Mitch McGary was wavering on whether or not he would enter the NBA Draft later this week, but the decision seemed to have been made for him already. McGary was suspended for a failed drug test and the news came out on Friday.
McGary has declared for the NBA Draft, officially, and now has ended his two year career at The University of Michigan and it seems like it was gone in a flash. McGary was a pleasure to watch, when he was healthy, and handled his business on and off the court very well. This was really one of the only incidents McGary had as a Wolverine and there should be no reason anyone should shun him from the program, especially for something like this.
Now, I’m aware that what he did is illegal, but if we could step off our morale high-horse for ten seconds, we could use that time to properly understand the situation. Being a young man in an extremely scrutinized business will leave people feeling pressure, so I cannot say I blame McGary for wanting to do it, I just blame him for making a poor decision. He owed his teammates the peace of mind knowing he could be a leader, a man to look up to, but the suspension will be tough to argue against. It’s not saying he’s not a role model, I believe he is, but it’s more of making the right decision, and getting yourself out of wrong situations.
Unfortunately, McGary’s career is over at Michigan, so the future for the team is unknown, but McGary has a future to worry about as well. He will likely be heavily looked over during the draft process, mainly his medical records. If his back checks out, he has a legitimate shot at making a significant impact to whatever team takes a chance on him, and could be a steal in the later portion of the draft. If he ends up on a team that was successful in recent years, he will learn a lot, and his skills could be used heavily. If a championship contender is drafting, and McGary is available, they should take the chance on him.
I think that he has a chance to be a good player in the NBA, as long as he keeps his head straight, and avoids these problems again. A year suspension would have been a bit excessive for marijuana, but that is the rule, so he needed to follow it. Even in the NBA the penalty for a player suspended for marijuana use is just five (5) games. You guys remember JR Smith, right? He only missed 5 games this season for a similar situation.
For now, I will focus on what McGary brought to Michigan, and the ability he has as a player, and let the situation unfold as it may. It is a shame that his career ended so abruptly, but there are no exceptions to the rule in the NCAA, and McGary is not special, so he needed to make the right choice, but failed in doing so. I respect Mitch McGary, and I believe he made a wrong choice, and deserves a second chance. He will have a successful career, and hopefully this will only be a small blemish on his résumé.