Saturday, May 23, 2009 Updated: May 28, 7:05 PM ET
Source: Calathes to pull out of draft
By Andy Katz ESPN.com
Nick Calathes is bypassing the final two seasons of his Florida career to play in Greece, according to a source close to the situation.
Calathes, who is Greek, has dual citizenship and a Greek passport. These factors were a huge plus in getting the deal done, the source said. Calathes played last summer on a Greek FIBA 20-and-under national team. His brother Pat, who played at Saint Joseph's, played for Maroussi in the Greek Euroleague last season.
Nick Calathes has signed to play professionally in Greece.
The Orlando Sentinel first reported Calathes would leave Florida.
An independent source confirmed the report to ESPN.com and said Calathes and his family decided to go the Greek route instead of waiting to see if he would be drafted by the NBA on June 25. According to the source, Calathes' workout with Dallas, which picks No. 22 in the first round, went well enough that the Mavericks would consider Calathes as a possible backup to Jason Kidd at the point.
According to the source, Calathes' contract with the Greek team Panathinaikos requires him to withdraw from the NBA draft before the June 15 deadline. The source said Calathes' agent Dan Fegan may try to keep his client in the draft to see where he is selected.
Calathes does not plan on attending the draft combine next week in Chicago, according to the source. But, as of Saturday, the NBA had Calathes on the list of combine participants.
The Sentinel reported the Greek deal would pay Calathes $1.1 million a year with home, car and tax credits that would be comparable to a late first-round selection in the NBA.
Florida coach Billy Donovan declined comment.
But Donovan has long believed Calathes wouldn't return for his junior season. Calathes averaged 17.2 points and 5.3 rebounds last season. Calathes would have been a candidate for SEC player of the year had he returned.
NBA sources viewed Calathes as a bubble first-round pick and who could easily slide to the second round. That's one of the reasons his family, according to the source, was looking for security.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.