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Reisen
12-05-2013, 08:05 AM
So, in SI's latest draft predictions, Parker is now third, and Hood 14th:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20131205/nba-big-board-julius-randle-andrew-wiggins-jabari-parker/?eref=sihp

Reading this, I had two questions / thoughts, one for each:

For Parker - Getting to watch him play often, I have a hard time imagining him not taken #1. Granted, I've only seen Randle & Wiggins play twice each, but to me, Parker looks the better player. Let's say everyone believes these draft rankings will hold true, though, and this is just a crazy class at the top (as everyone has claimed). Ignoring time-value-of-money, would it be in Parker's interest to stay one more year to move from 3rd to 1st? Or is the difference pretty marginal as long as you're a high lottery pick?

For Hood - This sentence caught my eye: "At 21, Hood’s age works against him with NBA executives obsessed with teenagers." I can easily see why an NBA exec would prefer a 21 y/o to a 31 y/o. At some point, a combination of an aging body and an accumulation of injuries starts to make players a step slower. But certainly not at 21. I'd argue the opposite, in fact. At that age, he has 2 more years of high level strength training, so he should be better, physically. Ignore the extra coaching he's gotten around things like defense, free throw technique, practice competing against high level players (like Jabari), etc.

The only reason I can think this could be true would be if NBA execs were evaluating where a player was going to be in 10+ years when drafting him. I'm sorry, but I find this laughable. In this day of free agents and multiple contracts, does anyone really believe execs assume a player will be on their squad a decade later? If not, I suppose you could make the argument that a younger player would be more valuable in a trade scenario, but now we're really reaching.

It seems to me that, given the same level of raw talent, I'd take the player that someone else has invested an extra two years of work into, so that he can help me win now.

jjasper0729
12-05-2013, 08:39 AM
I saw the same article and I just keep shaking my head when the first upperclassman (junior or senior) comes in at #17 (McDermmott). I certainly get why these kids want to go ahead and leave and if I had someone throwing money at me like that, I would too, but I know I enjoyed being in college and I don't understand why they'd want to skip out on that and just enjoy still being a kid. That's the old fogey i me I guess.

MChambers
12-05-2013, 08:40 AM
So, in SI's latest draft predictions, Parker is now third, and Hood 14th:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20131205/nba-big-board-julius-randle-andrew-wiggins-jabari-parker/?eref=sihp

Reading this, I had two questions / thoughts, one for each:

For Parker - Getting to watch him play often, I have a hard time imagining him not taken #1. Granted, I've only seen Randle & Wiggins play twice each, but to me, Parker looks the better player. Let's say everyone believes these draft rankings will hold true, though, and this is just a crazy class at the top (as everyone has claimed). Ignoring time-value-of-money, would it be in Parker's interest to stay one more year to move from 3rd to 1st? Or is the difference pretty marginal as long as you're a high lottery pick?

For Hood - This sentence caught my eye: "At 21, Hood’s age works against him with NBA executives obsessed with teenagers." I can easily see why an NBA exec would prefer a 21 y/o to a 31 y/o. At some point, a combination of an aging body and an accumulation of injuries starts to make players a step slower. But certainly not at 21. I'd argue the opposite, in fact. At that age, he has 2 more years of high level strength training, so he should be better, physically. Ignore the extra coaching he's gotten around things like defense, free throw technique, practice competing against high level players (like Jabari), etc.

The only reason I can think this could be true would be if NBA execs were evaluating where a player was going to be in 10+ years when drafting him. I'm sorry, but I find this laughable. In this day of free agents and multiple contracts, does anyone really believe execs assume a player will be on their squad a decade later? If not, I suppose you could make the argument that a younger player would be more valuable in a trade scenario, but now we're really reaching.

It seems to me that, given the same level of raw talent, I'd take the player that someone else has invested an extra two years of work into, so that he can help me win now.
I see two problems with your analysis:

First, you're thinking rationally, not like an NBA GM.

Second, and more seriously, I believe the NBA free agency rules make it easier for a team to keep a John Wall or Kyrie Irving than it used to be, so it is more likely that the premium players will play for the team that drafted them for quite a while after their initial contract. So that means it may really be rational to look for the players with greater "upside".

BlueDevilBrowns
12-05-2013, 09:08 AM
So, in SI's latest draft predictions, Parker is now third, and Hood 14th:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20131205/nba-big-board-julius-randle-andrew-wiggins-jabari-parker/?eref=sihp

Reading this, I had two questions / thoughts, one for each:

For Parker - Getting to watch him play often, I have a hard time imagining him not taken #1. Granted, I've only seen Randle & Wiggins play twice each, but to me, Parker looks the better player. Let's say everyone believes these draft rankings will hold true, though, and this is just a crazy class at the top (as everyone has claimed). Ignoring time-value-of-money, would it be in Parker's interest to stay one more year to move from 3rd to 1st? Or is the difference pretty marginal as long as you're a high lottery pick?.

There isn't a huge difference between 1 and 3. About 1 million per year.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/2013-14-nba-rookie-salary-scale

It's in Parker's financial interest to leave after this year because it get's him out of the Rookie Wage Scale one year sooner. Parker, most likely, will be a "Max Contract" player so the earlier he can get to that 2nd contract the better. Looking even further down the road, it would also put him in line for a 2nd Max deal sometime in his late 20's.

The flip side to that is the old "HB" argument of "building your brand" by staying in college at a prominent school for 2 years, making him more marketable when he enters the league. I don't think it did Ol' Harry alot of good, though.

flyingdutchdevil
12-05-2013, 09:12 AM
I saw the same article and I just keep shaking my head when the first upperclassman (junior or senior) comes in at #17 (McDermmott). I certainly get why these kids want to go ahead and leave and if I had someone throwing money at me like that, I would too, but I know I enjoyed being in college and I don't understand why they'd want to skip out on that and just enjoy still being a kid. That's the old fogey i me I guess.

Because the college experience of a prime time college athlete is different than the rest of us. Most (and by that, I mean 98%) see college as a stepping stone to greener basketball pastures (ie, paycheck!).

If someone guaranteed me $5 million for 3 years (and it's usually way more) with the opportunity to make over $100 million across 12 years, I'd say, "Hell yeah! Screw college!" too.

johnb
12-05-2013, 09:19 AM
I'd think the difference between Jabari's being an all-star and Jabari being all-NBA will be his defense. Right now, he's a good shot blocker but fairly average when it comes to positioning and overall defense. NBA teams would love to have him since he's so talented offensively, but, as with Kyrie, his defense is nowhere near Jordanesque. Would an additional year of seasoning with excellent coaching and moderate competition provide more of a grounding to become a standout defender? Or would he be a better defender in 2018 if he spends that additional year in the NBA, where there is obviously more competition but probably less coaching of the fundamentals.

