Savion Flagg announced he would be entering his name in the 2019 NBA Draft, hopefully he learns from another Texas A&M basketball player’s mistake.
It should never be someone’s opinion to tell a college player they shouldn’t be looking to make money playing the sport the NCAA exploits them for. The NCAA paying its athletes is long overdue, and if they did we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. However, that’s not the case, so we have to address Texas A&M basketball star Savion Flagg surprisingly declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft.
Flagg came to the Aggies as a top recruit in the 2017 class. He was a key contributor off the bench as a freshman and had an increased role in games DJ Hogg missed due to suspension. He provided excellent depth to the Sweet 16 team.
His role increased after four starters and a key bench contributor all left or graduated. Flagg averaged 13.9 points and 7.7 rebounds in the 2018-19 season, both of which led the Aggies in Billy Kennedy’s final season. One of those players who left early should be Flagg’s cautionary tale.
Hogg surprised a lot of folks when he decided to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft and hire an agent. The latter move made him ineligible to return. Hogg took some steps back in his development despite the team making a run to the Sweet 16 in 2018. Many thought he could do well to return to school for one last year and show what he could do as the team’s definite No. 1 scoring option.
He went undrafted, spent the Summer League with the Pelicans but was not signed to their regular season roster. The 76ers briefly signed him, but Hogg spent the 2018 season in the G-League with the Delaware Blue Coats. Although he was getting paid for that, he would have had more exposure in one more year Texas A&M. He could have improved his game and gotten the attention of more scouts.
(In my completely biased an uninformed opinion, he probably also would have had more fun in College Station than Newark, Delaware)
Flagg has not shut the door on returning in the way Hogg did. Even if he does hire an agent, Flagg could still return if he takes his name out of the draft by the NCAA’s May 29 deadline. There is a possibility some players could return to school if they are invited to the NBA Combine, leave their name in the draft but then go undrafted.
Flagg should learn from Hogg’s mistake. He doesn’t have the long range shooting range to make it in today’s NBA yet. Not to mention, learning from a coach like Buzz Williams could be an opportunity to improve his all-around game.
It doesn’t make sense for the NCAA and universities to make so much money off these kids without paying them, and the NCAA is loosening the rules for players to enter the draft and return, so I understand Flagg’s motive here, but he could make a name for himself with another year in College Station and maybe become a first round pick in the 2020 draft.