Georgetown's Green still unsure about draft status
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Billy Donovan's decision to leave college basketball for the NBA wasn't the only startling development Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, Georgetown junior and Big East player of the year Jeff Green made a rather stunning statement: he hasn't made up his mind that he's staying in the NBA draft.
"I haven't made it final that I'm coming out yet, and I'm still going to take some time to make a decision," Green told ESPN.com.
"I haven't signed with an agent yet and there's still a chance [to go back to the Hoyas]," Green said. "It just depends on how my workouts go. I just have to keep working hard and hopefully get the commitment that a team wants to draft me. If I don't get that commitment that a team is willing to take me in the lottery, then that will sway my decision to come back."
Green is projected to be a lottery pick with interest from Boston at No. 5 on down.
The reason this is newsworthy is that it was just last Wednesday, Green announced he was staying in the draft at a news conference where teammate Roy Hibbert said he would come back for his senior season.
Now, more than a week later, the headline on the Georgetown Web site still says: "Jeff Green to forego senior season for NBA, Roy Hibbert to stay at Georgetown."
The press release has a quote from Green that states, "I haven't hired an agent yet, but we are starting that process now. I love Georgetown, my friends, my team, coaches & but after a lot of examination I've come to the conclusion that this is what's best for me. I intend to get my degree eventually, but right now it's the NBA."
Green said Thursday that the only thing he was saying last week was, "I was keeping my name in the draft." And he qualified that by saying as in last week. As of this week, he still hasn't made up his mind on whether he's staying in the draft past the June 18 withdrawal date.
Multiple NBA teams told ESPN.com Thursday that they had heard the same thing about Green. They said Georgetown coach John Thompson III, not an agent, was the contact person for Green. And Green will be conducting a workout in Washington, D.C. next week after he returns from the physical-only portion of the pre-draft camp.
Green said his family will be able to handle the expenses for any workouts in NBA cities prior to June 18. He will travel to Boston for a workout with Florida's Corey Brewer and Florida State's Al Thornton on June 7.
If Green were to return to the Hoyas, they would be the Big East favorites and likely the favorite, along with Memphis, to win the national title. If he were to come back, then the Hoyas would return their top nine scorers from last year's Final Four team. The Hoyas brought in a highly rated recruiting class too.
"Whether or not I come back, the team didn't always revolve around me," Green said. "Jonathan Wallace hit the big shot against North Carolina."
Still, Green said that while he has improved as a shooter and passer in the past three seasons, he still has work to do. But if he does choose to stay in the draft, he's content with reaching the Final Four once.
"And if I do go back, then our team has a chance to make it to that point again," Green said.
Is that a tease or is it reality? Green won't say, but the fact that he's entertaining a return should have Hoya fans salivating at the prospect of a possible national title in 2008. Until Green has to make a final decision on June 18, it's a realistic possibility.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.