I am not an NBA Scout just a fan, but what I have seen from Mason, he is not NBA ready, which could be good news for Duke fans. Maybe the scouts see things in him right now that make them think he is. I gues he would be a power forward because he does rebound well.I guess it is easy for me to say skip the millions of dollars for a year since it is not my money !!
I never thought that Kevin Love would be as good as he is in the NBA, so my opinion isn't worth that much.
I would like to get a feel from the more knowledgable Duke fans as to Mason and the NBA.
Last edited by NYC Duke Fan; 02-26-2012 at 06:50 AM.
Being NBA ready has little to do with whether or where he would be drafted. Mason's physical gifts are fairly obvious and will be coveted by NBA teams.
I agree that his season so far doesn't scream "NBA lottery pick" but nothing about his performance negates his potential. One college season, or even three college seasons, is a relatively small sample size for an NBA player. Players' draft stock drops when they're exposed in some way - lack of quickness, bad hands, that kind of thing. Mason has struggled at times this year but he hasn't been exposed in that kind of way.
Interesting this was posted as I just checked the Mock Drafts this morning to debate with another Duke fan that Austin was going top 10 in the draft.
NBAdraft.net currently has Mason listed as going 22nd to the 76ers. A little Collins connection here????
Anyway, I don't really watch much NBA, so I don't know if that would be a good fit for him or not. I know they are young and like to run, so maybe that could help Mason.
On a side note, Austin is no longer listed in the 2012 Mock Draft as of 2/24/12. I wonder if that's telling?
I have seen him ranked anywhere from 18-25 before. He is now listed as going 5th in 2013.
I have wondered the same thing about Mason. I saw him listed as #20 at one point, and was surprised. I don't pretend to know what the NBA is looking for. Maybe it is potential, but they have to see something beyond that. Its a mystery.
I really think Mason is coming back next year, for a bunch of reasons:
1) This draft is extra-loaded because several players that could have come out last year stayed in school, at least partially due to uncertainty around the NBA lockout (Sullinger, Barnes, Henson, Zeller, Jones III, etc.). If Mason comes out this year, he's a late first rounder at best, according to all of the draft boards I've seen.
2) While he has played much better this year, he still has quite a bit of room for improvement at this level. Continued development of his back-to-the-basket game and improvement in free throw shooting are two obvious areas. If he puts together an even better senior season and the draft pool next year is a little thinner, he is likely to go higher, maybe significantly so.
3) He would get to play with Marshall, which he will (most likely) never have another opportunity to do.
4) In all likelihood he would get to be a captain, which I think matters to him given how much he has publicly expressed admiration for Kyle's leadership.
5) He added a second major this year, not the kind of thing most people do if they're anxious to be done with college.
I hope he comes back for his senior year as there is still room for lots of improvement with his game, but my perspective is as a Duke fan and my opinion on whether he is ready or not is useless. Here is what the mock drafts predict:
1. Draft Express has him going at #22: http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-mock-draft/2012/
2. NBA Draft has him going at #22: http://nbadraft.net/2012mock_draft
3. My NBA Draft has him going at #18: http://www.mynbadraft.com/2012-NBA-Mock-Draft
4. Hoops Hype has him going at #26: http://hoopshype.com/draft.htm
I took a look at the 2011 draft and the #22 pick was Kenneth Faried who is earning $1,254,720 this season. In 2010, Elliot Williams was the 22nd pick. Williams is earning $1,348,800 this season. Mason's decision will most likely hinge upon whether or not he believes he can significantly improve his draft position by returning to school. One intangible is perhaps Mason enjoys school, he is an Academic All American, and will come back for his senior season to finish his degree. Or perhaps he desires to play one season as a Blue Devil alongside his younger brother Marshall. As a Duke fan, I really hope to see Mason lacing up his sneakers in Durham for one more season, but perhaps I'm simply being selfish.
