In a move which was not entirely unexpected, this evening Barry Brown announced that he was declaring himself eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft. The Kansas State Wildcats guard will not be hiring an agent, so this doesn’t mean he’s necessarily leaving Manhattan.
Brown is taking advantage of a recent NCAA change sometimes called the “testing the waters” rule. This allows a player to declare for the draft and benefit from the experience of going through the pre-draft process, then remove themselves from the draft board and return to school without having jeopardized their college eligibility.
The move is a necessary step which allows Brown to have one-on-one contact with NBA scouts and coaches. This allows Brown to more accurately gauge his draft stock, believed right now to peak somewhere in the back of the second round. But it has more benefit than that; Brown will also be able to learn where he needs to improve specifically in order to increase his NBA value.
This is the same process through which Kamau Stokes went last spring. Brown’s positioning is far more conducive to a decision to declare, as he is actually projected as a potential draftee whereas there was no question that Stokes was merely going through the process as an educational experience. It is possible we’ve seen the last of Barry Brown in a Wildcat uniform. But it’s by no means a sure thing, and it really all depends on whether a team tells Brown they’re absolutely going to take him if he’s available.
Even at late-second round money, it would be hard to fault him for leaving early.