It’s true BYU’s Eric Mika could use more experience at the college level. It’s also true he won’t get drafted in the first round.
But it’s easy to understand why he’s turning pro — even if he’s not all that ready. He’s married and he’s 22. That’s all the reasons he needs.
The NBA’s obsession with youth never ends. Teams nearly always take a gifted child over a savvy and experienced adult. Players can grow up and learn as they go.
But there’s no turning back the clock. As proof, consider Sports Illustrated writer Jeremy Woo’s mock draft. Of his first 11 projected picks, only 10 played one year of college basketball. The other is No. 9 Frank Ntilikina, an 18-year-old from France.
So if for no other reason, Mika weighed his potential growth against the clock. That's true of all players, but LDS returned missionaries are in a class by themselves.
(Speaking of clocks, there are rumors Jimmer Fredette might get another chance to prove himself in the NBA. Unlikely. He is now 28. The chance came and went for a phenomenal college player.)
In that light, Mika made the right choice. Not because he’s ready, but because when he’s ready there will be fewer teams that will be ready for him.