"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Sunday, April 22, 2007

From the "Did You Know" department: 93 early entrants in 2006 NBA draft

While controversy swirls around a Yahoo report that Dominic James will apply for the 2007 NBA draft, there are some interesting observations from looking at the 2006 early-entry draft list.

The folks over at Draft Express compiled a comprehensive list of every NBA early entry candidate, complete with commentary. 61 of them from the college ranks, 30 International players, and Clarence Holloway--the lone HS player old enough for the new NBA rules.

By comparison, in 2005 there were 108 early entrants, although 12 of them were HS players.

You can break the college players down into four categories:

1. Sure things: Guys like LaMarcus Aldredge or Rudy Gay who are jumping for the early NBA paycheck.

2. Big time players testing the waters: One can debate whether guys like Nick Fazekas, Aaron Afflalo and Aaron Gray were initially realistic about their NBA chances, the bottom line is that they had no realistic chance of being a first round pick and went through the process to get a better idea on what the NBA scouts and talent guys wanted to see.

3. Small program players needing all the exposure they can get. Mostly juniors, these are players who fly under the radar and are trying to grab some attention--Morris Almond from Rice or Akbar Abdul-Ahad from Idaho State. Sure, they hope lightning strikes and they prove themselves against some brand name players in the camps. More likely, they hope to grab some scouts attention so that he'll travel to see the player the following season.

4. Dropouts: Tedric Hill from Gulf Coast Community College or the aforementioned Clarence Holloway. Lets face it--the NBA draft is the last hope for guys like this. Why not take the chance--there's no downside, and they might get signed for a D-league team.

The interesting trend is the large number of early entrants have no intention of being drafted--they simply want to know what the process is like.

With this trend, let me be the first to predict that both Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews, Jr. will opt to submit their names in for the 2008 NBA draft. Not because they're "ready" in the traditional sense, but because a visit to the pre-draft camps seems to be trend among quality juniors and will prepare them for their senior year and 2009 draft.

As for James, I wish him well in the process. I don't know if he'll be able to prove that he belongs in the 2007 draft--but if his intent is to better prepare for 2008, he'll certainly be in good company.

No comments: