Texas' Bradley focused on tourney, not draft

March, 17, 2010
NEW ORLEANS -- Texas freshman shooting guard Avery Bradley will have a decision to make once the season ends: To go or not to go.

Bradley is widely considered a first-round pick in the June NBA Draft.

"I haven't been thinking about it. I've been thinking about the NCAA tournament," said Bradley, who's averaging 11.7 points. "Me and my family haven't decided what's going to happen. It is a dream to be in that category (potential first-rounder), but it's also a dream to play in the NCAA tournament. I've dreamed of this my whole life and I want to have fun with my teammates."

Non-seniors have to weigh an extra factor this year, a potential NBA work stoppage in 2011-12, and the possibility of a lower salary structure once the league re-opens for business. It could sway players to leave school after this season. Currently, players drafted in the first-round sign guaranteed two-year contracts with a team option for an additional three years at set salary increases.

For example, Mavericks rookie guard Roddy Beaubois, drafted 25th overall in the first round by the Oklahoma City Thunder and then traded to Dallas, will earn $2.2 million guaranteed over his first two seasons with a chance to earn $6.7 million over the following three years if the team opts to extends his contract. Bradley could earn significantly more money the higher he is drafted.

Currently, ESPN.com draft guru Chad Ford rates Bradley as the 16th overall prospect.

If a player such as Bradley returns to school next year and the NBA shuts down the following season, Bradley could be locked into returning to school for his junior season as well, or playing overseas before joining the NBA.



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