A college basketball player can declare for the NBA draft once, withdraw their name before a deadline (now April 10) and return to school with their eligibility intact under NCAA rules. Unless, of course, they sign with an agent to represent them - a function that makes them a professional for the NCAA's purposes. According to Jeff Goodman, Maalik Wayns will soon sign with NBA agent Andy Miller.
Miller represents 32 active NBA players, including 2 all-stars and one player with a maxed-out contract. His clients include NBA stars like Kevin Garnett and Chauncey Billups, and he also represents Villanova alum and fellow early-entry point guard, Kyle Lowry.
A representative at Miller's office told Philly.com that he didn't believe that anything official was in place with Wayns earlier today.
"I loved my 3 years at villanova and will never regret anything had the best teammates coaches and professors anybody could ask for," Wayns tweeted this afternoon."I will always be a Wildcat and to the Nova fans who disagree with my dec sorry it's best for me and my fam i love all the fans and also ... The haters just gone provem em wrong once it's time to pursue my dream let's get it!!!"
In some sports, like baseball, it is common for amateur athletes to acquire an "advisor" that can provide insight and advice on what to expect. These advisors are often professional agents, but while the NCAA rules allow student-athletes to obtain their unpaid advice, they are not permitted to sign, or make verbally, any agreement to provide services. The advisor may not serve as a middle-man between the athlete and any professional sports organization — they are really just limited to reviewing proposed contract terms.
Those advisor relationships aren't very common in college basketball, mostly because advice is usually limited to post-draft contract discussions, but basketball players aren't allowed to have their name in the draft long enough to be selected and still maintain eligibility.
If Goodman's report is correct, then Wayns will forfeit his final year of college eligibility by signing with Miller's ASM Sports Agency. This should be no surprise to observers, of course, as the NCAA's early deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft makes it less likely that players will have the opportunity to properly explore their draft stock.
Under NBA Players Association rules, an agent earns no more than $2,000.00 for a year in which his client makes the NBA minimum salary (likely for undrafted players and many picked in the second round). They earn up to 4% of salary obtained above that mark.
UPDATED 3/22: In a statement released by Villanova, Maalik Wayns said the following:
"The NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine and I have decided now is the time to pursue it," said Wayns, who paced the Wildcats in scoring in 2011-12 with a 17.6 ppg average. "I loved my three years at Villanova. I had the best teammates, coaches and professors anybody could ask for. I will always be a Wildcat."