Rodney's situation is different. Including his red shirt year, he's now in his third year of major college basketball. Coach generally encourages upperclassmen to go pro early if they're slated for the lottery. Assuming he's been accumulating credits, he could still graduate in a few Duke summers. Of course, he may want to stay an additional year and be the backbone of the team and graduate on time, but I wouldn't count on it.

flyingdutchdevil
12-05-2013, 09:22 AM
I'd think the difference between Jabari's being an all-star and Jabari being all-NBA will be his defense. Right now, he's a good shot blocker but fairly average when it comes to positioning and overall defense. NBA teams would love to have him since he's so talented offensively, but, as with Kyrie, his defense is nowhere near Jordanesque. Would an additional year of seasoning with excellent coaching and moderate competition provide more of a grounding to become a standout defender? Or would he be a better defender in 2018 if he spends that additional year in the NBA, where there is obviously more competition but probably less coaching of the fundamentals.

Rodney's situation is different. Including his red shirt year, he's now in his third year of major college basketball. Coach generally encourages upperclassmen to go pro early if they're slated for the lottery. Assuming he's been accumulating credits, he could still graduate in a few Duke summers. Of course, he may want to stay an additional year and be the backbone of the team and graduate on time, but I wouldn't count on it.

Kyrie's D isn't even middle-of-the-NBA-esque. Kyrie's offense is sweet, but his D is just pitiful. I thought it would improve under a defensive coach, but it has barely gotten better. He needs to work at it, and hard.

BlueDevilBrowns
12-05-2013, 09:24 AM
Because the college experience of a prime time college athlete is different than the rest of us. Most (and by that, I mean 98%) see college as a stepping stone to greener basketball pastures (ie, paycheck!).

If someone guaranteed me $5 million for 3 years (and it's usually way more) with the opportunity to make over $100 million across 12 years, I'd say, "Hell yeah! Screw college!" too.

Yes. You can go to college at 45, you can't play NBA basketball at 45. If I had the choice of being a 1st round pick(instant millionare) or college for 3 more years and run the risk of my game being exposed or, even worse, getting seriously injured, I'd take the $$$ every time.

Heck, my Grandfather went back to college at 66 and finished the last two years he needed for his bachelor's at South Carolina, so it can, and does, happen.

vick
12-05-2013, 09:33 AM
I'd think the difference between Jabari's being an all-star and Jabari being all-NBA will be his defense. Right now, he's a good shot blocker but fairly average when it comes to positioning and overall defense. NBA teams would love to have him since he's so talented offensively, but, as with Kyrie, his defense is nowhere near Jordanesque. Would an additional year of seasoning with excellent coaching and moderate competition provide more of a grounding to become a standout defender? Or would he be a better defender in 2018 if he spends that additional year in the NBA, where there is obviously more competition but probably less coaching of the fundamentals.

Rodney's situation is different. Including his red shirt year, he's now in his third year of major college basketball. Coach generally encourages upperclassmen to go pro early if they're slated for the lottery. Assuming he's been accumulating credits, he could still graduate in a few Duke summers. Of course, he may want to stay an additional year and be the backbone of the team and graduate on time, but I wouldn't count on it.

I think the idea that Jabari will better learn the fundamentals of NBA defense in college basketball rather than the NBA is not right. NBA defenses are very sophisticated (and, with the development of video tracking and analytics, significantly more so than in decades past), and it's not at all clear to me why a year in Duke's system is better training for it than actually being in the NBA.

johnb
12-05-2013, 09:42 AM
I think the idea that Jabari will better learn the fundamentals of NBA defense in college basketball rather than the NBA is not right. NBA defenses are very sophisticated (and, with the development of video tracking and analytics, significantly more so than in decades past), and it's not at all clear to me why a year in Duke's system is better training for it than actually being in the NBA.

That's my question. The defenses are more sophisticated in the NBA, and the quality of the competition is much higher. As with Kyrie, Jabari's defense has been subpar at Duke, though both can generate a sportscenter offensive highlight reel every game. My concern is that Jabari would likely be a defensive liability in the NBA without quite a lot of work. At the same time, because he's so good offensively and will be drafted so high by a presumably bad team, he'll be playing 30 minutes per night, 4 nights a week. When is he supposed to learn high-level fundamentals if he doesn't learn them at a place that specializes in high-level defensive fundamentals (ie, Duke)?

If his goal is to lock $5 million in the bank regardless of his future performance, going pro at the end of the year makes sense. My question is whether he is might enhance his chances of being the next Lebron (and getting a spot in the rafters) with an additional year of seasoning.

sagegrouse
12-05-2013, 09:58 AM
Yes. You can go to college at 45, you can't play NBA basketball at 45. If I had the choice of being a 1st round pick(instant millionare) or college for 3 more years and run the risk of my game being exposed or, even worse, getting seriously injured, I'd take the $$$ every time.

Heck, my Grandfather went back to college at 66 and finished the last two years he needed for his bachelor's at South Carolina, so it can, and does, happen.

It must be in the water supply in Columbia, SC. My aunt, who just passed away at the age of 97, started college at USC in her 60's. She graduated from South Carolina in about 1984, at age 68, in the same class as her GRANDDAUGHTER.

sagegrouse

Ichabod Drain
12-05-2013, 09:59 AM
Yes. You can go to college at 45, you can't play NBA basketball at 45. If I had the choice of being a 1st round pick(instant millionare) or college for 3 more years and run the risk of my game being exposed or, even worse, getting seriously injured, I'd take the $$$ every time.

Heck, my Grandfather went back to college at 66 and finished the last two years he needed for his bachelor's at South Carolina, so it can, and does, happen.

I agree you can definitely go back to college anytime... but going to college when you're 45 is a completely different experience than when you're 19-20.

Serious injuries can be bad but they don't have to affect draft position that much. Kyrie Irving was still drafted #1 after playing only 11 games in college. Nerlens Noel may not even play at all his rookie season and he was still taken #6 overall. Heck Kevin Ware is already playing again.

All in all I agree you should probably take the money. Just wanted to throw a little counter argument in there.

Ichabod Drain
12-05-2013, 10:00 AM
I think the idea that Jabari will better learn the fundamentals of NBA defense in college basketball rather than the NBA is not right. NBA defenses are very sophisticated (and, with the development of video tracking and analytics, significantly more so than in decades past), and it's not at all clear to me why a year in Duke's system is better training for it than actually being in the NBA.

Hey Duke has that same technology!

flyingdutchdevil
12-05-2013, 10:03 AM
That's my question. The defenses are more sophisticated in the NBA, and the quality of the competition is much higher. As with Kyrie, Jabari's defense has been subpar at Duke, though both can generate a sportscenter offensive highlight reel every game. My concern is that Jabari would likely be a defensive liability in the NBA without quite a lot of work. At the same time, because he's so good offensively and will be drafted so high by a presumably bad team, he'll be playing 30 minutes per night, 4 nights a week. When is he supposed to learn high-level fundamentals if he doesn't learn them at a place that specializes in high-level defensive fundamentals (ie, Duke)?

If his goal is to lock $5 million in the bank regardless of his future performance, going pro at the end of the year makes sense. My question is whether he is might enhance his chances of being the next Lebron (and getting a spot in the rafters) with an additional year of seasoning.