United States Navy (Retired)
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
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9F 9F 9F
As some have stated previously, my thoughts are purely FAN selfish. I know this is wasted breath, but I
hope and wish for the day to come again, when if a college or university invests in you, you give them
all 4 years. I am not for cutting someone's income, just being a selfish fan. You talk about high level college
ball and vastly improved NBA ball, wow! Sorry, just dreaming.
For all the reasons listed, I think he stays as well. Too much talent in this year's draft at his position for him to make a dent in the draft or get substantial playing time in the league. If he can play his way into the lottery next year(not absurd considering the lack of bigs in next year's mock drafts), a team would have to make a substantial enough financial investment in him to warrant some minutes.
Just like the case of Kyle Singler staying and us not getting HWSNBN, I'd much rather have a senior Mason than a freshman Parker/Jeffrerson (and if we can land one of them and keep Mason, that'd be great too).
And If you don't know it by now - the Zellers and the Plumlees are pretty tight and VERY similar families. I also happen to know that both families value college degrees. The Zeller brothers are almost perfectly a year ahead of the Plumlees in most facets - a great comparison model. Please note that all of the Zeller brothers have thus far been 4 year players. Luke is in the NBDL and Miles really is his brother equal in many ways. Tyler has stayed for 5 years and is a first round lock - even after early career injuries - I'm sure Mason sees this.
And the youngest brothers? Oh well, I'll let the talented Marshall and Cody speak for themselves...
Last edited by SupaDave; 02-26-2012 at 11:48 AM.
He needs to come back if for no other reason than to help his 7' little brother who wasn't ready for ACC play this year in the staffs opinion.
While Mason played well and seemed to be improving early on, he has been in a slump, which I believe is more mental than physical. Just looking at the VT game, it was easy to see that he had a subpar game for all but the very end and in the OT period. He became very effective and was playing with great intensity. If he ever gets to the point where he plays with that intensity more of the time, he will be a stud. I believe it is in his best interest to return and perhaps find something in himself that will elevate his play. It would also be a great help to next years team if he does come back!
Because I pay so little attention to the NBA, I can't tell whether Mason's flaws have been exposed enough to disabuse NBA teams re his potential. If NBA teams are nervous about whether Mason may have reached his ceiling, that would push him toward end of 1st round and maybe, just maybe, into 2d round. I doubt both that he has reached his ceiling, and that NBA teams believe he has, but his decision-making and general play v. BC, FSU, and most of VT game cannot have gone unnoticed. Everyone, except his upcoming opponents, earnestly wants him to get back on the promising track that marked his season.
The contrast between graceful and powerful play on the one hand, and bulky-even-blundering play on the other - seen in game after game - is striking. I'm skeptical that this enigma will be resolved one way or the other this season; and as I care about Duke's season and not the NBA, I'm resolved, or resigned, to hold on as the Mason roller coaster barrels forward. Can't complain that it hasn't been exciting.
A lot of NBA GM's are becoming more and more wary of these kind of "he has potential" draft picks, especially regarding big men.
With the new CBA, not many teams are going to want to waste a roster spot for one of these guys to develop. And the D-league hasn't
fulfilled the promise it had to help develop these kinds of players. Yeah, once in awhile it helps, but still, nothing like a full minor league progression in pro baseball, and three year requirement for the NFL.
Mason would not be drafted high. Another year will help his stock a lot.
Along the same thought, Austin would be drafted this summer, but nowhere near as high as he would be with another year or two with K. It would be a good investment for both of them to stay next year.
Luckily, from their standpoints, their families' finances will not force them to come out early if they are not fully ready. Certainly no 1999 in store for Duke this year.
That being said, he really is not ready. He can play decent defense, rebound, and catch an alley oop, but he still doesn't have anything resembling a strong post game. I'm not really sure he would develop that in his last year, but Miles and Zoubek seem to have made decent senior year jumps so I don't see why Mason couldn't.
None of this may matter if he is set to graduate this year. I believe that he may have summer school/ AP credits to graduate in three years, which may have been his plan all along.