Idk about the draft but I feel like Reece’s career will be extreme one way or the other. Either he fixes his shot and is a rotation player on playoff teams or he doesn’t and he plays fewer than 50 career NBA games
I think he should go. Unlimited shooting reps is what he needs. Another year of college is another year with constraints on his shooting time and he isn’t getting those reps back
UVa works its ass off to ensure that there is no appearance of pay-to-play in NIL for its student-athletes.
There are opportunities to be had here — Rhoback, Good Feet, etc. — and of course the baseline pay, but the player has to put in the work: commercials, speaking engagements, corporate events, using your socials as marketing vehicles.
However, if you’re an introvert, pay-for-play is exactly what you’re looking for — and that’s what the NBA quite literally does. You can put in the work to get endorsement deals — if you want to, but you don’t have to, or need to.
Beekman can make as much here as he can on a two-way NBA deal, or a base rookie second-round contract. But does he want to practice and play for that money in the NBA — or does he want to practice and play at UVa, while also having to make public appearances AND go to class?
Seems to me we’ve had several extroverts who might have chosen Option 2 in today’s NCAA environment. But Option 1 seems highly geared to a more introspective guy like Reece.
I think it’s important to point out that Bacot doesn’t have to go to class - giving him lots more time to hustle for those NIL $$.
More seriously though, Bacot’s highest earning potential (at least for playing basketball) may be right now. I don’t think that’s the case for Reece, and I think while he’s in school, time is a limiting factor for him. Would he rather use his free time between class and practice doing something that may not come naturally to him (social media influencing, chasing sponsorships, etc.) to make a decent buck? Or would he rather sign a two-way deal, actually get paid to play (gasp), and focus most of his energy on basketball and improving his game for the next level?
I’d rather work my way up to a 1st round pick in 2024, which is supposed to be a historically bad draft class. It’s certainly a stretch to think he could get to that level but he might be able to show out if he stays healthy and is truly running the show with no Kihei.
Some athletes have to hustle for NIL and to keep money and deals coming in. Reece isn’t one of those guys as things are more neatly laid out for him. You do make a good point though in that absent pay for play, he’ll still have to allocate some time to “making” that money.
I think ultimately his choice comes down to trust. Who does he trust to best get him ready for that 1st/2nd contract? If it’s TB and UVA, he should come back and solidify his draft position and enjoy everything college and college ball has to offer (and that not paltry NIL check). If it’s his agents and G league personnel, he should take that money and run.
Unfortunately (for UVA), I think unless he’s advised specifically to return, he’s going to take option 2. He’s had some really difficult times over his career here and he might simply be ready for another chapter. If so, he’ll always be a what if for me. He never reached his full potential but damn if it didn’t shine through sometimes.
Reece’s long term earning potential is probably better if he waits one more year. If he stays in the draft, we’re talking about a two way contract as the most likely outcome. That’s realistically two years but sometimes only one to show that he deserves a guaranteed NBA deal before being shuttled to the G league full time or overseas. Most guys don’t ever get that guaranteed deal.
The game for Reece is all about timing his two year window of opportunity so that he gives himself the best possible chance to earn a guaranteed contract. It’s hard to see how playing an additional college season as the team’s offensive fulcrum wouldn’t help his odds substantially. He should only leave if he is facing some income constraint this year or would be much happier outside of school.