Although UNC’s Luke Maye did not receive an invitation to the NBA’s combine, he’s still a busy man. The Tar Heel junior worked out for the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta today, and has at least a few more team workouts scheduled.
Working out for a number of teams can definitely help Maye get an idea of where he stands in the eyes of draft evaluators. You’ll recall that Justin Jackson entered the NBA Draft process before ultimately returning to school for his junior year, and just going through the process allowed him to gain valuable information about what teams wanted to see from him before pulling the trigger on drafting him.
Jackson took that information and returned to school on a mission that ultimately saw the Tar Heels bring home a national championship. He entered the NBA Draft the following season and ended up with the Sacramento Kings.
That may not end up being Maye’s path, because who knows what these teams are giving him in terms of feedback. If a team comes away particularly impressed with what Maye shows in workouts, it’s possible that they give him enough information to give him confidence in staying in the draft.
While it seems more likely that Maye will use this time the way that Jackson did in order to gain knowledge about what he needs to improve in his senior season in Chapel Hill before making a real run at being drafted after he graduates, there is no way to be sure what his mindset is for now.
Allowing players to test the draft waters this way before making a permanent decision is very helpful in a number of ways. There is no harm done in giving athletes the ability to collect all the information possible about their prospects while still giving them the ability to return to school if they choose.
Either way, we will have an answer about Maye’s future by the end of this month. Players have until May 30th to withdraw their name from the draft process in order to maintain their college eligibility.