Syracuse Orange fans are firmly concerned with the task at hand, beating the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 2016 NCAA Final Four in Saturday. Whether that's where the journey ends or if the Orange make it to the National Championship, sooner or later we'll have to concern ourselves with the possibility that one or more of our talented freshmen will test the NBA Draft waters.
Malachi Richardson had his coming-out party to the basketball world last weekend when he torched the Virginia Cavaliers in the second-half and carried the Orange into the Final Four. Meanwhile Tyler Lydon has put together a solid resume and has plenty of tools to progress as a player.
This is the first year where underclassmen can actually test the waters on the NBA for a longer period of time before having to either declare or return to school. It probably means we're going to see an uptick in guys checking out the possibilities since their eligibility can remain intact longer. It's actually a great rule change for players, but it could be the thing the nudges Richardson, Lydon or both out the door sooner than expected.
So, do you think either of them will take a shot at the NBA this spring?
Both Richardson and Lydon will test the NBA Draft waters after this year. Its time to stop complaining about when these kids leave. I agree that many are not ready, but at some point you just have to accept that it is what it is. The new rule that as long as they don't hire an agent they can return any time.
I would think that they would both want to test the NBA waters, just to see. There's enough time to do so and withdraw your name if you don't like your prospects. And you know what? If their prospects DO look good, and they're mentally ready for the jump, more power to them. Who are we to dictate what's best for an almost-20-year-old kid?
I think Lydon comes back for sure without testing the waters. I wouldn't be surprised to see Malachi put his name out there without hiring an agent. Ultimately I think they both come back but you never know. Kids have to do what they think is best for them and their families.
They absolutely should under the new rules. It makes sense for them to try and get an invite to the combine, and to do the one team workout they are allowed. This would allow them a better understanding of their NBA prospects, and what they need to improve before making the jump.
With the rules what they are now, they both should, and I imagine, will. There is very little downside to them seeing what their stock is, outside of a few nasty tweets from narrow-minded folks. It wouldn't shock me to see Richardson jump, especially considering his recent heroics, but that may depend on how he performs in the Final Four. Lydon probably has more NBA upside, but can definitely use a bit more polish. He's a prime candidate to make a huge leap as a sophomore. Either way, their futures are theirs, and theirs alone, so hopefully everyone respects them no matter what the decisions wind up being.
Like everyone else said, why not enter? There's literally no harm now. On top of that, players have cashed in on NCAA Tournament success before, so it only makes sense that two very visible stars on a Final Four team do so. And honestly, if Syracuse wins it all (knock on wood), would anyone be upset if they left? Sure, we'd be better next year with them on the roster. But the goal is a title, or at least a deep run in the tourney. They've played their respective parts and then some. More power to them.
There's no reason for either of them not to at least see where they stand. That said, I'm pretty sure Lydon will return. I can't imagine he'd get drafted and another year or two at Syracuse will do wonders for him. Richardson, on the other hand, could go either way. I've come to learn not to get too attached to stars like him and just assume they're going pro first chance, but we'll see what the scouts think.