Julian Wright Entering NBA Draft

It's official. I think that the immediate and long-term financial benefits derived from a guaranteed contract make a compelling case for turning pro as soon as you're a highly probable lottery pick. Nor is it a bad idea to turn pro in a year when Phoenix (58-19, 2nd seed in West), Detroit (49-27, 1st seed in East), and Chicago (46-32, 2nd seed in East) each project to have top-15 picks (as of today) in the draft.

I also think that, if you assume that Julian Wright has room to improve as a basketball player (and I do), it's likely that he will improve more and at a quicker pace if he's playing basketball professionally than as a student-athlete at the University of Kansas, playing (at most) 20-25 meaningful games in between limited practice time while taking a heavier-than-average course load in pursuit of early graduation.

Here's Julian's stats from the past two years.

stats glossary

Points, assists, turnovers, blocks, and steals listed per 100 individual possessions

Year %Min eFG% FT% PPWS Pts A TO BS S OR% DR%
FR 50.3 57.8 55.7 1.17 24.3 5.1 5.7 3.4 2.9 9.2 14.2
SO 68.3 55.3 61.3 1.14 25.2 4.5 5.0 2.7 3.0 11.0 20.0

He will be missed.

Also, Julian's 06-07 stats in comparison with those from some other big men projected to go in the first round.

Name %Min eFG% FT% PPWS Pts A TO BS S OR% DR%
Noah 64.6 60.7 66.3 1.28 27.8 5.2 5.8 4.2 2.6 13.3 24.6
B Wright 66.3 64.6 56.7 1.29 29.4 2.0 3.2 3.5 2.0 8.8 15.8
J Wright 68.3 55.3 61.3 1.14 25.2 4.5 5.0 2.7 3.0 11.0 20.0
Horford 66.1 60.8 64.4 1.27 28.5 4.7 3.9 4.0 1.6 12.2 27.0
McRoberts 87.2 50.9 66.4 1.10 22.5 6.0 4.2 4.3 2.0 7.6 19.4
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