If they asked him, Fran Fraschilla would extend two pieces of advice for Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright:
1. Go ahead and test the NBA waters.
2. But if in doubt, trust CU coach Tad Boyle before your agent.
“Keep the door open for coming back for your senior year,” the longtime ESPN analyst told The Post recently when asked about the Buffs’ two junior basketball standouts. “I would guess that, in all honesty, playing at CU as a senior in the Pac-12 would be better than being in the G League.
“I know with the G League, there are some good parts about it. But if you’re a player and want to be treated well and you can’t get any kind of guaranteed contract from a team, your best option is going back to school.”
With the coronavirus scare wiping much of his March calendar clean, Fraschilla has been doing four hours of prep work a day, minimum, for the upcoming NBA draft. Nobody’s sure if it’ll be held via Skype by the time June rolls around, or whether the players involved will be walking across the stage in hazmat suits, but it’s coming.
Which raises the question: Given the chaos and limbo of everything else, should Bey and Wright even be going?
Fraschilla thinks both should “definitely test the waters, whenever (NBA teams) have workouts.”
Which, sadly, is the rub. The NBA’s early entry deadline is April 26, while the early entry deadline to return to withdraw is June 15. The combine had been slated for May 21-24 in Chicago, but CBS Sports analyst Jon Rothstein reported over the weekend that several NBA teams “are moving forward with the expectation of no combine, no workouts and no in-person interviews.”
Which means, as a prospect, whatever’s already in your file isn’t likely to change much between now and June 25. For better or for worse.
“McKinley, right now, is a very good college point guard. And if I were advising him, I would just stay,” Fraschilla said. “My advice to McKinley is, ‘There’s nothing wrong with being the best player to ever play at CU.’ And in order to do that, he’d have to stay another year.”
No workouts would also mean that an athletic monster such as the 6-foot-7 Bey — who boasts a 7-foot wingspan and kangaroo hops — probably won’t get a chance this spring blow scouts’ minds in person.
“He’s unique because he doesn’t really have an NBA position,” Fraschilla said of the Las Vegas native, who averaged 13.8 points and nine boards per game for the Buffs. “He’s never going to be a scorer at the next level. He’s going to be a high-energy guy — that would have to be what he hangs hit hat on, being a great wing defender who could also rebound the ball.”
The athleticism fits. The length’s ideal. The defense’s superb. The vertical’s through the roof. But as an ideal NBA post, he’s too small. And as an NBA wing, an inconsistent 3-point shot and a “volume” jumper makes for a tricky fit.
“He could be like an Andre Roberson type, possibly,” Fraschilla said of Bey. “And that’s who I would model my game after.”
The projections like the ceiling, especially since Bey can practically hop up and reach it with his fingers. NBADraft.net as of late February had projected him to be taken 39th overall, to Washington. SB Nation’s March 17 mock slotted him at No. 27 to the New York Knicks.
Fraschilla sees the Buffs swingman as having a shot to go in the middle of the second round, but noted there’s “also a very good chance he doesn’t get drafted. And that’s not to denigrate his game. To me, he doesn’t have the profile of an NBA player, based on his skills.”
Which brings us back to the advice. Point No. 2, especially.
“I would advise (Bey), if I were Tad, to ‘Go ahead and put your name in, but don’t do anything silly.’ I would listen more to what Tad Boyle says than an agent, quite frankly.”