For Derrick Williams, 2011 NBA Draft comes with peculiar context

Usually, an NBA prospect like Arizona forward Derrick Williams would have a straightforward decision.

"Am I good enough to go league?"

There's a yes or no answer for that. But this year, there's a couple loops thrown into his ultimate decision, not to mention the decisions by other top prospects. That's even considering how humble of a guy Williams is.

Here are three reasons why Williams has a tougher decision in 2011 than what is generally the norm.

The NBA lockout

Sean Miller told the media during his final Arizona presser of the season that all he can do is inform Williams about everything NBA Draft-wise.

This year, it's not just about what scouts are saying about D-Will's game. It's become what they're saying about the possibility of a lockout.

That possibility is very, very real. And without any sort of a timetable for a decision or how long the lockout will last, it puts serious doubts upon youngsters and whether they'll play at all in the following year. Thus, returning to college gives them the undoubted playing time, coaching and on-court experience they need to get better.

Maybe not taking the millions is crazy, but this has bound to be affecting the draft's depth in talent, which was already skeptical at best.

A low-talent pool

This year's NBA draft just might be the ugliest one in recent memory.

There were very few outright dominant college players that should be one-and-dones. Even Perry Jones III of the Baylor Bears withdrew his name, a smart move for his basketball career and a refreshing decision for the sake of college basketball and the attitudes kids have in NCAA hoops.

It's a bad analogy, but there's a theory that a publicized suicide will cause followers to go forth with their own suicides. The same could be said with going to the NBA.

If Williams sees guys like Jones and Ohio State's Jared Sullinger staying put despite being lottery talents, maybe he too will stay in school.

The draw of an NCAA Championship

Not often do top prospects weigh this aspect of leaving college ball. Usually, guys like John Wall or Derrick Rose (or any John Calipari player for that matter) will make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament because they're just that talented, then call it a college career.

Such isn't the case with Williams. The taste of the Elite Eight has seemingly left a sour taste in his mouth. But the bigger key is a solid recruiting class coming into Tucson. Josiah Turner, Nick Johnson, Sidiki Johnson and Angelo Chol give the Wildcats a wildly deep and talented roster.

They're already showing up as a top 10 team in pre-pre-preseason polls. And if he returns, Williams sees this team being a national title contender.

How much do you think the possible lockout is hurting the NBA Draft in 2011?

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