Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 5 NBA Draft Combine invites who should return for 2024-25 season

SEC Basketball Tournament - First Round
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F Coleman Hawkins - Illinois Fighting Illini

Coleman Hawkins finds himself in a very similar situation to Trevon Brazile: stay in the draft and risk not being selected, or transfer to a new school for another year of college ball.

The big man declared for the draft towards the end of April, seemingly signaling an end to his four-year tenure with the Illinois Fighting Illini. The Sacramento native was an All-Big Ten honorable mention last season, averaging 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 35 starts, while shooting 45.1 percent overall and 36.9 percent on threes.

Since putting his name in the transfer portal, Hawkins has maintained that he plans to see the draft process through. That will take him to the combine.

Hawkins has a few things going against him, though. The most significant of those may be his age, as he'll be halfway to his 23rd birthday by the time the draft rolls around, ancient by NBA Draft standards. Considering his height and size, he's not as good at rebounding as he should be, either.

Age is a double-edged sword for Hawkins. It may not behoove him at this draft, but he'll only be a year old when the 2025 NBA Draft rolls around. He's not getting any younger.

Staying in college would allow him to cash in on more NIL opportunities, though. CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander recently said he expected Hawkins would "command a very, very high NIL price" should he stay in college (h/t Louisville Report).

Should he return to college, some of his rumored transfer destinations include Louisville, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Kansas State.