Gafford's decision isn't really rocket science..

If you’re going in the first round, you should go, the 2nd, it’s 50/50, anything less, stay and grow. I don’t think he’s going in the first round, despite what some mocks are projecting. Probably the 2nd… I would love to have the kid back, I think we could compete for a championship, certainly an SEC championship, if he came back, but if I was getting that kind of money in the 1st round, I’d take it, then get my degree online. But if I wasn’t getting drafted in the 1st or 2nd, I would stay in school.

For some guys the first round is still subjective. You can make a few million just being in the first round, BUT if you’re a lottery pick in the first round, the millions jump significantly, especially for guaranteed payments. So some players could find it worth working towards that lottery pick and making a bigger pay day.

True that, but if you go in the 1st, you’re going to get a much better salary than any job you will find coming out of college. I wouldn’t turn it down, I would get my degree online, and take the paycheck. The second, in Gaffords case, where he’s improving by the minute, he could work his way into a lottery pick, it might be smart for him to stay, if he doesn’t go in the first.

With the number of big men ahead of him in this class and then the number of teams projected to take the wing players he would loose a couple of million in just his first year of the contract. So over his first contract it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see coming back to college for one more year may be the right decision.

I’m gonna play what if here for a second.

What if:

He decides to come back and I’m wrong and the guys we have coming in aren’t as good as those leaving. Then Gafford will be our “only” guy next year and he will be a focal point of other teams’ game plans. I know that the “NBA Experts” claim potential, but if he becomes the main guy and every team works on shutting him down and they make him go down to around 7/8 pts a game and 4/5 rebounds a game, he may fall in the draft. Let’s say it causes him to fall to the second round. Wouldn’t it then have became a mistake for returning?

While I tend to agree with the OP that if you are in the first round, it is hard to say “no”, one other factor to consider is the “second contract.” On first blush that means “go NOW” to start the clock on getting that first contract behind you and signing for BIG BUCKS on the second one. HOWEVER, if you are not a lottery pick, you just might not ever get to that second contract. There is a lot of reasons you may not play enough to earn a big second contract if you are just a roll player. It seems like teams go out of their way to take care of their lottery picks (don’t want the bad PR of having a lottery pick bust? Maybe, other factors too I am sure).

If he thinks he will be a lottery pick next year, there is something to be said by waiting and it isn’t just how much money you get for being a lottery pick vs. not being one.

All that said, it isn’t easy to say “I’ll wait on getting more money than I have ever dreamed about.”