Non-lottery first-round picks in the 2022 NBA draft are guaranteed between $4 million and $8 million. Even if they show a little bit of potential, they would more than double their earnings on a four-year rookie deal. Players who proved to be in the NBA also started their more lucrative second contracts.
Most people will take this opportunity.
Not Tequavion Smith.
Jonathan Givony of ESPN:
North Carolina guard Terquavion Smith, a first-round pick, is expected to drop out of the NBA draft and return to school for his sophomore season, he told ESPN.
“I have to be honest and admit that money was never at my core. My agent explained to me that teams as high as the teens, for the rest of the first round, listed me as a first-round talent “It was exciting to hear this. But I told him I had more work to do. I especially enjoyed school and my college. Remember, my last two years have been so weird because of the pandemic. I Just want to have one more season and do everything right and be a college student.”
I hope this works for Smith. That’s a lot of money to give up.
But the 19-year-old never got the chance to live a normal college life again. With NIL, he could still make some money next year. He could also improve his playmaking skills, get stronger, hone his defense and get a higher draft pick in 2023.
The mitigating factor, however, didn’t change that: Smith had the NBA’s first-round money in front of him, but brought more uncertainty.