College basketball, rightfully so, has restrictions to how much players can practice. Yes, they can easily train outside of practices (and they do a lot), but many don't really have the money to get additional coaching outside of the season.

In the NBA, as a lottery pick, teams will invest heavily in you. The resources exponentially increase compared to college. The hours you have to sit down and learn increase, during both the season and off-season. You have one responsibility in the NBA - play basketball. Collectively, the best basketball minds in the world are in the NBA. This makes sense as the NBA has, collectively, the most money. I know that Coach K is one of the greatest basketball minds, but he is one man in college ball and makes $9-$10M a year, significantly more than most NBA coaches. But to think that, collectively, Duke has better resources than the average NBA team is not correct.

If Jabari wants to develop better as a basketball player, I think going to the NBA just makes too much sense. But if he wants to learn in the classroom, spend more time with his fun-loving teammates (especially Quinn Cook, he must be a blast), and learn a few unique skills from Coach K that he may or may not learn in the NBA, then stay at Duke for another year.

Reisen
12-05-2013, 10:06 AM
There isn't a huge difference between 1 and 3. About 1 million per year.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/2013-14-nba-rookie-salary-scale

It's in Parker's financial interest to leave after this year because it get's him out of the Rookie Wage Scale one year sooner. Parker, most likely, will be a "Max Contract" player so the earlier he can get to that 2nd contract the better. Looking even further down the road, it would also put him in line for a 2nd Max deal sometime in his late 20's.

Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. I'd actually argue it is a big difference (nearly 30% more), but your point about getting out of the rookie wage scale dwarfs that difference. From a pure long-run financial perspective, Parker would clearly be better off coming out in 2014 as a #3 pick, than 2015 as a #1 pick.

jjasper0729
12-05-2013, 10:06 AM
I'm definitely not begrudging these guys that leave school after one year. I know I wouldn't turn down that opportunity were it offered to me. i just think, like someone else has said that it's different being in college 18-21 as opposed to 38-41. The experience is completely different if you're going back ~40 as opposed to enjoying it when you can still be a kid (even if some of us ~40 year olds still are kids at heart). That was my point.

vick
12-05-2013, 10:11 AM
Hey Duke has that same technology!

I know. As a lover of analytics, it's why I'm rooting for this team probably harder than for any since my graduation.


That's my question. The defenses are more sophisticated in the NBA, and the quality of the competition is much higher. As with Kyrie, Jabari's defense has been subpar at Duke, though both can generate a sportscenter offensive highlight reel every game. My concern is that Jabari would likely be a defensive liability in the NBA without quite a lot of work. At the same time, because he's so good offensively and will be drafted so high by a presumably bad team, he'll be playing 30 minutes per night, 4 nights a week. When is he supposed to learn high-level fundamentals if he doesn't learn them at a place that specializes in high-level defensive fundamentals (ie, Duke)?

Those are reasonable points, but I think a few responses. First, Jabari is spending way more time guarding post players than I think he will in the NBA (though I'll let the recruiting experts speculate on what would happen if he comes back next year with Okafor), so in some sense he's learning different fundamentals. Secondarily, a lot of what "fundamentals" in the modern NBA are learning and reacting to detailed scouting reports, which is clearly a skill better learned in the NBA.

Kedsy
12-05-2013, 10:35 AM
Ignoring time-value-of-money, would it be in Parker's interest to stay one more year to move from 3rd to 1st?

As others have pointed out, from a financial standpoint it's absolutely in Jabari's interest to go out as quickly as possible. Any argument for him staying in school would have to be based on non-financial concerns.


For Hood - This sentence caught my eye: "At 21, Hood’s age works against him with NBA executives obsessed with teenagers." I can easily see why an NBA exec would prefer a 21 y/o to a 31 y/o. At some point, a combination of an aging body and an accumulation of injuries starts to make players a step slower. But certainly not at 21. I'd argue the opposite, in fact. At that age, he has 2 more years of high level strength training, so he should be better, physically. Ignore the extra coaching he's gotten around things like defense, free throw technique, practice competing against high level players (like Jabari), etc.

The only reason I can think this could be true would be if NBA execs were evaluating where a player was going to be in 10+ years when drafting him. I'm sorry, but I find this laughable. In this day of free agents and multiple contracts, does anyone really believe execs assume a player will be on their squad a decade later? If not, I suppose you could make the argument that a younger player would be more valuable in a trade scenario, but now we're really reaching.

It seems to me that, given the same level of raw talent, I'd take the player that someone else has invested an extra two years of work into, so that he can help me win now.

The age thing has nothing to do with him being too old to play or where he'll be in 10+ years. The team that drafts him will only control him for a few years anyway before having to compete to retain him as a free agent.

The issue in the NBA is upside. Everyone wants the next superstar. The idea is that at 21, he is what he is, especially physically but basketball-wise too. While an 18 year old will grow stronger (maybe even taller) and might bust out with new skills.

We can debate whether a 21-year-old is what he is, or not, but that appears to be the NBA mindset. As far as teams wanting a player who can "help me win now," those teams pick later in the draft. The guys picking early in the lottery have very little chance to compete in the short term, that's why they're early in the lottery. The best "NBA ready" guys tend to be taken mid- to late-first round.

duke96
12-05-2013, 11:02 AM
There isn't a huge difference between 1 and 3. About 1 million per year.

A mere pittance!

;)

CDu
12-05-2013, 11:20 AM
So, in SI's latest draft predictions, Parker is now third, and Hood 14th:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20131205/nba-big-board-julius-randle-andrew-wiggins-jabari-parker/?eref=sihp

Reading this, I had two questions / thoughts, one for each:

For Parker - Getting to watch him play often, I have a hard time imagining him not taken #1. Granted, I've only seen Randle & Wiggins play twice each, but to me, Parker looks the better player. Let's say everyone believes these draft rankings will hold true, though, and this is just a crazy class at the top (as everyone has claimed). Ignoring time-value-of-money, would it be in Parker's interest to stay one more year to move from 3rd to 1st? Or is the difference pretty marginal as long as you're a high lottery pick?

For Hood - This sentence caught my eye: "At 21, Hood’s age works against him with NBA executives obsessed with teenagers." I can easily see why an NBA exec would prefer a 21 y/o to a 31 y/o. At some point, a combination of an aging body and an accumulation of injuries starts to make players a step slower. But certainly not at 21. I'd argue the opposite, in fact. At that age, he has 2 more years of high level strength training, so he should be better, physically. Ignore the extra coaching he's gotten around things like defense, free throw technique, practice competing against high level players (like Jabari), etc.

The only reason I can think this could be true would be if NBA execs were evaluating where a player was going to be in 10+ years when drafting him. I'm sorry, but I find this laughable. In this day of free agents and multiple contracts, does anyone really believe execs assume a player will be on their squad a decade later? If not, I suppose you could make the argument that a younger player would be more valuable in a trade scenario, but now we're really reaching.

It seems to me that, given the same level of raw talent, I'd take the player that someone else has invested an extra two years of work into, so that he can help me win now.

