Tempting fate can be a risky proposition when determining your financial future. Timing becomes critical, and finding the right route can be rewarded with a lifetime of riches.
The athleticism and explosive nature of Georgia sophomore Jumaine Jones gave the 6-foot-7 forward the assurance he was ready to make the jump to the NBA. The uncertainty of his future forced the hand of Georgia Tech's Dion Glover.
Rebuilt anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and a year removed from a phenomenal freshman season, Glover is hoping his potential is enough for him to be selected in Wednesday's NBA Draft at the MCI Center in Washington.
While some analysts debate the wisdom of forgoing their remaining eligibility, they can point to South Carolina's BJ McKie as an example of the unpredictable nature of college basketball.
The Chicago Bulls will make the first selection at 7:30 p.m., and the two-round draft will be televised (TNT) in its entirety.
McKie elected to return to Columbia following his junior season. Neither his draft status nor his team benefited from his senior campaign. NBA scout Keith Drum sees McKie, 6-foot-2, as a point guard if he's to make an NBA roster. USA Today ranks him the draft's ninth best point guard.
McKie was a slasher and scorer in college and never displayed consistency when playing the point for the Gamecocks. He averaged 17.3 points, four assists and 3.4 rebounds his senior year while becoming the Gamecocks' all-time leading scorer.
"McKie's instinct is to be a two guard," said Drum a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based scout for the Sacramento Kings. "He's going to have to make the adjustment to be a playmaker."
The lure of guaranteed millions prompted Jones to leave Ron Jirsa's program, which has since been taken over by Jim Harrick. During his sophomore season, Jones positioned himself to be a first-round selection.
Jones proved he could deliver from outside the 3-point line (34.8 percent) in addition to being a strong finisher in the paint. Drum said Jones' development into a multi-faceted player makes him a possible lottery pick.
"Based on his potential, I'd put him in the group with (Duke's William) Avery in the top 16-17 of the draft," Drum said. "He has very good potential. He's a good shooter; he just needs experience."
The uncertainty of a damaged knee and the loss of his sophomore year makes Glover's decision to enter the draft questionable. He has not worked out for any NBA teams, and their only basis for drafting him would be on personal interviews and his 18.4 freshman scoring average.
"He would be better off to go back and show people his talent," Drum said. "People will evaluate him off his rookie year. He has potential but needs to develop consistency and become a better shooter."
Jimmy DeButts can be reached at (706) 823-3221.