Illinois basketball star Coleman Hawkins entered the transfer portal earlier this offseason, but he also went and tested the NBA Draft waters. He went to the combine, and he made it clear that going to the NBA is what he wanted to do. However, Hawkins must have not heard what he was hoping to hear at the combine as he is coming back to college. He will transfer to another school, and is looking for a lot of money in terms of NIL.

“Coleman Hawkins will return to college hoops, in news first reported by @ShamsCharania,” Aaron Torres said in a tweet. “Per a source, his agent has already let schools know he's looking for a pay day on par with Great Osobor (reported $2 million). In other words, if you're not ready to pay – don't call.”

That's how things are in college sports now. Coleman Hawkins was one of the better players in college basketball last year, and he is getting attention from big schools in the transfer portal. Who knows where he will end up, but whoever lands him better have the checkbook ready.

Whoever lands Hawkins is getting a great player. Hawkins had a great season last year as he finished averaging 12.1 PPG. He shot over 45% from the field and he shot just under 37% from deep. Hawkins also averaged 6.1 RPG. 2.7 APG and 1.1 BPG.

Hawkins had a big year and he will be bringing a lot of experience to this next destination. He has already played four seasons of college basketball, and next season will be year number five.

Coleman Hawkins discusses transfer portal wants

Coleman Hawkins (66) and Nae’Qwan Tomlin (10) participate during the 2024 NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena.
© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

First off, it's a bit surprising to see Coleman Hawkins staying in college. When he talked about his wants at the combine, he made it clear that the NBA is his top choice.

“I just feel like I've kind of outgrown college basketball,” Hawkins said, according to an article from 247 Sports. “I'm ready to just give my life to basketball, if that makes sense. Signing that contract, it becomes real life and it's not college. You could get away with not going hard in practice or kind of taking plays off. You could get mad at me for saying that, but not everybody's going 100% like that. I play hard in games and things like that, but it would be real-life situations. The moment I stay in this draft — and I think I'm ready for that, I'm ready for my game to grow, I'm ready for my body to change, and I'm ready to just open up to a whole new world of basketball that I've never experienced.”

However, even if he was ready for the NBA, the NBA might not have been ready for him. The decision made people wonder if Hawkins would have been drafted, but a recent tweet of his makes it sound like he thinks he would have.

In terms of what Hawkins wants in a new destination, he wouldn't mind a school with a decent football team.

“I would go somewhere with a football team where I can enjoy a football game,” Hawkins said. “But yeah, some schools have reached out, but some schools, I've just been honest with them and I haven't wasted their time. I flat out told 'em, that's just not somewhere I would even consider going.”

Lastly, it's clear now that Hawkins is looking for a lot of NIL money. He also discussed that, and he knows that he should end up making a lot. However, he apparently doesn't like to discuss the actual amount.

“I know someone just became the highest-paid player, and I wouldn't want to have that label,” He added. “I'd be making a good amount, but that's a lot of added pressure when you label yourself that. … I've had lots of offers. I've had offers to sign with agencies. I'm not a person who is moved by money, and if I'm being honest with you, to have that label (as highest paid player) is just an unwanted amount of pressure because as soon as you do something wrong, as soon as anything happens, as soon as you have a bad game, people are just going to question all that money. So even if I did come back to school, I'd let you guys guess whatever amount I got. I would never share that information because, I mean if I'm being honest, it's kind of selfish. Not only for yourself but for your teammates knowing what you made. I wouldn't have those conversations with my teammates. I wouldn't want anyone to know what I made.”

We'll see where Coleman Hawkins ends up, but he is definitely one of the best players available.