NBA Draft Overview
The NBA Draft is an annual North American event in which the National Basketball Association's (NBA) thirty teams (29 in the United States and one in Toronto, Canada) can select players who wish to join the league. These players usually come from the college level, but in recent drafts a greater number of international and high school players have been drafted. As of the 2006 NBA Draft, high school players gain eligibility for draft selection one year after their graduating class has finished high school, but only if they also are at least 19 years of age as of the end of the calendar year of the draft.
First poop in the bag and send it to Dallas Mavericks where they can inspect it and see how heavy it is and everything else. Then they feed it to the team if its good they call u and say that u will be in the NBA and if they say its bad they send it to the Boston Celtics where they do the same thing and on and on and on.
The collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players union, which took effect with the 2005-06 NBA season, established new eligibility rules to end the former practice of high schoolers jumping to the NBA. The 2006 NBA Draft was the first under these new rules, which are:
- All players must be at least 19 years of age during the calendar year of the draft.
- A player who completed basketball eligibility at an American high school must also be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class.
The agreement contains two draft declaration dates. All players who wish to be drafted, and are not automatically eligible, must declare their eligibility no later than 60 days before the draft. After this date, prospective draftees may attend NBA pre-draft camps and individual team workouts to show off their skills and obtain feedback regarding their draft positions. A player may withdraw his name from consideration from the draft at any time before the final declaration date, which is 10 days before the draft. A player who declares for the draft will lose his college eligibility, even if he is not drafted, if any of the following is true:
- The player signs with an agent.
- The player has declared for and withdrawn from a previous draft. Although the NBA collective bargaining agreement allows a player to withdraw twice, the NCAA only allows one withdrawal.
When a player is selected in the first round of the draft, the team that selected him is required to sign him to at least a two-year contract with a team option for a third and fourth year. Teams own the rights to players selected in the second round for three years, but the teams are not required to sign them.
Impact on High School Players
Before the new rule was put in place due to the collective bargaining agreement, high school athletes who were potential draftees would have a load of stress in their final year before graduation. The big decision was whether or not to attend college or go straight into the NBA. In the past ten years, more attention has been put on high school basketball players. Now, with the collective bargaining agreement in place, requiring that those entering the draft must be one year removed from high school graduation, high school stars only have to worry about committing to a college.
In the third annual High School Hoops magazine, the players weighed in on the subject. Many of them felt that it was a ridiculous rule to be put in place. Kansas State freshman Bill Walker, said (as a junior in high school), “I’m against it. I don’t see why you have to be 19 to play a game of basketball when you can be 18 and go to war for our country and die. It’s ridiculous.” Christopher (now a guard at Arizona) said “It’s not fair at all. If a tennis player can go pro at 13, I don’t understand why a basketball player can’t go pro at 18.” The hands down number one pick, had the rule not been put in place, was Greg Oden (now with the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA). When asked about the agreement he said “It’s unfair, but it’s over with now, so there’s no reason to complain.” In spite of the claims that the rule is unfair, Christopher, now a guard with North Carolina, said that “…I also think it’s going to help the league a little bit. Some guys who come in, like from this year’s draft, it will help.” Brandan Wright (now with the Golden State Warriors) said that “It may hurt guys who need money, but it will help people grow and develop.”
Despite the players disagreement with the new rule, there is a lot of pressure that is now being taken off of their backs. The first question that these stars would get was, “Are you going to the NBA?” The instant fame and money is what is so appealing to many of these young players. Now that the NBA question will be put on hold until, at least, they have finished their first year of college, the next question is, “Where will you commit?” Most of the players, even those who intended on going straight to the pros, made college visits and verbally committed somewhere. Most of them had a back up plan if they decided at the last minute not to go pro. Greg Oden was in the spotlight his senior year about where he would go to college. Once he decided, he was able to work on his game, dominate his opposition, and have fun in his last year of high school. Jack Keefer, Oden’s high school coach at Lawrence North, Indiana, said, “I really think he thought he was going to college. He seems to be more at ease with himself right now. I think the stress came with worrying about the NBA.”
Even though many of the players thought the collective bargaining agreement was unfair, it does relieve a lot of pressure that they have to face in their final campaigns as high school athletes. It allows them to make a decision about college, and then move on with their lives.
