UPDATE: Quotes from NBADraft.net's Aran Smith have been added after the jump.
The Virginia Tech athletics department announced today guard Malcolm Delaney will enter the NBA draft pool. According to the release, Delaney has yet to hire and agent and has until May 8 to remove his name from the draft list and return to the Hokies.
On his Twitter feed, Delaney said he had "a month to get ready" and had a lot "more to prove and work on." However, later the junior guard told Hokie fans that his declaring for the draft didn't mean his was gone and told them not to panic. I believe him and think he will return to the Hokies for the 2010-11 season.
Several prospects declare for the draft so they can participate in sanctioned pre-draft workouts. Patrick Stevens points out on his D1SCOURSE blog that it almost makes more sense for Delaney to declare for the draft than not to whether or not he's actually going to sign with an agent and end his college career:
If there's even the chance for one workout against future pros, one chance to receive feedback about what is needed to improve a player's chances of ultimately sticking with an NBA team --- whether it's in six months or a year and a half --- and it comes at virtually no price, then a guy should pursue it.
That's why Delaney made the right decision this week, and why several juniors (like Maryland's Greivis Vasquez a season ago) should be lauded for making a mature decision in an effort to take stock of their talent when afforded the opportunity.
Delaney is ranked No. 43 among juniors according to NBADraft.net and could probably use another year of seasoning, especially considering how deep this year's draft is at guard. In all likelihood, Delaney will go through the pre-draft process to see how he stacks up against other players in the draft, learn where he can improve his game and return to the Hokies for his senior season.
NBADraft.net's Aran Smith agrees Delaney's best option is to return to school.
"Delaney is not viewed as a draft pick at this time," Smith said. "He would be best served to return to Virginia Tech and continue his progression as a basketball player. Particularly working on his PG skills."
Smith said Delaney would be a long-shot to be drafted this year and would have to go through the NBA's summer league to make a team. He said it was hard to say what Delaney's pro prospects will be in the future.
"He would definitely have a better shot to get drafted next year," he said. "It seems there will be a huge rush of players entering this year due to the CBA ending after next season and potential for a lockout looming."
Delaney led the ACC in scoring in 2009-10 with 20.2 points per game and was sixth in assists at 4.5 per game. If he returns it means the Hokies will have their entire starting five back from a season in which they went 25-9 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT.