Almost everywhere you look, coronavirus’ imprint has been left on the world. And that goes the same along every storyline in sports as we become more and more immersed in our new quarantined lives.
Junior guard Chris Smith would have had two postseason tournaments to show his ability, maturation and skill on the hard court to the national media had the Pac-12 Championships and the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament not been cancelled. Those performances would have been more important than ever, had they been able to happen as it seems we’re most likely headed towards the cancellation of in-person workouts during draft time as well as the postponement or ending of the NBA Draft combine as well.
As the 6’9, 215-pound junior weighs his options on whether or not to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft, Smith’s biggest factor could be those cancelled workouts. The lack of in-person workouts now forces Smith to make an educated guess as to where he stands on team’s draft boards.
It’s an unprecedented time for all sports and all athletes as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, and now it’s forcing student-athletes to make judgement calls without the proper chance to study and research their decisions.
No announcement has been made on whether all in-person workouts or if the combine will be cancelled but as it stands right now, with states and the nation elongating their ‘safer-at-home’ orders, it seems we’re heading in that direction.
So does he stay at UCLA for one more year? Or does he make the leap to the NBA and hope he stands in high regard with NBA team scouts?
One good thing for him is that he has a bevy of experience and a ton of great film under his belt already.
Smith has played in all 97 games over the past three seasons and made 26 starts this past year. He led the team with 13.1 points per game and ranked second on the team with 5.4 rebounds per contest. His postseason honors included Most Improved Player and First-Team All-Pac-12 following regular season.
Either way, whatever you decide Chris, we support you and thank you for your three years as a Bruin!
What would you do, if you were in Chris’ shoes?