The reason age 21 works against Hood is because of "upside." If you have a 19-year-old and a 21-year-old with the exact same production, the 19-year-old has more upside (due to strength development expected over the next few years). The 21-year-old is considered 2 years closer to his ceiling as a player. Now, that doesn't mean that Hood won't still go in the lottery. But it does tend to bump his draft ceiling down from top-3 to top-10.

The natural comparison would be Wiggins. Same position, similar height. Hood's offensive game is more advanced at this point. But it should be: he's had 2 more years of strength and skill development at the college level. So Wiggins is universally preferred as a prospect because his ceiling is higher than Hood's, even though Hood is performing at or above Wiggins at the moment.

sagegrouse
12-05-2013, 12:43 PM
The reason age 21 works against Hood is because of "upside." If you have a 19-year-old and a 21-year-old with the exact same production, the 19-year-old has more upside (due to strength development expected over the next few years). The 21-year-old is considered 2 years closer to his ceiling as a player. Now, that doesn't mean that Hood won't still go in the lottery. But it does tend to bump his draft ceiling down from top-3 to top-10.

The natural comparison would be Wiggins. Same position, similar height. Hood's offensive game is more advanced at this point. But it should be: he's had 2 more years of strength and skill development at the college level. So Wiggins is universally preferred as a prospect because his ceiling is higher than Hood's, even though Hood is performing at or above Wiggins at the moment.

It's enough of a consideration that Shabazz Muhammad and his father, Ron Holmes, falsified Shabazz's age to make him one year younger than he actually was.

sage

JasonEvans
12-05-2013, 01:19 PM
The difference in being the #1 pick and the #3 pick is about a million dollars a year in salary ($4.5 mil vs $3.6 mil) in the first year of the contract. If you were pretty much assured that you would be #1 the next season the difference in your contract as a #3 (going a year early) and #1 the next year is probably fairly small once you get to the end of your rookie contracts. Over the course of a decent-good 10 year career, it likely is nothing.

Of course, pretty much no one is assured of being the #1 pick the following season and then there is that injury risk. I think injury risk factors into these decisions more than you might imagine. Grab the guaranteed money -- the money that changes your life and your family's life -- before something terrible happens.

As for the age thing, it is really about potential and played development. NBA execs see younger guys as having more potential to get even better. They think that once you get to be about 21, your potential may be almost reached. You aren't likely to develop the freakish abilities that are needed to be a big star in the NBA once you have pretty much reached maturity. It may seem silly and it certainly makes the draft more of a guessing game than it probably should be, but it is the reality of the league right now and the past half-dozen or so drafts have largely borne out the reality that drafting young guys is the way to go.

-Jason "Ask Sacto how they did drafting an older guy (Thomas Robinson) early in the lottery" Evans

flyingdutchdevil
12-05-2013, 01:32 PM
-Jason "Ask Sacto how they did drafting an older guy (Thomas Robinson) early in the lottery" Evans

There was, unfortunately, so many examples of this. Our very own Shelden Williams is another good example. Jimmer Fredette, Joe Alexander, Hasheem Thabeet, Wesley Johnson, and Ekpe Udoh are good, recent examples.

As a GM, it's better to draft potential rather than experience and Proof of Concept. Owners aren't going to fault you for taking a gamble on the next big thing, but they will if you draft proven players too high who won't pan out.

sagegrouse
12-05-2013, 01:45 PM
As for the age thing, it is really about potential and played development. NBA execs see younger guys as having more potential to get even better. They think that once you get to be about 21, your potential may be almost reached. You aren't likely to develop the freakish abilities that are needed to be a big star in the NBA once you have pretty much reached maturity. It may seem silly and it certainly makes the draft more of a guessing game than it probably should be, but it is the reality of the league right now and the past half-dozen or so drafts have largely borne out the reality that drafting young guys is the way to go.

-Jason "Ask Sacto how they did drafting an older guy (Thomas Robinson) early in the lottery" Evans

Except, of course, for 23YO Miles Plumlee (now 25).

sage

Kedsy
12-05-2013, 02:08 PM
Except, of course, for 23YO Miles Plumlee (now 25).

sage

Late first round pick. That's where the older guys generally go.

Billy Dat
12-05-2013, 03:20 PM
Late first round pick. That's where the older guys generally go.

That comment, which is true, made me wonder if Shane was the last top-five-Senior draft pick, but I had forgotten about Shelden who went #5 and was followed by fellow seniors Brandon Roy and Randy Foye in that same draft. CJ McCollum at #10 last year was an anomaly. In recent years, its hard to argue that any Seniors, in retrospect, should have been lottery picks. Jimmy Butler was picked #30 in 2011. Otherwise, sadly, most of the low Senior picks have been justified based on their play. There are a lot of Seniors picked in the second round who have made rosters, but they shouldn't have been lottery picks. In fact, review the drafts of the past 10 years and a minority of seniors drafted were able to stick in the league.

Kedsy
12-05-2013, 03:46 PM
That comment, which is true, made me wonder if Shane was the last top-five-Senior draft pick...

And technically, Shane wasn't even a top 5 pick, as I believe he went #6.

flyingdutchdevil
12-05-2013, 04:22 PM
That comment, which is true, made me wonder if Shane was the last top-five-Senior draft pick, but I had forgotten about Shelden who went #5 and was followed by fellow seniors Brandon Roy and Randy Foye in that same draft. CJ McCollum at #10 last year was an anomaly. In recent years, its hard to argue that any Seniors, in retrospect, should have been lottery picks. Jimmy Butler was picked #30 in 2011. Otherwise, sadly, most of the low Senior picks have been justified based on their play. There are a lot of Seniors picked in the second round who have made rosters, but they shouldn't have been lottery picks. In fact, review the drafts of the past 10 years and a minority of seniors drafted were able to stick in the league.

Our very own JJ Redick fits that bill. As does MP1 and, given how the Nets desperate for young talent, MP2. Yay Duke!

Indoor66
12-05-2013, 04:46 PM
Our very own JJ Redick fits that bill. As does MP1 and, given how the Nets desperate for young talent, MP2. Yay Duke!

Speaking of MP2, the Nets vs NY are on TNT at 7:00 P.M. tonight.

freshmanjs
12-05-2013, 05:00 PM
That comment, which is true, made me wonder if Shane was the last top-five-Senior draft pick, but I had forgotten about Shelden who went #5 and was followed by fellow seniors Brandon Roy and Randy Foye in that same draft. CJ McCollum at #10 last year was an anomaly. In recent years, its hard to argue that any Seniors, in retrospect, should have been lottery picks. Jimmy Butler was picked #30 in 2011. Otherwise, sadly, most of the low Senior picks have been justified based on their play. There are a lot of Seniors picked in the second round who have made rosters, but they shouldn't have been lottery picks. In fact, review the drafts of the past 10 years and a minority of seniors drafted were able to stick in the league.

Singler could be in the "should have been a lottery pick" category. He's not as good as the elite picks, but is performing better than many lottery picks of the last few years.

dukelifer
12-05-2013, 08:45 PM
As others have pointed out, from a financial standpoint it's absolutely in Jabari's interest to go out as quickly as possible. Any argument for him staying in school would have to be based on non-financial concerns.



