Once again, a virtual flood of underclassmen are bolting for the NBA this summer. The charge for the next wave of “young guns” is to turn around flagging franchises and bring excitment to a league that markets itself on star power.
Declaring for the NBA Draft marks a crossroads. Most of these juniors, sophomores and freshmen who are entering the draft have moved on from the safety of their college life, they've taken the first steps towards professional basketball. And soon, they'll conduct job interviews at pre-draft camps and private workouts.
For those who aren't fully committed to the draft, they have until May 8 to remove their names from the league's selection process.
The cold, hard, facts are this: If you’re not leaving school early, then you’re probably not good enough to play in the NBA. It's just that simple. Duke’s Kyle Singler and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette will not be entering the 2010 draft because they didn't get a gurantee from any team that they would be selected in the first-round.
Therefore, both players have elected to return to school for their senior seasons.
For the lucky few that do get drafted in the first-round, the gamble is worth millions, dreams become reality, and stars can be born. For the others, success in the NBA is a long road and/or never at all.
League experts are projecting nearly the entire first-round of the 2010 draft to be comprised of underclass prospects--few college seniors, and very few Internaltional players.
I blame Kevin Durant for this...
No, on second thought, high schoolers and underclassmen have been entering the draft for decades now, but only a select few have become stars.
Players like Durant are memorable because of the sizzle they bring to the game. He is the next big thing in the NBA.
Looking back, who could have predicted the monster impact this former Texas freshman would have. Wasn't he too skinny to make it in the NBA?
No...not at all.
The "Durantchula" has proven that he's the real-deal. He passes the eyeball test with flying colors.
He became the youngest scoring leader in NBA history by averaging 30.1 points per game and lifting his Thunder into the post-season for the first time ever.
In contrast, 7-foot-3 Connecticut junior Hasheem Thabeet –by all accounts a safe pick at the time— has turned into a colossal failure as an NBA player. The No. 2 pick behind Blake Griffin, is an unmitigated disaster.
Thabeet was so bad he was sent down to the developmental league by the Memphis Grizzlies before season’s end.
On June 24, the NBA will once again flip the switch for another selection show— where “amazing” really does happen— but to be sure, there’s also plenty of room for failure— the problem is we don’t know who will succeed and who will disappoint.
The questions surrounding Kentucky’s John Wall and Ohio State’s Evan Turner are one in the same. Can they develop into NBA stars and help turn a franchise around or will they succumb to the losing ways of the bad teams that will draft them and never be heard from again?
As for the big men of this draft, it’s all about finding the right team for the right player. Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins is a very talented center, but so was Michael Olowokandi. We thought.
I’m not saying Cousins is in that vein, but he does disappear in games.
Those are just a few of the burning questions GM's will be grappling with before it’s time for David Stern to step to the podium and start the draft for real.
In the meantime, lets take a sharper look at the latest "mock draft" and how the plethora of underclassmen will shake things up in 2010.