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The difficult calculus for fringe NBA prospects is perhaps as complex as it ever has been this spring and summer. An already delicate dance of weighing options, probabilities, uncertainties, personal goals and team prospects is complicated by two macro factors beyond any prospect’s control.

The first is a pandemic that is resulting in thousands of deaths and has completely changed the way life is conducted around the globe. Its effect on the NBA Draft is obviously minuscule compared to the destruction it is creating across the world, but its effect is substantial, nonetheless.

The second is the fact that the 2020 draft class figures to be one of the weakest in recent memory.

On one hand, you have a situation creating perhaps the most uncertainty globally as has existed since World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis or Sept. 11, 2001. That’s a pretty good reason to sit tight, stay in college and wait it out with a scholarship and a support system, however disrupted it may be at the moment.

On the other, waiting a year might mean you slide down the draft through no fault of your own other than timing. Simply, there’s going to be more players who are better eligible for the draft next June, so being the same player — or even marginally better — might still mean a worse draft position or falling out altogether.

I think in this situation, the risk is likelier to far outweigh the reward for most prospects.

We’ve seen a number of players from this state in recent years take the professional leap with a pretty good idea that their name would not be called on draft night. Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton and Iowa’s Tyler Cook both left school with eligibility left and few draft prospects last year, but were secure in the knowledge that either the G-League or one of the various overseas leagues would be there as a safety net and with a paycheck.

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Are we sure that’s the case this year?

If you’re ISU’s Tyrese Haliburton, that’s not a question you need to consider. As a surefire first-rounder, likely top-10 and potentially top-five pick, the decision to leave college behind is largely an easy one. You know you’re cashing in a seven-figure contract with a world-class support system.

If you’re Iowa’s Luka Garza, who declared Friday for the draft but will retain his eligibility, it probably leans the other way.

"I know I’m all over the place," Garza said Thursday of his perceived draft stock. “I just want to hear that for myself.

“Also, if it’s not the time to make that move, I want to hear the improvements I need to make to be able to be ready for that step after my senior year."

The NBA people I’ve spoken with are skeptical of Garza’s place at the next level because, despite the dominant All-American season he had as a junior with the Hawkeyes, his athleticism and lateral quickness make him a defensive liability and he won’t get enough post-up opportunities in the NBA to take full advantage of his skill there.

He could get a second-round look because there is no denying his talent, but his fit for the modern NBA is a real question.

It would be a serious risk, though, for him and players of similar status to pursue that end at the expense of returning to school. If there are no in-person workouts due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, Garza won’t have much of a chance to change any minds about the extent of his strengths or the mitigation of his weaknesses.

What teams think of him now are what they’re going to think of him come draft night.