The age thing has nothing to do with him being too old to play or where he'll be in 10+ years. The team that drafts him will only control him for a few years anyway before having to compete to retain him as a free agent.

The issue in the NBA is upside. Everyone wants the next superstar. The idea is that at 21, he is what he is, especially physically but basketball-wise too. While an 18 year old will grow stronger (maybe even taller) and might bust out with new skills.

We can debate whether a 21-year-old is what he is, or not, but that appears to be the NBA mindset. As far as teams wanting a player who can "help me win now," those teams pick later in the draft. The guys picking early in the lottery have very little chance to compete in the short term, that's why they're early in the lottery. The best "NBA ready" guys tend to be taken mid- to late-first round.

Unless you are Paul George- then it may come a couple years later. The NBA gurus get it wrong - a lot. Charles Barkley thinks the NBA has gotten bad of late because kids are coming out way to early and never getting much better. I also think the NBA players were better way back when most went to college for two or three years. There are just a few exceptions to this. Even Shaq went to school for 3 years!

Kedsy
12-05-2013, 09:12 PM
Unless you are Paul George- then it may come a couple years later. The NBA gurus get it wrong - a lot. Charles Barkley thinks the NBA has gotten bad of late because kids are coming out way to early and never getting much better. I also think the NBA players were better way back when most went to college for two or three years. There are just a few exceptions to this. Even Shaq went to school for 3 years!

I don't understand your point. This is how NBA GMs think, so this is why the article says Rodney's age is against him. It's not really relevant whether we agree with the GMs or like their mindset. This is how it is.

dukelifer
12-06-2013, 05:34 AM
I don't understand your point. This is how NBA GMs think, so this is why the article says Rodney's age is against him. It's not really relevant whether we agree with the GMs or like their mindset. This is how it is.

No real point other than GMs should rethink their mindset. It would help to evaluate the league and change the rule. Both the college and pro game has suffered and the NBA needs to rethink their approach if they are going to survive. The college game has a loyal fan base and they are less likely to care about following the career of a kid that played a year unless they bring a championship. Not sure there are a lot of Kris Humphries, Shabazz Muhammed, Xavier Henry, JJ Hickson, Tristan Thompson, Kostas Koufos fans out there.

sagegrouse
12-06-2013, 06:05 AM
I don't understand your point. This is how NBA GMs think, so this is why the article says Rodney's age is against him. It's not really relevant whether we agree with the GMs or like their mindset. This is how it is.

I dunno, Kedsy. It seems to me that whether GM perceptions are, in fact, supported by evidence is a fair topic on a thread entitled NBA Draft and Age.

vick
12-06-2013, 09:00 AM
No real point other than GMs should rethink their mindset. It would help to evaluate the league and change the rule. Both the college and pro game has suffered and the NBA needs to rethink their approach if they are going to survive. The college game has a loyal fan base and they are less likely to care about following the career of a kid that played a year unless they bring a championship. Not sure there are a lot of Kris Humphries, Shabazz Muhammed, Xavier Henry, JJ Hickson, Tristan Thompson, Kostas Koufos fans out there.

The problem is, I don't think there's very much evidence that the NBA should be drafting older players higher. Go through and look at the drafts from 2005 on (after the one and done rule came into effect), and over and over, the real whiffs are disproportionately NOT one or two year college players. From the 2005 draft, the least productive lottery players were probably Diogu (3 years), Korolev (foreign), May (3 years), and McCants (3 years). For 2006, an horrible draft, you have at the bottom Morrison (3 years), O'Bryant (2 years), Sene (foreign), and Armstrong (4 years). For 2007, you have poor Greg Oden (1 year, but come on), Jianlian (foreign), Law (4 years), and Wright (2 years). It gets trickier when you move closer to the present because players might have not yet reached his potential, but by and large, I don't think NBA executives are wrong to favor younger players.

I also reject the notion that the quality of play has declined in the NBA. The objective reality is that current players shoot more accurately, turn the ball over less frequently, foul less frequently, and are more disciplined in rebounding than in the years before early entry was common.

Kedsy
12-06-2013, 09:42 AM
I dunno, Kedsy. It seems to me that whether GM perceptions are, in fact, supported by evidence is a fair topic on a thread entitled NBA Draft and Age.

OK, I'll retreat on that point. I was focusing on the language about Rodney in the article and why they said his age was against him.

Matches
12-06-2013, 10:07 AM
The problem is, I don't think there's very much evidence that the NBA should be drafting older players higher. Go through and look at the drafts from 2005 on (after the one and done rule came into effect), and over and over, the real whiffs are disproportionately NOT one or two year college players. From the 2005 draft, the least productive lottery players were probably Diogu (3 years), Korolev (foreign), May (3 years), and McCants (3 years). For 2006, an horrible draft, you have at the bottom Morrison (3 years), O'Bryant (2 years), Sene (foreign), and Armstrong (4 years). For 2007, you have poor Greg Oden (1 year, but come on), Jianlian (foreign), Law (4 years), and Wright (2 years). It gets trickier when you move closer to the present because players might have not yet reached his potential, but by and large, I don't think NBA executives are wrong to favor younger players.

I also reject the notion that the quality of play has declined in the NBA. The objective reality is that current players shoot more accurately, turn the ball over less frequently, foul less frequently, and are more disciplined in rebounding than in the years before early entry was common.

Wright was a one-and-done'r at UNC but otherwise I totally agree. Listing guys who left early and then bombed is all well and good but it doesn't prove the NBA shouldn't draft on potential. There are plenty of guys who were drafted as "finished products" who weren't good NBA players too. And if you look at a laundry list of the NBA's superstars, very few of them played more than two years of college ball. Many played one or none.

The simple fact is that the college and NBA games are very different from one another, and have become moreso in the last 8-10 years. Success at the college level isn't as strong an indicator of professional success as it used to be.

vick
12-06-2013, 10:17 AM
Wright was a one-and-done'r at UNC but otherwise I totally agree. Listing guys who left early and then bombed is all well and good but it doesn't prove the NBA shouldn't draft on potential. There are plenty of guys who were drafted as "finished products" who weren't good NBA players too. And if you look at a laundry list of the NBA's superstars, very few of them played more than two years of college ball. Many played one or none.

The simple fact is that the college and NBA games are very different from one another, and have become moreso in the last 8-10 years. Success at the college level isn't as strong an indicator of professional success as it used to be.

