CU Buffs point guard Spencer Dinwiddie declares for the 2014 NBA draft

BOULDER, Colo. - All of those mock NBA drafts that left Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie out of the first round were not about to distract the 6-foot-6 point guard from focusing on his dream.

Dinwiddie announced Thursday that he will forgo his final year of college eligibility to turn pro.

"I've got first-round talent," he said at a news conference. "If an NBA team has the confidence to give me the keys to the car (and contribute), they won't regret it."

A native of Los Angeles, Dinwiddie is still recovering from a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee that occurred during a Jan. 12 game at Washington. The injury, which also involved a meniscus tear, required reconstructive surgery. Dinwiddie acknowledged that he likely will not be medically cleared to participate in full-speed basketball drills until early August.

"There might be 25 out of 30 teams that think I'm a first-round talent, but they can't verify it because of my knee," said Dinwiddie, who was averaging 14.7 points with career bests of 46.6 percent from the field, 85.7 percent on free throws and a 2.13 assists-to-turnover ratio last season before the injury. "My thought is like this: Outside of the top five (picks), you don't get lifetime money. Whether I go 25th or 35th, though I understand the differences in the contract could be $1 million or $2 million on the front end, if I start my career now, at the back end I could make that up easily.

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