Posted on: November 5, 2009 5:02 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2009 5:06 pm
The NBA D-League Draft is tonight on NBA TV.
Tune in and you'll hear the names of all sorts of former college players -- guys like Deron Washington (Virginia Tech) and Paul Harris (Syracuse) -- who have been forced to take the tough path to the NBA. Meantime, you'll also hear the names of some guys who never actually played in college, among them Latavious Williams, who must want to shoot his "core of very competent people" about now.
As my pal Jonathan Givony at DraftExpress.com pointed out -- click this link for a nice breakdown of the D-League Draft -- Williams has gone from a guy being told he could get a contract in the "six-figure range" to somebody on the verge of playing in the D-League for a non-guaranteed contract worth $19,000. For this, he passed up college?
In fairness, Williams had academic problems, and it's unclear if he would've been cleared to play in college this season, or whether he had any interest in actually going to college. If that's the case, fine. If this was his only real option, then maybe this isn't terrible. But it's still rough to see a talented young person be so misled by adults -- in this case, it was a dumb mentor/amateur agent named Trey Godfrey -- that he ends up surprised by reality, and that's why it's difficult not to feel a little badly for Williams, because he was told he was worth way more than he's really worth.
I mean, do you remember the quote from Williams when he announced he was skipping college? If not, here you go: "It was a difficult decision, but after consulting with a number of people, and taking my family situation into consideration, playing overseas is the best move for me. It will not be an easy transition, but I have surrounded myself with a core of very competent people who I trust and who have my best interests at heart, so I am confident that things will work out very well."
There is no good overseas option.
There is no six-figure contract on the table.
Consequently, Latavious Williams will have to "help his family" by playing in the D-League for $19,000.
I just hope he has a small family.
Posted on: July 21, 2009 1:56 pm
Memphis signee Latavious Williams has decided to bypass college and pursue a professional career overseas, according to a statement released Tuesday morning.
"It was a difficult decision," Williams said in the statement. "But after consulting with a number of people, and taking my family situation into consideration, playing overseas is the best move for me."
Rivals.com ranked Williams as the 17th-best prospect in the Class of 2010, and he was the first elite recruit Memphis landed after John Calipari's departure. Still, whether the 6-foot-8 forward would ever actually play for the Tigers has long been in question because of questionable academics. And though the Memphis staff was optimistic, most industry sources familiar with Williams' transcript were highly skeptical he'd ever be cleared.
Either way, it doesn't matter now.
Posted on: May 26, 2009 1:31 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2009 1:35 pm
Latavious Williams is expected to commit to Memphis at a Tuesday afternoon press conference, his high school coach told CBSSports.com.
"I'd faint if anything [besides Memphis] came out of his mouth," said Humble (TX) Christian Life Center's Carlos Wilson. In other words, unless Williams surprises everybody -- and sends his coach to the floor -- he will be Josh Pastner's second recruit, joining junior college standout Will Coleman.
Williams is a 6-foot-7 forward who is rated as the 17th-best prospect in the Class of 2009 by Rivals.com.
Posted on: May 26, 2009 9:07 am
Edited on: May 26, 2009 2:40 pm
Latavious Williams is scheduled to unveil his college decision Tuesday afternoon, at which point Lance Stephenson and Noel Johnson (decommitted from USC on Tuesday morning) will become the lone uncommitted Class of 2009 prospects ranked in Rivals.com's Top 100.
A press conference is set for 3 p.m. ET.
Williams is a 6-foot-7 forward rated as the 17th-best prospect in this class.
He will choose between Memphis, Georgetown, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Florida International.