an aggressive defender but he isn’t a pure point guard, can be selfish at times and his shot selection leaves much to be desired.

With good workouts and interviews he will likely sneak into the late first round.

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