Julian Wright (KU) not Brandan Wright (UNC), sorry I should have specified. Though certainly Brandan hasn't wound up having any sort of stellar career either (though he was reasonably productive in the limited minutes he played).

dukelifer
12-06-2013, 10:24 AM
The problem is, I don't think there's very much evidence that the NBA should be drafting older players higher. Go through and look at the drafts from 2005 on (after the one and done rule came into effect), and over and over, the real whiffs are disproportionately NOT one or two year college players. From the 2005 draft, the least productive lottery players were probably Diogu (3 years), Korolev (foreign), May (3 years), and McCants (3 years). For 2006, an horrible draft, you have at the bottom Morrison (3 years), O'Bryant (2 years), Sene (foreign), and Armstrong (4 years). For 2007, you have poor Greg Oden (1 year, but come on), Jianlian (foreign), Law (4 years), and Wright (2 years). It gets trickier when you move closer to the present because players might have not yet reached his potential, but by and large, I don't think NBA executives are wrong to favor younger players.

I also reject the notion that the quality of play has declined in the NBA. The objective reality is that current players shoot more accurately, turn the ball over less frequently, foul less frequently, and are more disciplined in rebounding than in the years before early entry was common.

I suppose it is all about perception. I still think the NBA of the 80's was more compelling than the current NBA- not exactly sure why- and most of those players all stayed 3-4 years in college. I think there is something to maturing in college. I think in the current era - there is a difference between the guys who leave early and those who stay four years- but if those kids stayed longer- I think they would be even better still. The real argument is whether a gifted college player like Xavier Henry would have been a much better pro if he had stayed three years in college. We cannot know the answer to that, unfortunately.

MChambers
12-06-2013, 10:30 AM
I suppose it is all about perception. I still think the NBA of the 80's was more compelling than the current NBA- not exactly sure why- and most of those players all stayed 3-4 years in college. I think there is something to maturing in college. I think in the current era - there is a difference between the guys who leave early and those who stay four years- but if those kids stayed longer- I think they would be even better still. The real argument is whether a gifted college player like Xavier Henry would have been a much better pro if he had stayed three years in college. We cannot know the answer to that, unfortunately.
I also found the NCAA of the 80's more compellling. To me, early entry has greatly hurt both the college game and the pro game. But it is what it is and I don't think there's any going back.

Matches
12-06-2013, 10:36 AM
I think there is something to maturing in college. I think in the current era - there is a difference between the guys who leave early and those who stay four years- but if those kids stayed longer- I think they would be even better still. The real argument is whether a gifted college player like Xavier Henry would have been a much better pro if he had stayed three years in college. We cannot know the answer to that, unfortunately.

It is, as you say, unknowable - but oftentimes in these discussions I think an assumption is made that players of a certain age will develop better in college than in the NBA, and I think that's a myth. I have no doubt that it's true for some folks, but I don't think it's true as a general rule.

dukelifer
12-06-2013, 11:10 AM
It is, as you say, unknowable - but oftentimes in these discussions I think an assumption is made that players of a certain age will develop better in college than in the NBA, and I think that's a myth. I have no doubt that it's true for some folks, but I don't think it's true as a general rule.

Charles Barkley - who has some unique perceptions about the game- tends to agree. No question Kobe and Lebron were special- but I think it is probably only 10% who can really handle the transition. Most players need the mental maturation of being consistent in college- more than the physical - and how to conduct themselves as professionals. Under the current rules, you have to draft on potential-so I get why GMs do what they do. But I think it is hurting the game and ultimately the players. This year's early entries are especially bad- including the number 1 pick Anthony Bennett. I have not looked at this very carefully- so I have no a lot of data to back up my claims- but the pro game is lacking something and I think fans will pay less attention over time with less intrinsic loyalty to the players.

sagegrouse
12-06-2013, 01:22 PM
It is, as you say, unknowable - but oftentimes in these discussions I think an assumption is made that players of a certain age will develop better in college than in the NBA, and I think that's a myth. I have no doubt that it's true for some folks, but I don't think it's true as a general rule.

I think the main argument is personal development. Is a 19YO better off in the long run in the NBA, sitting in a hotel room playing video games or hanging with his posse, or being on a college team in a campus environment. Knuckleheads are knuckleheads, I know, but the DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Blatches of the world might have been better off staying in the structure of a college program.

And while the level of play is undoubtedly higher, does the overmatched teenager in the NBA become a punchdrunk sparring partner rather than a kid who develops skills and poise?

In sum, as Devil Mama said to young JWill in 2001, "NBA? You have never even lived in an apartment."

Matches
12-06-2013, 01:31 PM
I think the main argument is personal development. Is a 19YO better off in the long run in the NBA, sitting in a hotel room playing video games or hanging with his posse, or being on a college team in a campus environment. Knuckleheads are knuckleheads, I know, but the DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Blatches of the world might have been better off staying in the structure of a college program.



The flipside of that is that college isn't for everyone, though, and even kids who DO go to college have exposure to all sorts of unsavory (*cough*PJ*cough) characters. I do agree that the (relatively) structured environment that a college can provide is beneficial for many - I'd hope that everyone who has played for K agrees that their maturation process benefited as a result.

As to your question, I think it depends on the 19 year-old. They're not all the same.

Des Esseintes
12-06-2013, 04:01 PM
I suppose it is all about perception. I still think the NBA of the 80's was more compelling than the current NBA- not exactly sure why- and most of those players all stayed 3-4 years in college. I think there is something to maturing in college. I think in the current era - there is a difference between the guys who leave early and those who stay four years- but if those kids stayed longer- I think they would be even better still. The real argument is whether a gifted college player like Xavier Henry would have been a much better pro if he had stayed three years in college. We cannot know the answer to that, unfortunately.
Funny how often sports were so much more amazing when we ourselves were younger.

In truth, the level of NBA play has never been higher. Both the offensive and defensive sophistication of the current environment make the Eighties look like the Dark Ages by comparison. Those who say otherwise tend not to actually watch much NBA ball or haven't recently watched tape from thirty years ago to wipe off the romantic skrim of memory. Charles Barkley fails on both these counts, entertaining as I find him.

dukelifer
12-06-2013, 08:16 PM
Funny how often sports were so much more amazing when we ourselves were younger.

In truth, the level of NBA play has never been higher. Both the offensive and defensive sophistication of the current environment make the Eighties look like the Dark Ages by comparison. Those who say otherwise tend not to actually watch much NBA ball or haven't recently watched tape from thirty years ago to wipe off the romantic skrim of memory. Charles Barkley fails on both these counts, entertaining as I find him.

Hmmm. Magic, Michael, Larry, Dr J, Gervin, Kareem, Drexler, Barkley, Worthy, Ewing, Stockton, Malone (both of them). If that was the dark ages- I would be happy to go back.

I think all you need to do is watch a tape of the Nets this year or last years Bobcats games to recognize this is not very good entertainment. Players may be more physically gifted but that does make for enjoyable ball.

tbyers11
12-06-2013, 10:28 PM
Hmmm. Magic, Michael, Larry, Dr J, Gervin, Kareem, Drexler, Barkley, Worthy, Ewing, Stockton, Malone (both of them). If that was the dark ages- I would be happy to go back.

I think all you need to do is watch a tape of the Nets this year or last years Bobcats games to recognize this is not very good entertainment. Players may be more physically gifted but that does make for enjoyable ball.

