Tuesday, April 16, 2019 3:15 PM | CBN
The NBA Draft is a great opportunity for 60 young men to be drafted into the most prestigious basketball league in the world. They’ve been striving for this moment their entire lives, waiting to hear their name called, a moment like no other, seeing your dreams become a reality. But here we are, with a huge issue that nobody seems to care about.
The issue? Too many kids are entering the draft… Way too many. Last year a record, 236 underclassmen declared for the NBA draft with181 of those being college players. 77 players ended up staying in the draft pool in addition to the 11 international players who entered. Then you also have the countless numbers of seniors who graduated college and enter the draft as well. But here’s the thing… There are 60 picks. That’s all. Just 60 spots. You easily had over 100 kids competing for 60 spots last year which leads me to asking… why and how does this happen?
My personal opinion is that the Agents and NBA Staffers trick these young men into believing they’ll be selected high, leading them to declare early and stay in the draft. For example, Malik Newman went undrafted last season after an incredible 2017-18 campaign. He averaged 14.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and shot 41.5% from three. He was awarded the Big 12 Tournament MVP, and named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Malik was the #8 recruit in the 2015 class, went to Mississippi State for a season before transferring to Kansas. So my theory is that agents and NBA staffers told Malik, he would be a first rounder, around the 20-30 range. “You shot the ball great this season in an elite conference and we know you’ll only improve. We think, no we KNOW you’ll be a top 25 pick, so go enter the draft and secure that bag!” I could definitely see an agent saying this. Oh and as if the agent really cares about each player they represent, they take shots at some of the lesser known names in the draft just in case they have a great start to their career, the agent looks great. If the player does nothing much at all, it’s another forgotten name and surely not the agents fault for brainwashing a kid to enter early. Malik Newman went undrafted, plays in the G-League, while he could have really used that extra year of college to improve. Next example, Tony Carr from Penn State. Averaged 19.6 PPG as a sophomore and shot 40.8% from the field and an insane 43% clip from 3. He added 5.0 APG and 4.9 RPG. Tony was definitely told he’d be a top 25 pick, “Hey Tony, you destroyed the Big Ten this season, some great competition, why not jump to the NBA, get a nice pay day, and start living lavishly like all these other young NBA studs.” It’s too hard for these kids to pass up. The quality of living they dealt with in college is so poor. Many of these kids did not grow up wealthy and want money to take care of their family. But do they want to be told they’ll be a first round pick and get first round money? Or be told the truth so they can go back to school for a year or two, improve, then get drafted highly. Tony Carr was picked 51st overall by the Pelicans, that’s a 2nd rounder, that’s one of the final picks of the draft. Carr plays for Pallacanestro Cantu in Italy. The chances of Carr ever playing in a NBA game diminished so quickly. It’s a travesty.
This year (As of April 11th, 2019) 92 underclassmen who have declared thus far. The deadline to declare is April 21st while the deadline to withdraw from the draft is May 29th, if they want to retain college eligibility. Now, I see names on this list of kids who I didn’t even think were considering leaving school early. Troy Baxter of FGCU declared for this years draft. I would believe that this is just to see what NBA guys think he needs to improve on and I hope that’s why he declared. Baxter averaged 7.5 PPG and 2.9 RPG as a 6’8” Power Forward. He only played 19.6 Minutes a game but man he has a lot to work on. Baxter needs to add some weight and muscle because 200 pounds at 6’8” in the NBA, oof, some of these grown men would bully you. Baxter NEEDS to return. Yeah this next one… Samson Froling of Creighton declared after averaging 3.6 PPG in 9.2 Minutes a game. Under 10 minutes a game. Yikes! The 7 foot center would go undrafted without a doubt. I hope Jordan Poole returns, he’d be a sure fire 2nd round pick this year. But he becomes a sure fire first round pick next season after his junior year if and when he gets hot in March and leads Michigan to the Sweet 16 or beyond. Poole was inconsistent this season so go back to school, become a better and more mature player, secure the bag in 2020 after leading your Wolverines far in March. Like could you imagine where Jalen Brunson goes if he leaves after his sophomore season? Likely undrafted. Instead he stayed, won the Big East POTY, won a National Championship, and went 33 overall (round 2). He started 38 games for the Mavericks this season as a 22-year old rookie, whilst averaging 9.3 PPG. Brunson has a bright future cut out for him in the NBA! Being patient rewards you!
Of these 92+ underclassmen entries, half wouldn’t be selected. So many dreams crushed. So, play it smart and play the long game Maybe it doesn’t look so great in the beginning but things can turn around for the better just like that. The NBA needs to make changes so we can prevent many kids careers ending prematurely.