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Kobe Brown has an important decision to make

With rumors swirling about the transfer portal, the star senior forward has many options on the table.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round Sacramento Practice Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve barely acknowledged them, but they’re out there.

You know what I’m talking about.

At this point, if you’re still on Twitter, these have been rampant over the last week or so. While there’s been a group of Mizzou fans who want to put their head in the sand on the issue, as someone who tries to always keep his head out of the sand... it’s entirely possible Kobe Brown decides to enter the transfer portal. I would not say it’s anywhere as likely as the UK fan account in the first tweet seems to think. It’s not “highly likely” at all.

It is possible though.

Kobe graduated yesterday. That means the transfer portal window closing doesn’t affect him. The portal closed at 11:59pm on Thursday night... for underclassmen. If you’ve graduated, you can enter the portal at any time.

So theoretically, Kobe Brown can go into the transfer portal whenever he wants. If he wants.

He does, however, have to make a decision on whether he’s going to stay in the NBA draft by the end of the month.

So let's go over the options here.

Stay in the NBA Draft

Most of the NBA Mock Draft-niks have Kobe slotted somewhere in the early to mid-second round. The assumption here is that he’s very likely a top-45 pick.

Originally we believed Brown would be returning to school if he was not going to be a first round pick. However, at his latest public appearance, Brown was asked about his future and his language seemed to focus in on a guarantee more so than a specific pick.

This is why I think Brown is staying in the draft. If things hold, he’s very likely to be a top-50 pick. Top 50 picks get guaranteed deals. The NBA draft and NBA Players Union by-laws only specifically guarantee contracts for first round picks. But the times have changed to where more and more teams are guaranteeing second round pick contracts, thanks to the expansion of the 2-way deals and the ability to let guys grow in the G-League.

If you’re picked 45th, there’s a good chance you’re going to get at least a two year deal, and possibly a three year deal. It all amounts to the fact that if Kobe wants a guarantee, there’s a really good chance he’ll have one.

I’ll also add in this part and I think this may be the most relevant. Brown is already one of the oldest players in the current draft pool. Add in another season and he’ll likely be the oldest. And I’m not sure he can make his stock any higher. This year's draft class is strong at the top, but relatively weak with the depth. Next year is looking like a deeper class, with maybe less top talent but better overall depth. It would make a lot of sense for Brown to take advantage of those things and get into the draft this year.

Come back to Mizzou

For most of us here, this is the preferred option.

Mizzou is prepared with a hefty NIL package should Brown want to return to school. But Dennis Gates and his staff have built the roster in a way that they will be good to go with either outcome. But obviously bringing Brown back into the fold is what they want. He’s an All-SEC player, and there’s a reason why so many schools are trying to get him into the transfer portal. Having a guy you can count on for 14-16 points and 6-8 rebounds sounds great!

But if Brown decides he wants to play another season of college basketball, Mizzou will be ready to make sure he’s happy in Columbia.

Enter the transfer portal

Let’s rip the bandaid off.

I don’t think the odds are good Brown takes this path, but you have to be prepared. IF he enters the portal he’ll be a hot commodity. There are rumors that Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn... basically everyone... would go hard after Brown if he chose to play another college season.

There are a lot of good reasons why Brown might want to enter the portal. And even if he entered the portal it would mostly be to field offers and see the options. It could still be up to Mizzou to meet the moment and provide for Brown. So if he enters, it also doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t come back.

With that said, it’s also very likely Brown knows his offers out there already. He also knows Mizzou will do whatever they can to keep him. He also knows he has a legacy in Columbia at this point. He also knows Mizzou should be pretty good again next year and his coming back would likely lock that in even further.

If you don’t know already, I’m not a gambling man here. But I would not put any money on Brown coming back to school. If he came back to school, I would not put money on him playing next season anywhere other than Missouri. At this point, the momentum seems to be there for Brown to make his move to turn pro.

Meanwhile, Mizzou still needs a big man.