Sociology is the study of a social organization and behavior, based on a social theory and empirical research, as opposed to hunch, tradition, and blind faith. High profile athletes have a huge role on the perspectives and impact of a league. However, the NBA has taken a new line. It is a precaution towards its younger upcoming athletes. They have implemented a new rule concerning eligibility of athletes allowed to enter the draft. This new rule is mainly focused on athletes graduating from high school in the hope of pursuing their athletic careers into the professionals. Many think that the road to college is unnecessary and that they can jump straight to the NBA. Commissioner David Stern was trying to have a new rule put in place and that finally happened in the 2005 season. This new rule made it so that high school athletes had to attend at least one year of college in order to declare for the draft.
There are many impacts that this new rule have had on the game of basketball, both on and off the court. The first obvious change is that there are no longer high school athletes entering or being selected in drafts. This rule was put into place mostly due to the 1995 draft, when high school phenomenon Kevin Garnett was drafted with the fifth selection by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since then, a significant increase in the number of high school draftees occurred. This is totally different than in the past because the percentage of athletes leaving college early was minimal. In the 1970s, 1980s, and the early 1990’s the chance of a player leaving before his junior year was absurd and graduation rates were much higher when compared to today.
From the standpoint of college basketball fans, this is a much better rule. Since players are required to be one year removed from high school, most of them go to college. This has improved the quality of talent, game play and the NBA draft. When high school players were being taken right away the amount of complaints from not only college fans, but colleges in general was at its highest due to the fact that the collegiate atmosphere had become less exciting. Also colleges are known for giving athletic scholarships to those athletes that seemed fit and deserving. When these high profile athletes decide to go to college they knew in there minds that they were not going to stay. When this happens organizations are wasting scholarships that could be given to athletes who are more deserving and who would use then to benefit themselves the most. Because of this coaches are now more inclined to think more about whom they give these scholarships to. They only get a certain amount ever year and if players decide to leave after one or two years those scholarships are lost forever and the program is thus worse off. Players who leave early hurt the graduation rates at there particular college, and many schools are looked at based on graduation percentage. High prestige schools such as North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, UCLA, Arizona and others have great programs but horrible graduation rates because players are leaving early and going to the NBA. However schools such as Texas Tech, Indiana, Duke, Florida and others have both great programs and graduation rates because of the coaches there. These coaches recruit players that are good, but who also want to learn to better themselves for the future outside of basketball.
The Influence of Economics
The NBA’s labor market seems to most likely portray the second type of unraveling, which is that it has a centralizing matching system for new talent. This system is called the NBA draft. This is where teams are looking for the best talent and recently they have been drafting players earlier and earlier in their college careers or straight out of high school. However, in the unraveling method workers normally complete their education then report to work unlike the NBA where players start playing without completing their education. Research suggests that two models are the reason for earlier entry to the draft. These two models are human capital and option value. “The human capital model suggests that players enter the NBA once a certain skill level is met.” “The option value model suggests that college basketball provides signals for players. Therefore, the longer a player stays in college, the better the signal.” (Groothuis, Hill, and Perri, 2007, pg. 224) The introduction of team salary caps in 1983 was a compromise between the owners and the players union, in return for 53% of NBA gross revenue being allocated to player’s salaries. (Groothius, Hill, and Perri, 2007, pg 224, 226) In 1995 there was the introduction to the new Rookie Pay Scale. In terms, first round draft picks were given guaranteed three year contracts, with salaries set according to a published table, However teams were allowed to surpass the precedent by 20% and most teams did so. Second round draft picks were allowed the league minimum but contracts were not guaranteed. Immediately following this new rule change the amount of early draft entrees rose by 44% and only 20% were college juniors.(Groothius, Hill, and Perri, 2007, Pg 226.) Players enter the draft thinking that this new three year salary scale would put them financially ahead of where they would be they had attended all four years of college. High school players saw this as an opportunity to get out of the so called ghetto or troubled areas that they lived in. However, many did not realize that this opportunity wasn’t a locked in guarantee. Many players that thought they would be drafted and weren’t lost out heavily in their future development. This is because once declaring for draft and having an agent they would no longer be able to return to college if they were not chosen. Thus many players had made bad decisions when it came to their future and might ultimately have regretted their decisions.
