I'm not gonna lie. I'm not really an NBA guy. Pittsburgh doesn't have a team, and in my lifetime no Mountaineer has managed to make a team. Growing up, West Virginia Institute of Technology had more players in the NBA than West Virginia University. (Meaning they had one player, Sedale Threatt.)
Joe Alexander's lottery status two years ago made me think I'd finally be able to adopt an NBA team, but injuries, trades, and a lack of production have sunk that dream.
So, what of the three departures from this year's Final Four team, Wellington Smith, Devin Ebanks and Da'Sean Butler? Smith has "European Leagues" written all over him, so that's that. Ebanks and Butler, however, both hold a lot of intrigue.
Currently, NBADraft.net has Ebanks going 23rd overall to the Timberwolves, which could be a good fit. God knows the T-Wolves are awful, so there should be some playing time there for him. That said, Minnesota has FIVE picks in this years draft, so anyone who heads north will have to play their way onto the team, regardless of where they were picked. I see a team taking Ebanks in the middle of the draft somewhere, based solely on his length and athleticism. As anyone who has followed his career can tell you, the guarantees end there. I see Ebanks getting a shot, and over time developing into a consistent (read as: NOT an All-Star) NBA Player.
So where's that leave Butler? Good question. I never once saw him as a shoe-in NBA guy, but after what he did in his senior season, I feel like someone, somewhere, HAS to give him a shot. Right? Bueller.....
I hope it happens. I don't know if it will. His knee is a big question mark, just as his size and ballhandling abilities are as well. But this guy has moxie. He has grit. He has determination. I mean, hell, he took WVU to the FINAL FOUR, right? Read that last sentence again and tell me he's not a special player.
All in all though, De'Sean is a basketball PLAYER. He makes the right play, the play his team needs at the time. Ebanks is an athlete who plays basketball. It makes all the difference in the world in the college game, I just hope it counts for something in the pros.