Ethan Happ officially announced that he will putting his name in the NBA Draft and will be going to the combine.
Wisconsin junior Ethan Happ has declared for the 2018 NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent. pic.twitter.com/J4YmtL0qdG— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) April 3, 2018
After this tweet went out I was bombarded by text and tweets. Most of which were asking if Happ is really doing this and is he really going to make the NBA. Some are worried that Wisconsin will be loosing what should be a key piece to the successes of the Badgers 2018-19 season.
I am here to calm everyone down and just let the process play out.
First let’s give props where props is due. The NCAA does not get most things right when it comes to how the handle the word amateurism. I could go down a deep rabbit hole about how players can’t have the extra benefit of cream cheese provided for their begal or how they can not profit or receive benefits from their likeness while the NCAA and the schools rake in Billions. No we will keep it positive. The NCAA got it right by allowing players to go through the Draft process, get some feedback from real NBA decision makers,not just their cousin, uncle, brother or only the good stories they saved from the internet, and still be eligible if they choose to comeback. The players that choose to enter into the Draft and not hire an agent will be able to size themselves up head to head with their direct draft competition. It is really the equivalent of summer internship for any other student. You go to a workplace in a field that you think that you want to get into. Spend a few weeks learning what it takes to work there, the company evaluates who does a good job who need work, the individual finds out what they personally need to work on. All this is good experience and information for Student-Athletes to have to make an informed decision. So good job NCAA for not handcuffing kids on making a decision that has a great impact for their trajectory of life.
Now I believe that having Ethan going through this process is nothing but a good thing. He should take every opportunity to gather information on his game and compare himself to his peers. Of course you already know this because you have listened to Episode 1 of the podcast. What can I say I am pro player. A real players blogger/podcaster.
Am I worried that Ethan will not come back to Badgers for the 2018-19 season? I would say that my panic button meter is at a 3. There is no doubt he is a good collegiate player and a true throwback to the back to the basket big men. He was able to put up 18 points a game with every opposing team’s only game plan was to stop him. Just think of what he could of have had he shot better then 55% from the free throw line. He is also a pretty good defender and a skilled passer.
When is comes to the NBA however as Ethan’s game currently stands I just don’t see him as a first round pick. The man has hit 4 shots that were outside of the lane in his college career 4. Let that sink in. At the next level you have to be able to at least hit a consistent 15 footer preferably be some sort of threat from outside to open things up. Not to get all Stephen A on you but in my professional opinion there is no way that a team will take a first round flyer on a stretch 4 that can not shoot, no way no how. Now all it takes is one GM or Owner to be in love with a throwback like Happ that reminds them of the good ol days where team played inside out (Sup MJ) and we could see him ride off to the NBA. If that happens all I can say is good for you Ethan you did it and I wish you the best of luck.
My official take is that Ethan will get the obvious feedback that he needs to develop an outside game. Pulls himself out of the Draft and will return for the 2018-19 season. He will work hard in the off season to work on his jumper and make it a consistent part of his game. At the start of the season you will she more jumpers out of him to try and prove to NBA scouts that he has added a dimension to his game.
The only hope is that he starts making those shots.