I don't watch enough NBA to really know how sophisticated the game is compared to the 80's but I don't think using 2 of the worst teams in the NBA as your determinant of quality NBA ball is particularly fair. That's like saying college basketball skill levels are bad because UNC-Greensboro or Elon doesn't play entertaining ball.

Newton_14
12-06-2013, 11:02 PM
Because the college experience of a prime time college athlete is different than the rest of us. Most (and by that, I mean 98%) see college as a stepping stone to greener basketball pastures (ie, paycheck!).

If someone guaranteed me $5 million for 3 years (and it's usually way more) with the opportunity to make over $100 million across 12 years, I'd say, "Hell yeah! Screw college!" too.

I think guys like Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, Shane Battiier, and Kyle Singler would vehemently disagree with you on how much they enjoyed their "college experience". Society and the Media has sold these kids a lie and devalued both education and the college experience the early entries give up. Even today one can still play 3 or even 4 years of college, enjoy the ride, leave a legacy, then go on to the NBA, make tons of money, enjoy the experience, leave a legacy there, and retire as very wealthy men. They had their cake and ate it too. It can still be done today.

Des Esseintes
12-07-2013, 02:03 AM
Hmmm. Magic, Michael, Larry, Dr J, Gervin, Kareem, Drexler, Barkley, Worthy, Ewing, Stockton, Malone (both of them). If that was the dark ages- I would be happy to go back.

I think all you need to do is watch a tape of the Nets this year or last years Bobcats games to recognize this is not very good entertainment. Players may be more physically gifted but that does make for enjoyable ball.

Yes, and the NFL of the 1980s had a host of scintillating players, too. Does that mean the *schemes* were as sophisticated or complex, or that the overall athleticism was equivalent to the NFL of today? No. Same with the NBA. Lots of great players, for whom I and everyone else have immense respect. But the game has progressed, as will any competitive industry. It's true that for much of the 90s offense was bogged down by oppressive, wrestling-style defense, but the league corrected that with rules changes. For a decade now, the NBA has been a pleasure to watch or anyone who cared to see it.

This casual dismissal of today's NBA because the players "didn't come up the right way" is ignorant. We're a college basketball board, and we like college basketball. I don't see why that has to veer into defensiveness about the NBA game. The game has never been more international, never more athletic, never more cerebral. If Charles Barkley and the Skip Baylesses of the world cannot see that, well, they probably also cannot say much about Tom Thibodeau's defensive principles or how they have altered the league.

dukelifer
12-07-2013, 05:50 AM
Yes, and the NFL of the 1980s had a host of scintillating players, too. Does that mean the *schemes* were as sophisticated or complex, or that the overall athleticism was equivalent to the NFL of today? No. Same with the NBA. Lots of great players, for whom I and everyone else have immense respect. But the game has progressed, as will any competitive industry. It's true that for much of the 90s offense was bogged down by oppressive, wrestling-style defense, but the league corrected that with rules changes. For a decade now, the NBA has been a pleasure to watch or anyone who cared to see it.

This casual dismissal of today's NBA because the players "didn't come up the right way" is ignorant. We're a college basketball board, and we like college basketball. I don't see why that has to veer into defensiveness about the NBA game. The game has never been more international, never more athletic, never more cerebral. If Charles Barkley and the Skip Baylesses of the world cannot see that, well, they probably also cannot say much about Tom Thibodeau's defensive principles or how they have altered the league.

Time will tell. I am not arguing sophistication- you may be right. I am talking about entertainment. I have watched a lot of NBA ball and the transition has been more recent- in the last few years. There are a few teams that I enjoy watching- maybe eight- Heat, Spurs, GS, Indiana, Chicago, OKC, Clippers, Rockets- gets a bit dicey after that.

Double DD
12-07-2013, 06:51 AM
I suppose it is all about perception. I still think the NBA of the 80's was more compelling than the current NBA- not exactly sure why- and most of those players all stayed 3-4 years in college. I think there is something to maturing in college. I think in the current era - there is a difference between the guys who leave early and those who stay four years- but if those kids stayed longer- I think they would be even better still. The real argument is whether a gifted college player like Xavier Henry would have been a much better pro if he had stayed three years in college. We cannot know the answer to that, unfortunately.

If the extra years of college were an advantage versus the early declarees, then high drafted seniors should be outplaying their draft position in the current environment versus high schoolers or one-and-done players.

I'll use Basketball-Reference.com to do a comparison since it allows you to rank draft classes by career Win Shares and I'll look at players drafted in the top 15.

I've bolded players who are living up to their draft position or better so far. I defined this as ranking within 5 spots of your draft position or better in career Win Shares. So as an example, Damian Lillard would have to be 11th or better in career Win Shares to be considered a successful selection.

10 of the 22 seniors (45%) drafted in the top half of the draft are doing as expected. And 7 of the 22 seniors (31%) are ranked outside the top 30.

However, 26 of the 48 high school and one-and-done players (54%) are doing as expected. And only 3 of the 48 (6%) are ranked outside the top 30.

The younger players certainly look like they're much better value selections. They have more picks living up to the draft position and far fewer complete busts.

Seniors

2012
Damian Lillard (6th Overall) - 2nd in Win Shares

2011
Jimmer Fredette (10th) - 31st

2009
Terrence Williams (11th) - 58th
Tyler Hansbrough (13th) - 15th

2008
Jason Thompson (12th) - 17th

2007
Acie Law (11th) - 33rd
Al Thornton (14th) - 26th

2006
Shelden Williams (5th) - 18th
Brandon Roy (6th) - 4th
Randy Foye (7th) - 10th
JJ Redick (11th) - 8th
Hilton Armstrong (12th) - 27th

2005
Channing Frye (8th) - 16th

2004
Rafael Araujo (8th) - 58th
Luke Jackson (10th) - 34th

2003
Kirk Hinrich (7th) - 6th
Nick Collison (12th) - 10th
Marcus Banks (13th) - 34th
Reece Gaines (15th) - 58th

2002
Melvin Ely (12th) - 28th
Fred Jones (14th) - 16th

2001
Shane Battier (6th) - 4th

HS and Freshmen

2012
Anthony Davis (1st) - 1st
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2nd) - 8th
Bradley Beal (3rd) - 6th
Andre Drummond (9th) - 3rd
Austin Rivers (10th) - 60th
Maurice Harkless (15th) - 9th

2011
Kyrie Irving (1st) - 5th
Tristan Thompson (4th) - 9th
Brandon Knight (8th) - 24th

2010
John Wall (1st) - 4th
Derrick Favors (3rd) - 6th
DeMarcus Cousins (5th) - 7th
Xavier Henry (12th) - 28th

2009
Tyreke Evans (4th) - 12th
DeMar Derozan (9th) - 14th

2008
Derrick Rose (1st) - 5th
Michael Beasley (2nd) - 28th
OJ Mayo (3rd) - 13th
Kevin Love (5th) - 2nd
Eric Gordon (7th) - 21st
Jerryd Bayless (11th) - 27th
Anthony Randolph (14th) - 31st

