Chris Smith’s decision to go to NBA or return to UCLA shrouded in uncertainty

Had the whole lot gone as deliberate, Chris Smith would have simply prevented making what quantities to, at finest, a semieducated guess.

The UCLA junior guard would have showcased his rising skills within the Pac-12 Convention match and the NCAA match along with the NBA draft mix and particular person exercises, giving him a powerful sense of his standing earlier than deciding whether or not to enter the NBA draft or return to school for yet another season.

Now there’s uncertainty piled atop uncertainty.

Smith’s father, Sean, mentioned Monday that his son continued to weigh all elements because the household mentioned his basketball future, together with the potential impression of a draft mix and particular person exercises that may very well be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whereas there was no official announcement, it’s broadly believed that particular person exercises that usually begin on the finish of April and the draft mix scheduled for Might 21-24 in Chicago will probably be postponed or canceled.

“That positively has an impression as a result of that is completely uncharted territory for the NBA as a complete,” Sean Smith mentioned, “however the entire course of is uncharted for us as a household, so we’re simply making an attempt to make the most effective resolution for him, be that return to highschool or no matter.”

Smith, who was chosen the Pac-12’s most improved participant after a season wherein he averaged a team-high 13.1 factors per recreation, is listed as a fringe second-round choose on some mock draft boards. His father mentioned the household had not mentioned a threshold that may decide whether or not he entered the NBA draft or returned to UCLA.

“We haven’t developed a standards that features that,” Sean Smith mentioned. “However, I imply, it’s tough to even state that with the truth that you possibly can’t get into exercises and issues of that kind to attempt to alter your place, so the place he stands proper now’s the place he stands.”

A handful of things may compel Smith to return to UCLA, together with his improvement below coach Mick Cronin and the abrupt finish to a season wherein the Bruins (19-12) gained 11 of their final 14 video games, making them a classy choose to fare effectively within the Pac-12 match and make the NCAA match after having a sub.-500 report in January.

One other good school season, capped by a powerful exhibiting within the NCAA match, may catapult Smith up the draft boards.

“We love Coach Cronin and his workers and the way they’ve helped him develop they usually consider in him they usually push him, which is essential for my spouse and I and it’s vital for Chris as effectively, to push him and consider in him,” Sean Smith mentioned. “And the truth that the crew began to jell on the finish of the 12 months and didn’t get a possibility to indicate what they felt they may do within the Pac-12 match and probably the NCAA match, there could also be some unfinished enterprise.”

Early entrants have till April 26 to declare for the draft and till June three to withdraw their names from draft consideration and stay eligible for subsequent season, although each dates may change if the draft scheduled for June 25 on the Barclays Heart in New York is pushed again.

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