Jalen Lecque committed to play for NC State in October, but the 2019 prospect also has the option to enter next year’s NBA Draft because he is a fifth-year senior. He actually could have graduated as a part of the 2018 class, but chose not to.
As ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reports, Lecque will take a serious look at jumping straight to the pros—this is nothing unexpected. His decision one way or the other likely will depend on the feedback he gets from pro scouts. He dances around saying that he’s definitely turning pro if he’s a guaranteed first-rounder, but yeah, he’s definitely turning pro if he’s a guaranteed first-rounder:
“I want to be a great college player, but my end goal is to help my family. I want to be a concrete Round 1 player if I do make that decision. If I’m guaranteed a Round 1 position, then you never know. I could see myself doing it if I am in a good position at the end of the year. A college education is so important and making that jump is really hard, so I really gotta think about that, but if I’m Round 1, then that’s different.”
Every first-round pick in the NBA Draft receives a guaranteed rookie contract, so that’s millions of dollars on the table regardless of where he gets selected. If he knows he can count on that, then the choice is pretty easy.
Based on his remarks, it sounds like he’ll be at NC State next season if that first-round guarantee doesn’t happen. A second-round draft pick receives no financial guarantees, so there’d be good reason to go to college and prove himself to improve his draft stock. We’ll just have to wait and see.