Friday, May 06, 2005

Dee Planning to Declare for the Draft (but don't worry too much)

According to several reliable sources, Dee Brown is planning to declare for the draft but not hire an agent. I know that this is the same route Deron Williams took before he proceeded to hire an agent, but this is a different situation. Don't look for Dee to do the same thing as Deron. Coach Weber and others (and of course Dee) view this as a way for him to test the waters, go to some pre-draft camps, and get a better feel of what NBA teams think of him.

At the moment, he is viewed as a likely second round pick, which would not give him a guaranteed contract. By going to the pre-draft camps, it is possible he could raise his stock, but more likely he will learn what NBA teams would like him to improve upon. He can then come back to Illinois for his senior season with that in mind and work to prove he is worthy of a first round pick in next year's draft.

Needless to say, if Dee were to declare for the draft, it would be a huge loss for the Illini. While it will be difficult for next year's team to match what was accomplished this year, Illinois will be a much better team with Dee than without him. In addition to what he brings on the court, Dee has truly become the face of Illini basketball and having him around for another year should be nothing but positive for the fans, the media, and hopefully recruiting.

Illinitalk fully expects Dee to be back next year. While we wish him luck at the pre-draft camps, we are also a little selfish in that we want him back for another year at Illinois. In the long run, we think it is probably in his best interest as well--it is much better to be a first round pick than a second round. Reportedly, Dee is still 99% sure he will return to Illinois for his senior season. Let's hope that is true and that we can all enjoy having a great college player around for another season. Go Illini!

P.S. On a purely personal note, the Illinette turned 2 months old this week and went to the doctor for a checkup and her first round of immunizations. She now weighs 14 lbs. and is 24.5 inches long! I am such a proud papa!

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