- NBA Draft
The NBA Draft is an annual
North American event in which the National Basketball Association's (NBA) thirty teams (29 in the United Statesand one in Toronto, Ontario, 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 schoolplayers 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. [For example, under current NBA Draft rules, late 1980s and early 1990s star Brad Daugherty would not have been eligible until "two years" after his high school graduation, because he graduated from high school while still 16. On the other hand, highly-touted USC freshman O. J. Mayoturned 19 six months before graduating from high school, but will not be eligible until the 2008 draft.]
All American players are automatically eligible to enter the draft at the end of their college eligibility. Through the
2005 NBA Draft, American players were also allowed to declare eligibility for the draft at any time between high school graduation and the completion of their college eligibility. International players could declare eligibility in the calendar year of their 18th birthday, or later.
collective bargaining agreementbetween 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 Draftwas 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, [ [http://www.nbpa.com/cba_articles/article-X.php#section8 NBA Player's Association ] ] the NCAA only allows one withdrawal.cite web|url=http://www.ncaa.org/library/membership/division_i_manual/2007-08/2007-08_d1_manual.pdf |title=Bylaws 126.96.36.199.1, 188.8.131.52.2 |work=2007-08 NCAA Division I Manual |publisher=NCAA |format=PDF |pages=p. 68 |accessdate=2008-04-18]
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
In the third annual High School Hoops magazine [Bodenburg, Rob, Ryan Canner-O'mealy, Jon Mahoney, and Ben Sylvan. "Scouting the Nation." High School Hoops 2005: 16-17.] , the players weighed in on the subject of the new rules regarding draft eligibility. Many of them felt that it was unfair. 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."
Jerryd Bayless(now a guard with the Portland Trail Blazers) 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, Wayne Ellington, 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."
On the specific topic of Oden entering the draft, 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." [Mahoney, Jon. "Next Question?" High School Hoops 2005: 38-39.]
Globalization of the draft
The NBA draft has been dominated by collegiate players since the draft was put in place in 1950. 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 Bryantand 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.
Foreign players have made a large impact on how teams are now drafting. When the draft began, foreign players were not 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 Thompsonin 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 foreign players selected in the draft to play in the NBA was Manute Bolout of the Sudan in 1983 in the 5th round by the San Diego Clippers. Bol's selection was later deemed ineligible by the NBA. Two years later Bol was drafted again by the NBA this time out of Division II University of Bridgeportin 1985 as the 31st pick overall in the second round. 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 Olajuwonin 1984 and Jamaica-born American Patrick Ewingin 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 foreign 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 Islandsand, 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." Beech, H. (2003, APRIL 28). Yao Ming China's Incredible Hulk of the hardcourt becomes an NBA sensation. Time.com. Retrieved February 25th, 2008, from http://www.time.com/time/asia/2003/heroes/yao_ming.html] 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." 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.
The 2005 and 2006 drafts both saw international players picked first overall. In 2005, the
Milwaukee Buckspicked Andrew Bogut, from Australiaby way of Utah, number 1. The next year, the Toronto Raptors made Andrea Bargnanithe second foreign player without U.S. college experience to be selected number 1 overall.
From the 2001 draft to the 2006 draft there were 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 Gasolare 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 2003.Fact|date=March 2008 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.Fact|date=March 2008 The
2000 NBA Drafthas been regarded as the worst in history, with " Sports Illustrated" calling its first round "a horrible group of players." [cite web|url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/2005/06/24/gallery.nbabusts/content.15.html |title=NBA Draft Busts: 6. First Round - 2000 |publisher="SI.com" |date= 2005-06-24|accessdate=2007-03-27] 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 Biasand affected the careers of several other first-round picks. [cite web|url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/the_bonus/06/22/86.draft/index.html |title=Draft daze: The sad saga behind the talented NBA Class of '86 |first=Paul |last=Forrester |publisher="SI.com" |date= 2006-06-23|accessdate=2007-03-27] Some of the worst draft picks ever include Chris Washburn (Warriors #3 pick in 1986), Kwame Brown (Wizards #1 pick in 2001), Sam Bowie (Trailblazers #2 pick in 1984) and Michael Olowokandi (Clippers #1 pick in 1998)." [cite web|url=http://thehoopsreport.com/article.aspx?id=111 |title=The Top 50 NBA Draft Lottery Busts of All-Time |publisher=Ryan Feldman, TheHoopsReport.com |date= 2008-06-15|accessdate=2008-06-16]
Haywood v. National Basketball Assn."
List of NBA Draft broadcasters
NBA Draft Lottery
NBA first overall draft pick
Notes and references
* [http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/ Basketball-Reference.com's draft page] , with selections organized by year and college.
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