Gafford’s play (yesterday, especially) made me imagine what next year might be like if he comes back and plays with year older Hall and newcomers Chaney and Henderson on the front line. And Gabe might be a much better player in a couple of years. He sure plays hard enough and might be a defensive star. If he could learn to shoot from the elbow so people would have to respect him, that would be great.
There were times he looks ready or the NBA and other times when it looks like another year would do him a world of good.
Pat Bradley made a great point. He said Gafford did not come into the season thinking he is one and done. He said you have to be mentally prepared to be with the big boys. Most one and dones know they are one and done before they enter college.
That may make a difference. But then again money talks. Pat also mentioned Gafford family is financially on solid ground.
Gafford does not have the skill sets necessary for a professional game, and a long way from it. He has the potential with his size and mobility. I expect he knows that after playing in SEC. I think he will be back for at least another year.
Of course he doesn’t have the skill set. Nothing even close. Zero post moves. He is very athletic and can dunk the ball and block shots. But he is a long ways away from being a legit NBA player. He may get there. Hope he does. He certainly has great potential.
At the moment Daniel is considered the #8 Big Man PF/C in the draft which projects as the #19 pick.
Once he submits his name making himself eligible to participate in NBA camps which is structured to show potential and highlight weaknesses, it will offer him & family a much better evaluation towards making a decision.
THE debate among his inner circle will be to either become a millionaire or a multi-millionaire at the conclusion of next season.
Decision may be based on:
Immediate financial needs
Personal confidence in abilities
Connection to Coaches & Teammate’s
In my opinion 1-3 works in Arkansas favor but #4 has 6 seniors leaving which may work against the basketball program.
Daniel had no pre-concieved notions of one & done before arriving on campus, so with that being said #19 pick - $1,614,100 vs #5 pick - $3,841,000 can be quite the reality check!!
I just don’t see how he is the #19 pick. Teams with that pick usually expect to get a player that can hopefully help the team as a rookie. Not be a star, mind you, but play and contribute. Gafford would get abused in an NBA game right now. He can’t even play well against teams with legit bigs such as Tennessee or Kentucky. I’m pretty skeptical of the #19 pick. Could be wrong obviously.
I will say this. Where will he get better coaching, development and training to play with his back to the basket? NBA. This staff did bring along Moses K. pretty nicely but he’d get better coaching on the NBA.
Gafford has been physically manhandled by tall, heavier, centers time after time, this year. He lost the head to head battle against Tennessee’s center (getting several of his shots blocked) who won’t get a sniff from the NBA. He either needs to come back, much stronger and heavier and show he can establish position to receive a pass, be physical, and score with a variety of low post moves, or he needs to let someone else play center, develop his three point shooting, ball handling, and driving ability and show he can be a skilled 3/4 position player in the NBA like Portis. He does either of those, he is a lottery pick next year. JMVVVVVVVHO
Obviously Daniel is not a finished project, but the the thing most obvious to me is around strength and stamina. He may wear out because he plays with a lot of energy, but for a player who does not play a lot of minutes, ther are times he seems spent near the end of games. Yesterday may not be a good example, since it was the third of three straight days of games, but he was worn out in the second half. Mike took care to use him within his limitations, so hopefully Daniel recognizes the next level will be closer to the tournament schedule than twice a week schedules like college.
Let’s hope the NBA evaluation influences Dad to let Daniel develop physically for another year. Look what he did to beef up by reporting early this year, so a full off season program could create a beast that could physically compete in the NBA
I agree with the other poster that suggested he needs to be a 3 or 4 in the NBA. He’s not really a center. Problem is, I really don’t see Mike using him that way. Mike will play him at the 5. He might be better off going in and working on his mid range and 3 pt. game. He really needs to learn to consistently knock down a jump shot and shoot FTs.
I, too, would love to see him stay, but I think those who want him to go pro will convince him that he can develop more muscle, strength and stamina in the upcoming off season through whichever team drafts him. They will provide strength training, coaching and whatever the latest techniques for development might be, all this while he is being paid substantially. He will probably be looked at as a worthy investment for the near future. So, I think he goes…
I want Gafford to do what is best for him, not what the fans want so I will be happy with whatever he decides. It would be good if we can have some one and dones which would encourage future stars to consider Arkansas as well as teams like Kentucky and Duke.
Of course it is a lot more fun being a college star and making national news than setting on bench or playing in the g-league that few care about.
However, money talks. The value of what the university can give him is only a penny on the dollar (and maybe even less) of what the pros will pay him. I think he should do what Macon and Barford did and use the evaluation he gets from the pros to decide if he will earn as much or more by returning as he will going this year.
I think he dips his toes in the water, gets the NBA evaluation (they’ll tell him he’s not ready, and they’ll be right). Then I really think he comes back. There’s a lot of talk about beefing up the G-League and increasing the pay for players who go there, but it hasn’t happened yet. And even if it does, going to Europe or China (which has always been an option) still pays better than the G-League, but that hasn’t sparked a mass exodus to Shanghai or Barcelona.
I think we saw yesterday why he’s not ready. He was largely a nonfactor against the Creamsicles and their muscle. Eight points, 5 boards and no blocks is not NBA ready, and he’d see (and be competing for a job/playing time with) people who are that strong or stronger. Like Bobby Portis, he’d be looking at being a stretch 4, and Bobby at least showed signs of an outside shot while he was here. I don’t think Dan took a 15-footer all year.