Illinois basketball forward Coleman Hawkins continues to get looks from NBA teams.
Hawkins bloomed for the Illini this past season. As a junior, he nearly doubled his points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. He would finish the 2022-23 campaign averaging 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals per contest.
The season would conclude and on March 28, Hawkins announced to the world that he would be entering the 2023 NBA Draft but would be keeping his eligibility in case he wanted to return.
Hawkins ended up being one of the chosen players to participate in the NBA Draft Combine just about a week ago. He went through the process and is continuing to get looks from teams across The Association.
It seems that Coleman Hawkins is likely to depart the Illinois basketball team and stay in the NBA Draft
All along I have said that I believe Hawkins will end up staying in the NBA Draft. I know his game was somewhat sporadic this past season, but it is hard to pass up someone at 6-foot-10, 224 pounds who can pass the ball well and is a capable shooter.
On Thursday morning, Cameron Salerno of CBS Sports reported that Hawkins has a pre-NBA Draft workout with the Golden State Warriors set up for the end of this week. He also reports that Hawkins has already had workouts for the Rockets, Thunder, Celtics, and Nets.
I feel like there is way too much smoke not to be fire. Hawkins has the attention of various NBA franchises, and he is a near lock to be a second round pick. I have also mentioned that I think there is a chance Hawkins sneaks into the back end of the first round. He is a unicorn who just needs some NBA coaching.
Honestly, it all depends on what Hawkins wants for his basketball career. If he wants to be the best player in college basketball, have a chance to win a national title, and make some money on NIL, then come back to college.
If Hawkins wants to develop at the NBA level, make a decent NBA salary, and probably latch on to a pretty good team, then he should stay in the NBA Draft. May 31 is the decision deadline. We will all know officially by then.