The Science of the NBA Draft

Arya Bhansali

Having new prospects that come from college to the NBA level always raises questions about each prospect and how they will do in the NBA. A player who is a superstar in college is not guaranteed to be a successful player in the NBA. There have been players who fail out of the NBA completely and are now known as one of the biggest busts in NBA history. Players who come from college to the NBA level always have immense pressure on them to succeed, whether they are the first pick in the draft or the last. Players are very young and they aren’t used to the spotlight and all of the attention given to them at the NBA.

Investing in the stock market is basically like gambling in the casino, but it’s a smart gamble. Drafting players in the NBA draft can be just as hard. Having to be the GM of an NBA team and taking on these risks can be a breathtaking job. If you draft a player and they turn out to be a bust, you will remember that for the rest of your life and regret it. If you draft a player late in the draft who becomes a superstar like Isaiah Thomas or Jimmy Butler, you will be remembered as a genius and you will be loved by the fans. When you are in the hot seat and drafting a player, you are in one way taking a “blindfolded” risk. Scouting the player gives you a “base”, or an idea of how the player plays against his level of competition, but when the player gets into the NBA, he’s playing against grown men and players who have played for like 10 years already. Some players might need time to adjust to the game and some can come in the league and dominate right away.

In this draft class, we have a disperse amount of talent coming into the NBA. Some of these players can potentially become franchise players for a long time and some of these players could also become busts. Scouts have reported that Markelle Fultz will the potential number 1 overall pick and could become a top 5 point guard for the future based on how he’s playing in college. Scouts are also saying about how Lonzo Ball will change the game and how he is “Stephen Curry with a 40 inch vertical leap”. These scouts are seeing of how they are able to dominate their competition and play against their age group. It is impressive for the fact that Fultz is able to average 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 35.7 minutes per game and that Lonzo Ball is averaging 14.6 points, 6 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 35.1 minutes per game, but it doesn’t mean that they will be able to produce at this level in the NBA. These scouts are saying that this 2017 draft class could be the deepest draft class yet and that there are potentially 7 all-stars in this draft and many more solid players that could carve a nice career in the NBA. Players like Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz could potentially become franchise players in the NBA and help teams win rings.

After the draft lottery concluded a few days ago, we all now know the first 2 picks will be Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. Both Ball and Fultz will be thrusted into completely different situations to start off their NBA careers. Fultz will probably be drafted by the Boston Celtics and might become a bench spark for them in the beginning and develop his game if they keep their pick. If they trade their pick, Fultz can start to take over for a franchise right away and develop his game while playing a high amount of minutes per game. Lonzo Ball on the other hand will most likely be drafted by the Lakers and will most likely be the franchise player that the Lakers will build around because of his ability to elevate others and pass the ball at will. These players can either become superstars in the NBA or they could ultimately succumb to the pressure and fizzle out.

Scouts aren’t able to see the intangibles of a player and mentally what they want and how they will achieve their goals. These intangibles separate the good players from the great and phenomenal players in the NBA. The fact that Michael Jordan was psychotic about winning and that he took every loss to his heart and was furious of losing was what separated him from the rest of the players in NBA history. The fact that LeBron James spends $2 million on his body per year is what makes him the most durable player in NBA history. The fact that Kobe Bryant would only sleep for 4 hours and worked hard every single day is what made him the “next Michael Jordan”. As a scout, you can’t determine that these young players trying to make it to the NBA will have this kind of mentally that Michael, LeBron, and Kobe have/had throughout their careers. Those type of players only come once in a generation and only the GMs can guess if a player could be like a MIchael Jordan, a Kobe Bryant, or a LeBron James type player.

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