Saturday, April 19, 2008

Like it or not, Lawson's meeting is bad news of North Carolina fans

Man, you people got heated about yesterday's post, didn't you? I feel the need to make a couple of clarifications that I supposed most people don't realize. First, I understand the creed around here: In Roy We Trust. But let's be realistic people. If you think that no public statement means no decision, then you don't get it. Just because these guys haven't officially declared for the draft doesn't mean the decision hasn't been made. It's called leverage. To state the obvious, these guys are hardly lottery picks. So from a business standpoint, especially where agent hiring is concerned, holding onto the front of returning to college is a business move, period. When these guys are going through a decision as big as this one, the more options you have on paper, the more paper you'll generate.

Why would an agent take a potential client to Outback? The answer to that is surprisingly simple. Until a player officially signs with an agent, he can't accept anything from anybody and not expect to hear from the NCAA. Therefore, gettin' spotted eating caviar by candlelight is a no-no. A chocolate thunder from down under is much more feasible. And if he does slip, the leverage is gone.

How do I know this information when nobody else does? Believe me, PLENTY of people know more than they're allowed to say. The news business, for those of you who don't know, is all about finding out what they don't want to tell you. Decisions like these are announced at strategic times. It may be to take pressure off the athlete, the coach, the program ... any number of things. That's usually information that stays in-house and only becomes obvious upon announcement, when the pieces fall together and make a little more sense.

News outlets have to have concrete facts. And by concrete facts, I mean someone inside the program or in direct relation to the player that's spilling the beans. But as a reporter, if you can build relationships with those close to the program (like boosters), you can find the answer without having to go inside the program. You get someone with that access to fill you in. That's what I, and many others, have done. There are people that pay a lot of money to this program. A LOT of money. These people expect to know the ins and outs of their investment. Some are willing to share what they know. Others aren't.

And lastly, keep this in mind: Anyone remember seeing Raymond Felton rolling through campus in a new Jaguar shortly after the 2005 national title? No decision had been announced at that point either. As a matter of fact, Sean May had everyone believing that he could get at least some of that class back and even said he'd stay himself. But the truth remained. Those dudes, with the exception of May, were already gone. They were just developing their game plan.


Ning ja said...

hi, i'm from singapore.. quite a good blog abt basketball

Iron Tom Vane said...

While you may be right about Lawson leaving, holding out on declaring is hardly a "business move." You aren't drafted as soon as you declare, but rather on draft day.
While saying you might come back to college may make you more appealing/interesting right now, the bottom line still comes down to where you'll be drafted. It makes no difference when you declare for the draft, so I'm not sure what you're getting at there.

Brandon Staton said...

What I'm getting at there is that it's an ongoing bargain...with agents and with NBA teams. If an NBA team fears you might go back to college (like a team with a late first round pick that really needs a guard and knows that they won't have a shot at Lawson next year) they're going to up their numbers in hopes of convincing you. Same with the agents. If they know that there's a shot you go back to school, they're going to have to make a harder run at you if THEY want to get paid. Sorry for the cliche if you're out there Tim Crothers (inside joke), but it's a continuous game of cat and mouse.

Iron Tom Vane said...

Salaries for draft picks are set (, so the upping the numbers thing probably doesn't apply. I think the only thing for these guys is weighing the money they would get leaving this year against the potentially higher salary they could make leaving next year.

The Not So Silent Minority said...

There is a salary cap on how much every NBA rookie can earn, so stop trying to defend your leverage argument. You are just wrong.

Former sports editors of the DTH should do their homework in that regard.

NBA rookies have no leverage in terms of their salaries. Their salaries are already established, essentially.

Furthermore the more logical argument as to why Lawson would go pro even if he was drafted at 21, if you did your homework, is that the sooner you enter the NBA, the sooner you can get through your first contract, and if you are as good as you think you are, your 2nd contract will be huge.

Thus, you are "wasting" a year in college before the big payday, in theory.

See Carlos Boozer for a more practical example of the above.

Jeff said...

This is a completely uninformed blog post. You are trying to pose as an insider into the world of the Carolina program, but you don't even know that there is a rookie salary scale. The teams cannot "up their numbers." Its a fixed salary.

There is a *very small* audience for college basketball/drafting blogs, and you have just made everyone in that audience think you are a complete DB.