Mar 14, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Brandon Paul (middle) celebrates with his teammates after making the game-winning shot as time expired in the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first round of the Big Ten tournament at the United Center. Illinois won 51-49. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball Roundtable: Should Brandon Paul Enter the NBA Draft?

The staff of Writing Illini gives their opinions about Illinois point guard Brandon Paul. The guys discuss whether or not he should enter Paul should enter the NBA Draft and, if so, where he could go in the draft.

Mar 22, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Brandon Paul (3) shoots against Colorado Buffaloes forward Andre Roberson (21) in the second half during the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at the Frank Erwin Center. Illinois beat Colorado 57-49. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky: Brandon Paul should enter the NBA Draft and could be a second round steal for any NBA team. Anyone who watches Illinois basketball will say that Paul’s biggest weakness is consistency, but I think it goes deeper…confidence. Brandon Paul could have been seen as the leader of this Illini team last season (him or Abrams). In the Big Ten Tournament win over Minnesota, Brandon showed this confidence. He had that “put the team on my back” swag.

Will Paul score double-digits? Yes. Will we shot at least 40%? Yes. However, he needs to be more confident.

When it comes to which NBA team Paul would fit on, he could really go anywhere. The reason I say this is because he will be a bench player as a rookie. If an NBA team needs a bench guard who can shoot the ball well, then Paul is your man.

Austin: Brandon Paul has the ability to be one of the best players in basketball (i.e. vs. Ohio State in 2012), but his inconsistencies are such a mind boggle. He can outplay any opponent, but, at times, does not show up to games. That being said, Brandon should absolutely enter the draft, and he WILL be drafted in the late first round early second round. I could see Chicago (Please, Oh Please) take a chance on him, as well as a team like Miami taking him. His potential is huge, but I really want to see him solidify himself as one of the better ballers in basketball. Hey, if Chris Humphries-Kardashian can make it in the NBA, I am certain Brandon Paul will do just fine.

Ryan: The question isn’t should he enter the NBA draft or not because he really has no other serious option if he wishes to continue playing basketball for money in the United States. The question should be how high should he be drafted in the upcoming draft, and it’s a really difficult question because he has probably shown the top of his ceiling with his 43-point performance against Ohio St. a season ago. That’s not to say that is a bad thing, but he didn’t consistently drop 30 a game, and that’s the chief concern I imagine most NBA types would have with his game in general: consistency.

If he lands in the right spot, he will hopefully have the chance to mature and work on finding that scoring consistency that could make him, at worst, one of the better bench scoring options in the league. Most mock drafts have him being selected in the 49-54 pick range, which is late 2nd round at best. It won’t be an easy road to NBA riches, but Brandon has all the ability in the world to prove he belongs.

What do you think, Illini nation? Where do you see Brandon Paul fitting in the NBA?

The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs and Ryan Kraemer.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

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Tags: Basketball Brandon Paul Chicago Bulls Illinois Fighting Illini Miami Heat NBA Draft

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