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Klay Thompson Mulls 2011 NBA Draft; DeAngelo Casto Faces Uncertain Future

Vince Grippi passed along two interesting notes concerns two Washington State basketball players in his morning post. With the season in the rearview mirror, it's time to ponder the futures of Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto. Thompson is seriously considering forgoing his senior year and entering the 2011 NBA Draft while Casto is mulling over leaving college to pursue a professional career, likely in Europe. We've expected it, we know it's coming and all we're waiting on is a definitive word.

In the meantime, Grippi provided a little insight into Thompson's decision by way of his father, Mychal Thompson. If you haven't heard, the elder Thompson was a former No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft -- he knows a thing or two about the process. It's all but certain the younger Thompson will enter the NBA Draft, but not hire an agent.

"That's the way he's leaning," Mychal said Wednesday. "He's probably going to put his name in and use my contacts and my inside information that I have to make up his mind by May 8th."

As for Casto, Grippi has heard the same rumblings many of us have, but hasn't been able to confirm them yet.

By the way, we spent a lot of time trying to include DeAngelo Casto in this story after hearing rumblings this week Casto is certain to head to the professional ranks. But we were unable to get a hold of Casto - unlike Klay, he doesn't have someone who is accessible and will talk for him - and didn't feel comfortable putting anything in print just yet

After the jump, my own thoughts on both and what futures they may face.

I've been thinking a lot about the NBA Draft early entry deadline. The NCAA enacted a rule a few years back moving the deadline for an underclassman to pull his name from the draft and maintain eligibility further from the draft and closer to the end of the college season. Instead of just a few days before the draft, the deadline is now a few days after the date when players are required to give notice of early entry. Instead of having a month to workout for teams and learn more about where they stand, athletes are given just about a week, maybe a little less.

With that in mind, if Thompson declares for the NBA Draft, he's not coming back. While it's clear he won't hire an agent, there's little else he could learn in the next three weeks that he doesn't know already. His father is well-connected and between the two, they likely know where his draft stock stands. I expect Thompson to declare and I expect him to stay in the draft. With Mychal Thompson in town this weekend, we'll know one way or the other as early as the beginning of next week.

Casto is almost certainly gone, as well. If Grippi was confident enough to pass along the information in his blog, though not quite ready to run it in print, we can be relatively certain Casto will be turning professional and leaving Washington State. The question isn't if, it's when and why.

To put it plainly, Casto needs money. This isn't about hating school or falling behind in his studies; He simply needs to provide for his family. With a child to care for and the stresses that come with family life, Casto needs a source of income -- ones that being an amateur athlete doesn't provide. While we can debate his professional career -- likely in Europe -- and forgoing future earning potential for immediate gratification, we can't quite understand his situation. It's something he has to do, and I can't begrudge him for it.

In the next few weeks, the Washington State basketball team will change drastically and will likely take a significant step back in the immediate. It's a tough pill to swallow, but we're in the midst of a serious rebuilding process as the last of the Tony Bennett recruits leave and Bone begins to build his own program.

In ways, it's a scary time to be a fan, but it's also an exciting one.