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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Chalmers likely staying in draft

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Mario Chalmers, who had his first of five workouts for NBA teams on Friday in Phoenix, told Suns beat writers he'll likely keep his name in the 2008 NBA Draft.

"I'm leaning toward staying in. I've been hearing a lot of good things, so I'll probably stay in," said the 6-foot-1 Chalmers, who just completed his junior year at Kansas University.

He has until June 16 to remove his name from the June 26 draft if he wishes to play a final season at KU.

It has been assumed by those close to the KU program that Chalmers, hero of the national title victory over Memphis, ultimately would remain in the draft.

"I'll probably make my final decision next week," Chalmers said in an interview that can be read on the Phoenix Suns' official Web site (www.nba.com/suns/).

"(If I'm) in that top first round, anywhere between 15 and 25, I'm going to stay in," he added.

Chalmers will work out for Denver on Sunday and Cleveland, Washington and New Orleans next week. He said he believed his draft position "improved a lot" by helping KU to the national title.

"I think my name was already out there, but I think it made an even bigger name, because people like winners. We proved that we were a winning team. We did that," Chalmers said.

He indicated it would not be difficult mentally to return to college one final season if he needed another year of seasoning.

"Because Lawrence is a great place and our fans are great, and the coaching staff is great, so it wouldn't be a hard decision to go back. But it's my dream to be in the NBA, and I am so close to it," he said.

Chalmers was interviewed in official Suns practice garb Friday. He said he enjoyed the NBA workout.

"I think I made a pretty good impression. I had a couple turnovers, but other than that I think I did pretty well," said Chalmers, who likely will play point guard in the NBA.

"It lived up to all my expectations ... It's a great opportunity for young guys like myself and D.J. (Augustin), Drew (Neitzel) and Rod (Beaubois) to come in here today and work out, and try to get to the next level."

Last week, KU coach Bill Self indicated chances were "great" Chalmers and Darrell Arthur would remain in the draft.

Arthur, who completed his sophomore season, since has confirmed he has played his final game at KU. Brandon Rush, who like Chalmers completed his junior year, signed with an agent shortly after KU's title victory.

ESPN's Jay Bilas believes Chalmers is a definite first-round pick. ESPN's Chad Ford believes Chalmers will be tapped by San Antonio at No. 26 in Round One. ESPN's Andy Katz also calls him a first-rounder. Draftexpress.com has Chalmers being tapped seventh in the second round by Milwaukee.

Comments

Clarence Haynes 11 years, 7 months ago

Just hope that Mario et al eventually get back to Lawrence and get their degrees! It would makes us all even more proud of them.

Greg Woolen 11 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for everything Mario. I thought that there was a chance he would be back, but the more I read, he is doing well at workouts and looks to be on his way. Good luck.

JJHAWK 11 years, 7 months ago

Gary,Thanks for the article! Alas the news is not what I hoped to hear, but I wish Mario all the success in the world. Proud that he chose to be a Jayhawk.I guess the above news helps explain why Coach Self went from 'we are after another a big man' to jumping on our last point guard recruit when he came available. Sure makes the Canada trip interesting. We will get an early peek at who gets minutes at what position. What we should worry about now is getting the twins eligible - at least for those prone to worry! ;)

KGphoto 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh God Mario!! Please don't make me root for San Antonio. It's bad enough that Vaughn is there. If you go, I'll lose my schitt. Go to Phoenix (as if you had a choice). You can toss allyoops to Amare and teach them how to play defense.

loudog 11 years, 7 months ago

As a 'Hawks fan, I really want Mario to stay... but as a resident of Phoenix and a Suns fan, I would love to see him come in here and back up Steve Nash for a couple of years before taking over the team himself.Whatever you choose, Mario, thank you for coming to KU and best of luck.

Joe Ross 11 years, 7 months ago

agreed cshjhawk....as for Mario, I hope he goes. Time to fly the nest and make a name for himself, like Pierce is doing. In life you have to sieze opportunities--even if that means sacrificing your comfort level. Coming back would appease selfish fans (I include myself in that). But going NOW is best for Mario.make the jump...

dylans 11 years, 7 months ago

our mayor is a big K-state fan and KU basher I'm voting for mario chalmers for mayor!

lance1jhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Best of luck Mario, and to all the Jayhawks in the draft. I can't wait to be in AFH next season watching your Jersey being placed upon high.Go get paid young man, you earned it. RCJ

KGphoto 11 years, 7 months ago

On second thought. If you could teach those spur-brained, 3 stepping, soccer floppers how to be men, I would root for them.But please tell Manu to shave his head, his yamika is showing.

dylans 11 years, 7 months ago

Is anyone on last years team eligable to have their jersey retired other than MOP Mario?

smitty33 11 years, 7 months ago

Afilmer, comment of the month. Mario for President indeed. I'd vote for a kid with teamwork skills, honesty, and a hard work ethic over either of the professional politicians. I think we need more athletes in Washington. Too bad Tilman died, I really think he could have been President. I watched the final four games last night for the 4th time. I know, pathetic, but it puts me in a good mood. For Mario to return, it would be very odd and even a step back after all of his former starters (and Kaun) leave for the NBA. I would feel left behind if I were him, plus, there's no way we're going to be as good next year. After watching again, he was THE MAN... not just the "shot". His steals and 3's when we needed them were KEY. Good luck Mario. However, I'm greedily holding a little hope that you stay!!!

11 years, 7 months ago

I don't believe so dylans. No one meets the rest of the criteria established for jersey retirement.

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