The morning has brought a flurry of pieces on Spencer Hawes' decision to turn pro. I posted my thoughts last night, which centered around whether he actually is ready for the NBA, but here's a sampling of what others had to say:
-- Seattle Times college basketball writer Bud Withers says ready or not, Hawes sure sounded like a guy who is determined to make this jump and is as good as gone.
He's not hiring an agent, preserving his eligibility to return to Washington for a sophomore season. But there was a palpable vibe that Hawes is one-and-done as a Husky, a prospect his comments didn't discourage.-- The (Tacoma) News Tribune columnist John McGrath seems to think that a clean break at this point is best for all parties involved. He also disagrees with me that Hawes is better off improving himself at the college level.
"In terms of any decision, you have to go in focused 100 percent on what your goal is," Hawes said. "I think right now, my mindset is to be as prepared as possible for the draft. If I was on the fence and trying to satisfy both situations [including the UW], I'd be doing myself and the team a disservice."
Which seemed to be a diplomatic way of saying: I'm outta here.
Hawes pointed out Thursday that an NBA career was “a lifetime goal.” There’s not a lot to misunderstand about those words. He didn’t go to college to complete a degree. He didn’t go to college to have fun and collect once-in-a-lifetime memories. He went to college because he wasn’t able to play in the NBA for a year. ...-- Seattle Times UW beat writer Bob Condotta, who knows the team as well or better than anyone, reached the same conclusion as Withers on his blog.
As for the Huskies, Hawes’ return would guarantee that all the conjecture about his turning pro in 2007 is rendered a stark reality in 2008. Despite his athletic gifts, it’s difficult to build a team dynamic when potentially your most dominant player is an underclassman donating his services through a one-year rental agreement.
By the tone of Hawes' comments, he isn't doing this just to get an opinion on his game so he can find out what he needs to work on next season in college. After listening to him speak, and reviewing his comments in writing that story, I don't think there's any question he's looking at playing in the NBA next season if it makes any sense at all. And since it probably will, I think there's a good chance today was goodbye for Hawes.
There's a reason, after all, the Huskies had committed themselves to as many as 15 scholarships for next season. This was one of the things they knew would probably happen. Today was the first step. But it hasn't happened often that a guy in the position of Hawes declares and then comes back --- that's usually borderline guys, and not probable lottery guys like Hawes.