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If C.J. Fair Projects as a Late First-Rounder Will He Chase the NBA Money?

It’s a risky proposition, one that Fair needs to be leery of judging by Kris Joseph.

C.J. Fair did not declare for the NBA Draft Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean he’s coming back. Yesterday was the NCAA’s deadline, and Fair still has not announced his pro plans. As long as he doesn’t sign with an agent, he has until April 28th to return to Syracuse.

So over the next 11 days Fair will gather information from league people about his prospects, and where he is likely going to be taken. And if he doesn’t believe it’s worth it, he’ll come back to the Orange.

The problem is there’s some buzz building that he’ll be taken in the first round. The Fizz’s Craig Hoffman spoke with an NBA source who believes Fair is a late first round pick, who’s helped out because of his size. While NBA rookie salaries are obviously slotted in accordance to where you’re picked, all first round contracts are guaranteed.

The difference of just a few spots could make all the difference to Fair. If he’s an early second rounder neither his spot on the roster nor his money are guaranteed. You’ve basically been just invited to summer league, and team workouts. But a late first means his contract is guaranteed and he’s at very least going to begin his career on the regular season roster.

Could Fair help out his draft stock by returning to SU for his senior season? No doubt. A standout campaign, and a deep tourney run where he’s the central piece would figure to help him immensely. But passing up the guaranteed money has enticed plenty of players not quite ready for the NBA to jump.

It’s too much of a crap shoot to come out early unless you’re assured of a first round pick. Look at Kris Joseph’s odyssey this year. In June he was drafted in the second round by the Celtics. He had to battle through Las Vegas summer league. In October he had to make the team. He was sent to the D-League in the winter with the Maine Red Claws, then released in January.  In February K-Jo was traded to the Springfield Armor, then had to fight for a 10-day contract with the Nets earlier this month. Imagine if he threw away a senior season for that?

Everyone has different financial situations, and sometimes families need the possible paycheck now more than a year from now. But if C.J. doesn’t need the cash is this really the road he wants to risk having to take if he’s selected 31st instead of 30th? From an SU standpoint you hope he comes back. From an individual one, you hope he doesn’t chase a shaky dream and end up regretting it.

Posted: D.A.

4 Comments on this Post

  1. CJ needs to stay where he is. Waiters lucked out and look at what happened to Harris Devo Flynn and Fab….

    If CJ stays he will be a lottery pick no doubt and have job security with money$$$$

    Money is the key to leaving early and it might be there but the security isn’t.

    Stay one more year CJ

  2. DuanyDuany

    @Lou I agree CJ needs to come back, but no chance he’s ever a lottery pick. He’s a mid 1st at best. He’s not big/strong enough to play PF in the NBA. He’s a bench SF in the NBA unless he drastically improves his dribbling next year.

  3. Kevin S

    C.J. needs to stay… MCW should have stayed too but in that case what’s done is done… too many S.U. players leaving early and then not even making it in the NBA… look at the list of people in that situation: outside of Carmelo & Dion, everybody else has minimal to no success in the NBA… Devo, Fab, K-Jo, Flynn, Harris, Greene, Wesley Johnson, etc

  4. James S

    maybe the fact that smart is staying will impact his decision. But the fact that next years draft is stocked doesnt help. hopefully he sees potential in next years team

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