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Can Austin Nichols Find Redemption?

Lots of talent, but lots of red flags too.

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St. Francis Brooklyn v Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 15: Austin Nichols #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers shoots the ball against Joshua Nurse #11 of the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers in the second half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on November 15, 2016 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Virginia Cavaliers defeated the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers 72-32.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

One of the great what-ifs of this past season is simple: how would things have been different for Virginia if Austin Nichols had worked out?

As you may remember, Nichols was kicked off the team after just one game for “a violation of team rules.”

It was a bit of a mystery. Who gets kicked off a team for “a” violation of team rules? Is there no second chance at Virginia?

Of course some team rules are more important. Odds are if you commit a violent sexual assault or have a serious auto accident while drunk you’re going to be sent packing.

Those (strictly theoretical) possibilities are quite serious and also quite public. Whatever got Nichols in trouble wasn’t public.

Anyway, he turns to the NBA with real talent after having left Memphis under murky circumstances and then having an unpleasant, very brief stay at Virginia.

He’s unlikely to be drafted unless he really makes a big impression so that means he’ll have to earn it.

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