2007
Greg Oden (1st) - 25th
Kevin Durant (2nd) - 1st
Mike Conley (4th) - 5th
Brandan Wright (8th) - 21st
Spencer Hawes (10th) - 15th
Thaddeus Young (12th) - 6th

2005
Marvin Williams (2nd) - 6th
Martell Webster (6th) - 18th
Andrew Bynum (10th) - 5th

2004
Dwight Howard (1st) - 1st
Shaun Livingston (4th) - 23rd
Luol Deng (7th) - 3rd
Robert Swift (12th) - 30th
Sebastian Telfair (13th) - 24th
Kris Humphries (14th) - 21st
Al Jefferson (15th) - 5th

2003
LeBron James (1st) - 1st
Carmelo Anthony (3rd) - 4th
Chris Bosh (4th) - 3rd

2002
Dajuan Wagner (6th) - 40th
Amar'e Stoudemire (9th) - 1st

2001
Kwame Brown (1st) - 17th
Tyson Chandler (2nd) - 3rd
Eddy Curry (4th) - 16th
Eddie Griffin (7th) - 24th
DeSagana Diop (8th) - 25th

Matches
12-07-2013, 07:25 AM
I think guys like Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, Shane Battiier, and Kyle Singler would vehemently disagree with you on how much they enjoyed their "college experience". Society and the Media has sold these kids a lie and devalued both education and the college experience the early entries give up. Even today one can still play 3 or even 4 years of college, enjoy the ride, leave a legacy, then go on to the NBA, make tons of money, enjoy the experience, leave a legacy there, and retire as very wealthy men. They had their cake and ate it too. It can still be done today.

Respectfully I don't know how relevant Hill and Duncan are to the discussion in 2013. Both came through the system at a time where there was no stigma attached to being a four-year player. For better or worse, the landscape has changed significantly since they made their decisions.

Battier and Singler were both marginal first-round picks after their junior seasons, so neither necessarily left guaranteed money on the table. Singler arguably hurt his draft position by returning for his senior season - only he can say if the intangible benefits outweighed that loss of income. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. Battier dramatically improved his draft stock by staying - his decision unquestionably was the correct one, but it's not really fair to compare him to guys who have the ability to be a top 5/ top 10 pick after one year of college. Battier wasn't that guy.

Guys who return do run the risk that the cake will spoil - just ask James Michael Macadoo.

Also probably worth noting that colleges have more non-traditional students now than they ever have, so it's not as if going pro at a young age precludes getting a college education. Guys can always go back to school, either during the summers or after their careers are over - and by that time they have millions of dollars in the bank to help finance their education.

dukelifer
12-07-2013, 11:28 AM
If the extra years of college were an advantage versus the early declarees, then high drafted seniors should be outplaying their draft position in the current environment versus high schoolers or one-and-done players.

I'll use Basketball-Reference.com to do a comparison since it allows you to rank draft classes by career Win Shares and I'll look at players drafted in the top 15.

I've bolded players who are living up to their draft position or better so far. I defined this as ranking within 5 spots of your draft position or better in career Win Shares. So as an example, Damian Lillard would have to be 11th or better in career Win Shares to be considered a successful selection.

10 of the 22 seniors (45%) drafted in the top half of the draft are doing as expected. And 7 of the 22 seniors (31%) are ranked outside the top 30.

However, 26 of the 48 high school and one-and-done players (54%) are doing as expected. And only 3 of the 48 (6%) are ranked outside the top 30.

The younger players certainly look like they're much better value selections. They have more picks living up to the draft position and far fewer complete busts.

Seniors

2012
Damian Lillard (6th Overall) - 2nd in Win Shares

2011
Jimmer Fredette (10th) - 31st

2009
Terrence Williams (11th) - 58th
Tyler Hansbrough (13th) - 15th

2008
Jason Thompson (12th) - 17th

2007
Acie Law (11th) - 33rd
Al Thornton (14th) - 26th

2006
Shelden Williams (5th) - 18th
Brandon Roy (6th) - 4th
Randy Foye (7th) - 10th
JJ Redick (11th) - 8th
Hilton Armstrong (12th) - 27th

2005
Channing Frye (8th) - 16th

2004
Rafael Araujo (8th) - 58th
Luke Jackson (10th) - 34th

2003
Kirk Hinrich (7th) - 6th
Nick Collison (12th) - 10th
Marcus Banks (13th) - 34th
Reece Gaines (15th) - 58th

2002
Melvin Ely (12th) - 28th
Fred Jones (14th) - 16th

2001
Shane Battier (6th) - 4th

HS and Freshmen

2012
Anthony Davis (1st) - 1st
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2nd) - 8th
Bradley Beal (3rd) - 6th
Andre Drummond (9th) - 3rd
Austin Rivers (10th) - 60th
Maurice Harkless (15th) - 9th

2011
Kyrie Irving (1st) - 5th
Tristan Thompson (4th) - 9th
Brandon Knight (8th) - 24th

2010
John Wall (1st) - 4th
Derrick Favors (3rd) - 6th
DeMarcus Cousins (5th) - 7th
Xavier Henry (12th) - 28th

2009
Tyreke Evans (4th) - 12th
DeMar Derozan (9th) - 14th

2008
Derrick Rose (1st) - 5th
Michael Beasley (2nd) - 28th
OJ Mayo (3rd) - 13th
Kevin Love (5th) - 2nd
Eric Gordon (7th) - 21st
Jerryd Bayless (11th) - 27th
Anthony Randolph (14th) - 31st

2007
Greg Oden (1st) - 25th
Kevin Durant (2nd) - 1st
Mike Conley (4th) - 5th
Brandan Wright (8th) - 21st
Spencer Hawes (10th) - 15th
Thaddeus Young (12th) - 6th

2005
Marvin Williams (2nd) - 6th
Martell Webster (6th) - 18th
Andrew Bynum (10th) - 5th

2004
Dwight Howard (1st) - 1st
Shaun Livingston (4th) - 23rd
Luol Deng (7th) - 3rd
Robert Swift (12th) - 30th
Sebastian Telfair (13th) - 24th
Kris Humphries (14th) - 21st
Al Jefferson (15th) - 5th

2003
LeBron James (1st) - 1st
Carmelo Anthony (3rd) - 4th
Chris Bosh (4th) - 3rd

2002
Dajuan Wagner (6th) - 40th
Amar'e Stoudemire (9th) - 1st

2001
Kwame Brown (1st) - 17th
Tyson Chandler (2nd) - 3rd
Eddy Curry (4th) - 16th
Eddie Griffin (7th) - 24th
DeSagana Diop (8th) - 25th

Not quite arguing that. Clearly the guys who came out early are very good players and perhaps better than the seniors. I contend that they would have been drawn more interest from fans and matured better with another year or two in college. There are exceptions of course. The college game has built in fans and there is an excitement that comes with watching the best play against each other over several years. When the best players come out early- then still there will be a group of the best college players- but they have not played against the best. Will the young guys fill the void across the league and make teams that are compelling to watch beyond the few stars? It remains to be seen. Perhaps I am arguing that the secondary players are not quite the same as the old days. Maybe they are still too young. We shall see.