NEW YORK — When will the underclassmen learn that the NBA draft can be a cruel and unforgiving process?
Mississippi State junior Jamont Gordon and USC freshman Davon Jefferson got a tough lesson Thursday. After leaving school early, both failed to be selected in the NBA draft. They flushed away their college eligibility, they lost their amateur status and now they’ll be trying to make a team as a free agent.
Last month, Gordon chose to turn down an invitation to the Orlando pre-draft camp. The word was that he thought he would go in the first round.
Jefferson went to Orlando and at the time said he felt he was ready to make the jump to the NBA.
Both players better hope they get to the D-League and somehow make the NBA the hard way.
Even though a record 10 freshmen were selected in the first round, there were a number of disappointed underclassmen Thursday night. Clearly, a handful of early entrants got poor advice about their draft status, stayed in the draft instead of returning to school and plummeted below expectations.
Texas A&M’s DeAndre Jordan left the Aggies after one season to go in the second round, No. 35 overall, to the L.A. Clippers. Jordan might have a shot to get a guaranteed contract, but clearly he didn’t leave college for a second-round selection. He is a work in progress, but there was a theory that the work would be done as a first-round guaranteed selection.