Globalization of the Draft
The NBA draft has been dominated by collegiate players since the draft was put in place in 1947. In more recent years high school seniors have also had a large impact on the draft. These include players like LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Kwame Brown (the first high schooler ever taken number 1 overall). However, because of the new age requirement put in place in 2005, high school seniors are no longer eligible for the draft. During the same stretch that high school players were making a large impact on the draft, another group of players started to make their presence felt in the draft.
International players have made a large impact on how teams are now drafting. When the draft began you would not see an international player selected. As the years progressed, things began to change and a few international players were selected. The first international player, in the sense of being a national of a country other than the U.S., to be chosen first overall in the draft was Bahamian Mychal Thompson in 1978. However, Thompson's selection was not a true harbinger of the game's globalization, as he had spent much of his childhood in Florida, and had played college basketball at Minnesota. One of the first international players selected in the draft was Manute Bol out of the Sudan by way of the University of Bridgeport in 1983 in the 5th round by the San Diego Clippers. Although Bol did not have a stellar career, he is known for being one of the tallest players ever to play the game at 7 feet and 7 inches. He holds the record for being the tallest player ever to hit a 3 point field goal. The following two years saw two players born outside the U.S. selected first overall—Nigerian Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984 and Jamaica-born American Patrick Ewing in 1985. However, like Thompson before them, both had played U.S. college basketball—Olajuwon at Houston and Ewing at Georgetown—and Ewing had also played high school basketball in the U.S.
By the 1997 draft, the number of international players being drafted dramatically increased. The top pick in that draft, Tim Duncan, became the third international player picked number 1 overall—although his designation as "international" is a matter of semantics, as he is a native of the United States Virgin Islands and, like all USVI natives, is a U.S. citizen by birth. He also had played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest. Including Duncan, 12 international players were selected in the two rounds of the draft—although half of them, including Duncan and the next two such players picked, had played college basketball. The 1998 draft saw another international player picked first overall, Nigerian Michael Olowokandi, but like Duncan he had played college basketball, in his case at Pacific. In 2001 the highest drafted international player, Pau Gasol, was selected 3rd overall by the Memphis Grizzlies. That would all change the following season when Yao Ming became the first international player without U.S. college experience to be selected number 1 overall. Not only was the first overall pick an international player, but five more picks in the first round alone were also from overseas. In total, the 2002 draft produced 17 international players, with only three of them (all second-round picks) having U.S. college experience.
International players selected number 1 overall
As noted earlier, four international players had gone first overall before 2002, although all had played college basketball in the U.S., and one of them was in fact a U.S. citizen by birth. It was not until 2002 that an international player without college experience went first overall—Yao Ming. His selection was not only a watershed moment for the NBA, it also had a large impact in Yao's homeland of China. Hannah Beech (2003) writes “Yao has single-handedly transformed his countrymen from nameless, faceless millions into mighty men who can jam with the very best.”4 Yao has helped the NBA grow into a worldwide product. Beech (2003) goes on to write “Ratings for NBA games broadcast on Chinese TV have never been higher than this year as the nation keeps track of its new favorite team, Yao's Houston Rockets.”4 For his career Yao is averaging a solid 19.0 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, 1.89 blocks per game, and is shooting 82.6 percent from the free throw line. With numbers like those it’s easy to see that he is developing into one of the best big men in the league.
The 2005 and 2006 drafts both saw international players picked first overall. In 2005, the Milwaukee Bucks picked Andrew Bogut, from Australia by way of Utah, number 1. The next year, the Toronto Raptors made Andrea Bargnani the second international player without U.S. college experience to be selected number 1 overall. For his career he is averaging 11.1 points a game, 3.9 rebounds, and 82 percent from the free throw line.
From the 2001 draft to the 2006 draft there was a total of 87 international players selected. This trend shows how NBA teams are expanding the way they are selecting players in the draft. Players like Yao Ming, Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, and Pau Gasol are changing the landscape of the NBA to include a wide array of players from all over the globe.
Past NBA Drafts
Some of the most famous NBA draft years were 1984, 1996, and the 2003. Each of those is often referred to as one of, if not the, best NBA Draft ever, though the 2003 Draft was too recent to accurately compare. The 2000 NBA Draft is generally regarded as the worst in history. The 1986 Draft was notable for the number of solid and even outstanding players selected in later rounds, partly because of drug problems that claimed the life of second overall pick Len Bias and affected the careers of several other first-round picks.