Posts Tagged ‘draft’

NCAA changes deadline for NBA draft

The NCAA will give players extra time to decide whether to enter the draft, a change of the calendar announced Wednesday that will likely have a much greater impact on the college game than the NBA.

College players previously had to commit to returning to school or turning pro by the day before Letter of Intent day, in early-April. Now, prospects have until 10 days after the combine in Chicago, which this year ends May 15 ahead of the June 23 draft.

The new timeline appears to have little impact on the NBA beyond the potential addition of a few players at the combine with the safety net of knowing, unlike past years, they can stay in school. The extra time front offices will have to evaluate draft prospects will be relatively minimal after a full season of scouting, and teams will still have approximately a month, depending on future dates of the Chicago event and the draft itself, to gather information.

Players will gain the most from the change, with the opportunity to prepare longer for the draft and spend more time in front of NBA teams that, all sides hope, will lead to better feedback on the draft chances and possibly encourage some prospects to return to school. The biggest drawback is for college coaches, who may not know until late-May, long after the spring signing period, whether they will have an available scholarship or have to replace an important part of the roster.

“The cooperation between the NCAA, NBA and (National Assn. of Basketball Coaches) was vital to the success of this idea,” UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero, the chair of the Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, said in a statement. “We reached an excellent outcome that will undoubtedly benefit every group involved, most importantly the student-athlete. We all worked toward the same goal – providing students and their families with the opportunity to assess their future professional sports prospects in a realistic timeline. The rule change will allow students the chance to pursue their dreams while still preserving their ability to play collegiately.”

Players will now be able to enter the draft multiple times without losing eligibility, as long as they withdraw before the deadline, and participate in the combine and one team workout per year.

Unique 2008 draft continues to evolve

VIDEO: GameTime: What’s Next For Chicago?

Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love went in the top five, Brook Lopez the top 10, and that makes perfect sense. All were smart picks that at the very least paid a decent return on the investment and in one case, Westbrook to the Thunder, was the direct hit of a prospect with no experience as a point guard becoming a star as a point guard.

But Tim Reynolds was right in his Associated Press story. The 2008 draft has continued to veer toward the strange, most recently with Rose’s knee injury. And that’s beyond the typical perspective of time of some lottery picks going bad (Michael Beasley second to the Heat, Joe Alexander eighth to the Bucks) and later selections building successful careers (several).

Reynolds’ research:

  • Miami’s Mario Chalmers is the only one among the 60 picks on June 26, 2008, inside Madison Square Garden to win a title. He has played in 29 games in June, compared to 28 combined for everyone else in the draft class.
  • Only four first-rounders have even played in the Finals: Courtney Lee when he was with the Magic, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka with the Thunder and Beasley as part of his on-again, off-again (and back-on-again) relationship with the Heat.
  • Rose’s knee problems have become well documented. Lopez was sidelined the better part of two full years with foot issues. Knee problems cost Eric Gordon more than 100 games over two seasons. Danilo Gallinari and his knees. That’s four lottery picks.
  • Only 10 first-round choices have at least 30 starts in 2014-15. Fifteen are averaging double-figures in scoring. Six have not played in the NBA this season, although it is also noted that rate of attrition of 24 in the NBA now is good compared to some other draft classes of the same general time (13 first-rounders from 2006, 18 from 2007 and 22 from 2009).

And there is the uniqueness of the selections that goes beyond the usual hits and misses. With years to go before a final read on 2008, the relatively early storyline is of a draft that has turned out so bottom heavy, with the majority of the best players coming from beyond the lottery and even beyond the first round: Robin Lopez at 15, Roy Hibbert at No. 17, Ryan Anderson at 21, Lee at 22, Ibaka at 24, Nicolas Batum at 25, George Hill at 26, Nikola Pekovic at 31, DeAndre Jordan at 35, and Goran Dragic at 45.

So much for teams putting a premium on size — that’s a lot of starting centers outside the top 14. Nearly seven years later, the NBA world has seen how much Lopez, Hibbert, Ibaka and Jordan in particular can impact on defense alone.

The ultimate analysis is still pending, because a lot of the players have years to go before their careers can be defined. And, yes, because of Rose. How his injury saga turns out will have an impact on how the Class of 2008 is viewed.

Wiggins Not A Lock For No. 1 In The Draft

There may come a time when Julius Randle of Kentucky or Jabari Parker of Duke or Australian Dante Exum will ascend to No. 1 on the Draft board in some NBA front office, because Kansas hype machine Andrew Wiggins may be the clear publicity leader but does not enjoy the same cushion in actual ranking heading into what he says will be a one-and-done career. That time could even come by tonight as four teams collide in Chicago for what is either the Champions Classic (NCAA description) or one of the great scouting moments in history (NBA read).

Yes, it is Wiggins’ race to lose as the young college season really ignites with No. 1 Kentucky playing No. 2 Michigan State (7:30 p.m. ET) — the first matchup of top-ranked teams since Memphis-Tennessee in February 2008 — and No. 4 Duke facing No. 5 Kansas (9:30 ET) with a large representation of NBA executives and scouts at United Center. But, no, it is not close to being over, no matter how much attention the son of former Bull, Rocket and 76er Mitchell Wiggins is generating.

Or as one front-office veteran, while still putting Wiggins at the top of his list, said when asked whether the Kansas freshman is locked in as the first selection in June: “I think in the media’s mind he is. But just in talking to one of our guys around the league, he said Wiggins was the third-best player in their practices. The media has Wiggins way ahead. I just don’t think the NBA has him way ahead.”

Rating Wiggins the No. 3 prospect in Kansas workouts is not exactly a body slam because teammates Joel Embiid and Wayne Seldon are tracking to the lottery and possibly the top eight or 10. But it’s a valuable perspective and a chance to take a deep breath as the chase begins in earnest tonight with several subplots (NCAA version) or headlines (NBA understanding) in the best measurement to date.

It’s not just Kansas vs. Duke, but Wiggins vs. Parker, wing vs. wing, highly touted freshman vs. highly touted freshman and a great opportunity for both. If Wiggins plays well in the possible only pre-Draft combine in Chicago he will probably see — every expectation is he’ll skip the real combine come next May — his claim to No. 1 becomes stronger. A standout night from Parker puts in a bid for a new No. 1.

The NBA is always more concerned with what a prospect is doing in the second half of their season and into the NCAA tournament than who performs best in November. But this gathering of so many potential lottery picks and first-rounders, in many cases head-to-head, is such a rare single-day scouting run that it can’t help but register on the Draft Richter scale. It is a better evaluation than most Final Fours, unless this turns out to be a preview of the actual Final Four.

Kansas has Wiggins, Embiid and Seldon, while Duke has Parker, Rasheed Sulaimon and Rodney Hood. Michigan State has Gary Harris and Adreian Payne. Kentucky has Randle, Andrew Harrison, James Young, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, plus Aaron Harrison and Marcus Lee hoping to push into the top 30 (with a team manager, bus driver and corridor-sweeper of Rupp Arena in the mix, too). It’s early, but it’s an important night for the future bank accounts of a lot of people on the floor of the United Center. That makes it an important night for all the NBA.