On Monday evening we got the news that Malik Beasley would be entering the 2016 NBA draft via an official statement from Florida State basketball. This was not a "testing of the waters" type announcement. He's gone. Beasley becomes the 1st ever 1-and-done player at FSU.
The news was not very surprising. We first started getting nervous when his family began wearing MB5 logo items near the end of the season.
The NBA mock draft crowd has Beasley firmly on the 1st round bubble. The only surprising outcomes at this point would be if he went in the lottery or if he went undrafted. A mid-to-late 1st rounder, or a 2nd rounder, seem to be the popular views.
If he goes in the 1st round, then this is obviously a great financial decision. First round picks get guaranteed contracts, and the value of the 20th pick, for example, would be roughly $3.94 million over three years.
But what if he drops to the 2nd round?
Looking at last year's college players drafted in the 2nd round, there is a range of options, though most ended up getting some sort of NBA contract. Louisville's Montrezl Harrell signed a 3-year $3.1 million contract. LSU's Jordan Mickey signed a 4-year $5.0 million deal, with the first two years guaranteed. They both spent the seasons bouncing from their parent clubs to the D-League, but they were getting guaranteed money. D-League players who don't have NBA contracts barely make enough to live on without getting at least one 10-day contract in the league.
Other players, like Boston College's Olivier Hanlan did not fare so well. Hanlan left after his junior year, was drafted 42nd overall, and is now playing in Lithuania.
Now that he has been scouted by virtually every NBA team, where he gets drafted will depend on two things: how well do his workouts go, and how many teams need a shooter who probably needs a lot of development before being an everyday NBA contributor? It's one thing to be good. It's another to fit a team's need, and the lower you go in the NBA draft, the more a team's need becomes the deciding factor.
Another consideration is that the 2016 draft is widely seen as much weaker than next year's 2017 draft. Even if he fixed holes in his game he could drop next year because he'd be competing against what is speculated as greater competition.
His athleticism and shooting ability are at an NBA level. His size isn't a killer, though he is a bit small. The real areas where he's hurting right now are in his ability to create off the dribble, and his ability to guard anyone.
If he has a straight line drive, or is in transition, or is used as a spot-up shooter, then he can score. But in half court sets he can't be called upon to create. The NBA eats up players who are predictable.
But if he can get guaranteed money, then development at the next level will go much faster. In the NBA, you have a job, and you work on it constantly. In college, you have a job, but you're only allowed 20 hours of supervised practice per week and only during the season. During summer, that number drops to eight hours per week. He'll also be working against better players and have an enormous amount of resources at his disposal.
If he does end up in the NBA, then there could be a silver lining for FSU basketball. The Noles currently have one player - Toney Douglas - in the league. Eight months ago Malik Beasley was on no one's radar for the draft. To recruit, the Noles need to be able to point to players in the NBA, and having a recent success story of player whose stock absolutely exploded in FSU's system will be something that could be leaned on when selling the program to recruits.
The 2016 NBA draft is June 23, and will be held at the Barclay's Center in NYC.