A source close to the family told me Wednesday that Bhullar was close to a final decision, but had yet to put his name in, but I never thought that Bhullar would be at New Mexico State for four years. You can't blame him for getting feedback this offseason before the April 27 deadline for underclassmen to declare but if he does so at this point, he cannot return to college.
Bhullar's future has been speculated ever since arriving in Las Cruces. He's certainly been an intriguing player in Las Cruces and with a 7-foot-5 frame, he has always been a pro prospect. But this soon?
Here are three reasons Bhullar should go pro and three reasons he should stay for another year, all of which are fairly obvious but it's the offseason:
Sim Bhullar should go pro because:
Bhullar could be the first NBA player of Indian decent, which could very well lead a team to take a second round flyer on him or wait until after the draft where he would have more ability to pick and choose a team to to sign with as an undrafted free agent, such as his hometown club in Toronto. The possibility for endorsements and being the face of basketball to a population of billions has to be very attractive for a NBA franchise. In theory, if Bhullar were to stick on a NBA roster, his salary off the court could be greater than his NBA salary.
There is only so much a college staff can develop a player due to time constraints and fewer coaches, trainers, nutritionists compared to a NBA staff. Bhullar has enlisted the help this offseason of former NBA coach and trainer John Lucas in Houston.
Sim Bhullar in the lab at work for the weekend pic.twitter.com/qj1Qz6O1jB
— Coach John Lucas (@CoachJohnLucas1) April 4, 2014
Everyone can point to a lack of conditioning as a flaw in Bhullar's game, but I think he could improve on the offensive end as well. His defensive presence alone though should give him a good look, but NBA coaching and strength training could make the process go faster while making money doing so.
A common comparison, although a stretch in my opinion is former Houston Rocket center Yao Ming, who is compared to Bhullar because of his size (7-6) and the fact that Yao got the NBA into China. But from a basketball standpoint, the two couldn't be further apart in my opinion. Yao was in a professional organization for years before coming to the NBA, where he was also the top pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. But, as could happen with Bhullar, Yao's window in America was nine great, if not injury filled seasons. You look at Bhullar, who had foot injuries his redshirt season and last year, and you could not blame him for turning pro sooner rather than later.
Three reasons Sim should stay:
One more year:
That sentiment is common among Aggies fans since the Aggies have a strong group coming back next year. But from Bhullar simply being ready to be drafted, his stock would certainly improve with one more year under his belt. DraftExpress did not list Bhullar among its Top 100 prospects. He was listed as the No. 75 sophomore by the website. NBADraft.net did not list Bhullar among its Top 100. Bhullar was not listed among its Top 50 sophomores nor the honorable mention. I don't know how much stock to put into these lists, and I'm sure if Bhullar put his name in, he would gain momentum as his name got out there, but other than his size, it seems that Bhullar remains an unknown outside of college hoops junkies.
Sim and 7-foot-3 NMSU redshirt freshman Tanveer Bhullar have played together at the high school level in the past. I don't think the prospect of playing with his younger brother next season would sway a decision to stay if he were leaning that way. But it would certainly make it easier for their family to follow their careers for 2014.
New Mexico State nearly pulled off a first round upset and Bhullar was a big reason why, playing very well on that stage. Perhaps the Aggies improve their overall seeding next year and Bhullar and the Aggies finally break through with a NCAA Tournament victory. Sports Illustrated already did a piece on Sim and Tanveer Bhullar, and the two brothers would certainly put the Aggies in more of a national spotlight next season, perhaps enhancing each brother's profile in the professional ranks.