Wichita State junior Ron Baker has made his decision. His family knows. His coaches know.
Everybody else will find out on Monday, when he sends WSU assistant director of media relations Bryan Holmgren a quote to announce his choice to use his final season of college eligibility or check out his professional prospects. WSU will announce the decision with a news release.
“Obviously, I’ve (had) a lot to think about,” Baker said. “It affects a lot of people. My family and Coach (Gregg) Marshall and all my assistant coaches are the heavy factors in my decision.”
The fact Baker is announcing his decision with a simple news release may offer a hint. A celebratory news conference is standard procedure for a college basketball player who announces his intent to jump in the NBA Draft pool.
Baker, a 6-foot-4 guard, said he received his evaluation from the 19 NBA personnel people last week and went over the results with Marshall.
The NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, made up of NBA personnel people, is able to offer an underclassman an evaluation of his potential to be drafted in the first round, which carries a guaranteed contract, the second round, or not at all. Second-round picks are not guaranteed a contract, although one can be negotiated. Former Shocker Cleanthony Early was picked in the second round last year by the New York Knicks and received a two-year deal.
Baker, who will graduate next month, could also play overseas or in the NBA Development League. He redshirted during the 2011-12 season and played the past three for the Shockers.
Baker also likely weighed how much a fourth year of college basketball will help his draft status. At 22, NBA talent evaluators may look at him as a player who is already close to his ceiling for physical development. Another year of college basketball may not offer the potential to lock him in as a first-round pick.
According to NBA mock drafts, Baker is a borderline first-round pick who is just as likely to go in the second round. At CBSSports.com, he was projected as the No. 30 pick in the first round by one expert and a second-round pick by two others. NBADraft.net does not include him in its draft projection. Draftexpress.com considers him a mid-second round pick.
Baker averaged 14.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He shot 43.3 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from three-point range.
Teammate Fred VanVleet also filed a request for an evaluation with the advisory committee.
Athletes who want to declare as an early entrant for the NBA Draft must do so by April 26. Players who did not sign with an agent can withdraw their name by June 15.