Diploma or Dollars? Five Days to Decide on NBA

AP Photo
The Associated Press
Auburn, AL

Many 2016 March Madness games will be decided in the next five days when stars must choose between the NBA and one more college run.

The table below lists the 20 most valuable players with decisions to make—and the decision of No. 1 D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera to back out of the draft projects him as a 1st team All-American giving Georgetown a chance.

Breitbart Sports released the top 100 basketball teams based on their total projected Value Add, and now has updated the database so you are one click from looking up how much any player will change the rating when he decides whether or not to go to the NBA or which school to transfer to immediately after graduating early.

The Big East had the most on the line, with D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Providence’s Kris Dunn (still undecided) projecting as the 5th and 6th best players in the country should they stay. If both had gone NBA, then the top projected players in the Big East would have been big man Daniel Ochefu (33rd) and sharp-shooter Josh Hart (34th), unless senior/graduate transfer Damion Lee chooses Marquette over Arizona, Louisville, Gonzaga, and Notre Dame.

The list includes not only NBA prospects, but players who have graduated after just three years of playing and possess the option of transferring to another school and playing immediately.

As shown in the photo, the www.valueaddbasketball.com database now shows the projections for each player in addition to the final ratings of 2015. You can type the team name, or “projections” in search fields if you just want to look at projections. In the photo above, you see that Karl-Anthony Towns would be worth almost 14 points a game if he stayed for his sophomore season instead of entering the draft. Delon Wright is listed next as the top player from the Actual 2015 season.

Gary Payton’s projection is next, as he returns to Oregon State and projects to be the best player in the land. Then Towns is listed again, this time for his actual 2015 season. The following are the best 20 players from the database that still must decide on where they are playing next year—and which team they might take on a March Madness run.

Nat’l Rnk Top 20 Season-Changes Possible Teams Value add
5 Smith-Rivera, D’Vauntes 4 Georgetown 9.68
6 Dunn, Kris 3 Providence/NBA 9.6
10 Wiltjer, Kyle 33 Gonzaga/NBA 9.02
18 Hield, Buddy 24 Oklahoma/NBA 8.52
23 Johnson, Stanley 5 Arizona/NBA 8.43
25 Lee, Damion 14 AZ,Lville,Gonz,Marq,MD 8.13
36 Yogi Ferrell, Kevin 11 Indiana/NBA 7.65
59 Poeltl, Jakob 42 Utah/NBA 6.97
104 Auguste, Zach 30 Notre Dame/NBA 5.96
140 Miller, Shonn CT,IL,BC,Mich,Marq,Cal 5.6
147 Tollefsen, Mark 23 AZ,CA,SDSt.,WA,NV,TN 5.5
152 Thorne, Mike 12 Pitt,Ill,KS,KY 5.4
194 Hammons, A.J. 20 Purdue/NBA 4.99
218 Harris, Tyler 25 Available 4.8
254 Smith, Sterling 24 WF, Pitt, Rutg, Lville 4.53
259 Smith, Adam 3 Available 4.5
328 Gordon, Derrick 2 ORSt.,UtahSt,UNLV 4.1
367 Collins, Anthony 11 CA,TN,Bay,Gtown,St.Johns,Pur 3.9
404 LeVert, Caris 23 Michigan/NBA 3.72
412 Wallace, Tyrone 3 California/NBA 3.68