On the surface, Drexel junior guard Tramaine Isabell’s decision to declare for the NBA draft on Wednesday does not seem like a great choice.
Isabell isn’t on the board of any mock drafts as one of the 60 players anticipated to selected in June and hasn’t gotten much buzz from NBA scouts who’ve been viewing the City Six teams.
Still, as long as the NCAA provides an avenue for a player to test the draft waters and maintain their eligibility, why wouldn’t a player like Isabell throw his name into the ocean of prospects?
As long as Isabell does not retain the services of an agent, he will be able to return to Drexel for his senior season should he opt to do that.
“This is a unique opportunity within the NCAA rules for Tramaine to gather as much information as possible to assist him in making an educated decision,” said Drexel coach Zach Spiker. “We will continue to support Tramaine in every way possible throughout the process.”
At 6-foot-1, Isabell is an undersized, ball-dominant guard with an itchy shooting hand and tends to sometimes play at 100 mph when the flow of the game should be about 65 mph.
He has, however, shown a penchant for scoring, whether by using his quickness to drive to the basket or going to a jump shot that is inconsistent but can sometimes be lethal.
Isabell finished second in the Colonial Athletic Association with 21 points per game. His 587 points were the fifth most ever by a Dragon in a season. He led all CAA guards in rebounding (7.5) and finished sixth overall in the league in that category. Isabell also finished in the top 10 in the CAA in assists, steals and minutes played.
His size made him a suspect defender at the mid-major level and could be a major exploitable trait at the professional level.
With so many professional leagues around the world, Isabell is a player who can make money playing professional basketball, but it seems like a long shot that that will be in the NBA.
“This is a very good opportunity for me and my family,” said Isabell. “I am appreciative of Coach Spiker and his staff supporting me in this decision. I will not be hiring an agent, which will allow me to test the waters and get feedback from NBA teams. If it’s in my best interest not to stay in the draft, I will return to Drexel to begin preparation with my teammates for a successful 2018-19 season.”
Since he is not a senior, Isabell is not eligible to participate in the Portsmouth Invitational, so he has to hope for an invitation to the NBA draft combine in Chicago.
The deadline to withdraw from NBA draft consideration is June 11.