The Florida State Seminoles haven’t produced many NBA All-Star’s over their history. It’s a fairly short list that includes Sam Cassell and Dave Cowens. Malik Beasley hopes to add his name to that list, but it’s not going to be easy.
Beasley is set to become the first “one-and-done” in FSU history. He averaged 15.8 points and 5.8 rebounds during his freshman season, shooting a very respectable .471 from the field. In addition, Beasley was second on the team in three-point attempts (142), and first in minutes played (1,014).
Despite his impressive statistics, Beasley isn’t regarded as a top prospect in this year’s draft class. Currently, he is viewed by most as a late first round pick, some even going as far to say he’s a second round selection. The difference between the two is monumental, as only first round picks are guaranteed a contract.
It’s sometimes a slippery slope when players declare for the NBA Draft after one or two seasons in college. Players such as Karl Anthony-Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker were guaranteed to be selected top-three, and the decision to leave college is a no-brainer.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a case such as the one Aaron and Andrew Harrison found themselves in.
The two sophomores were part of the 2015 Kentucky Wildcat team that saw underclassmen Willie Cauley-Stein, Devin Booker, and the aforementioned Karl Anthony-Towns get selected in the first round. Unfortunately, the Harrison’s weren’t as lucky. Both missed the first round, and as a result a guaranteed contract.
That’s the situation Beasley finds himself in now. For every Towns, Wiggins and Parker that are assured of a selection in the top-three, there is a case like Aaron and Andre Harrison. They thought they were first round selections, but are now settling for a contract that could have been much more substantial had they stayed another year at Kentucky.
It’s puzzling as to why Beasley has made the decision to go pro. The Seminoles look to be on the way up with players such Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes in the mix. In addition, coach Leonard Hamilton has acquired five-star recruit, Jonathan Isaac, and four-star recruits, Trent Forrest and C.J. Walker.
It’s possible Beasley decided to make the jump because he would be taking on a smaller role in the offense next season, and figured this is his time to cash in. Maybe he just wants the money, but when you’re on the bubble of the first round, is it really worth the risk of not having a guaranteed contract and having to play in the D-League?
Beasley is only going to get better with an extra year at the school. It helps that Florida State will have the talent to make a run in the ACC, meaning more exposure and a possible NCAA Tournament berth. Pro scouts are obviously aware of his game, and it’s highly likely he will be a sought after target by many if he decided to stay an extra year.
Beasley is a legitimate pro prospect. He’s a former McDonald’s All-American, and was one of the scoring leaders amongst all collegiate freshman. But his decision to go pro is awfully similar to that of the Harrison’s.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on Twitter @dgentleman9288