Kansas State’s Coleman Hawkins Explains Decision to Withdraw from NBA Draft and Enter Transfer Portal.

Coleman Hawkins, a recent addition to the Kansas State basketball team, had several options after finishing his senior year at Illinois.

He could have used the Covid waiver to return to the Fighting Illini for an extra season, or he could have tested the NBA draft or undrafted free agent market. He chose K-State because he felt his time at Illinois had run its course and saw more opportunity with another year of college rather than risking the NBA.

“I was done, whether I was going to the draft or going somewhere else,” Hawkins said on the Sleepers podcast. “You can only do something for so long. I couldn’t see myself doing another year of practices at Illinois. That’s just me being honest.”

Hawkins secured a $2 million NIL deal before signing with K-State, which was more than he could have made in the NBA and a better opportunity than what Illinois could offer.

“When the opportunity came to enter the portal, I wanted to maximize my opportunities because it was a year for me to be selfish in a way that wouldn’t harm anyone but me,” Hawkins said. “Everyone understood that it was business at the end of the day. Business can’t come with hard feelings. I did a lot for Illinois, and I was ready to put my value into somewhere else. That’s what I’m doing now.”