Duke basketball: Three reasons No. 1 recruit may delay decision day

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Why the top Duke basketball target might be waiting: PENDING NIL RULING

Patrick Baldwin Jr. doesn’t come across as selfish, at least not on camera. In fact, his game is anything but a me-first display. However, one couldn’t blame such a heralded talent if he was looking to get paid for his services upon his high school graduation. So it makes sense that the 17-year-old noted to Evan Kolin of The Chronicle three weeks ago that the $500K one-year contracts the G League has used to sway five-stars is somewhat tempting:

“So you obviously have to take that into consideration because it’s definitely a change in terms of the college landscape. But as of right now, I think I’m 99 percent sure that I’m going to take the college route, just from my dad being a college coach and my parents wanting me to get a college education. So you can’t put a price tag on college education and the college experience. But obviously, you’ve got to see how this pans out, and you’ve got to make the right decision for yourself…”

Despite the plan to allow Division I student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness beginning with the 2021-22 academic year, the latest proposal regarding how that might all work, which the NCAA sent to Congress in early July, isn’t exactly appealing. In a nutshell, as we all should have expected from the me-first nonprofit organization, there are so many constraints that the ultimate NIL ruling will probably smell like trashcan juice by the time it’s all said and done.

If so, then it’s certainly possible Baldwin Jr. may be more inclined to pick a lowly program like Wisconsin-Milwaukee or Northwestern rather than an uber-popular powerhouse like Duke, North Carolina, or Kentucky (which would be lucrative, mega-enticing options if the NCAA shocked everyone by doing the right thing with this whole NIL thing).