Another Season, Another Draft
The NBA draft is Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET. This might be the first you’ve heard of it.
Unlike the NFL draft, which has a preposterous amount of run-up with all-star games, the scouting combine, campus workouts, private workouts of players by clubs and three days of wall-to-wall coverage by several TV networks, the NBA is in a virtual isolation booth.
Two rounds. All in one night. International players unknown to casual fans. And, of course, the many one-and-done candidates, who, due to NBA rules, cannot enter the draft after high school and so spend one season as rental properties on a college campus.
Take, for example, the Atlanta Hawks. They tanked last season to get a better draft position, changed coaches and now widely are expected to select Luka Doncic with the third pick.
Maybe Doncic will be outstanding. Who knows? He’s a Slovenian who played in the EuroLeague with Real Madrid and he was the MVP and the Final 4 MVP. Now we have both heard of him.
The Phoenix Suns pick first and are expected to take big man (NBA players really don’t have positions anymore – they are big men, wings, 4s) DeAndre Ayton, who spent a whole year at the University of Arizona. The local angle is great for this struggling franchise but the Suns seem to draft one very tall person after another (Alex Len, Robin Lopez) while growing ever smaller as a franchise.
Also unlike the NFL, the NBA holds its draft before free agency begins. How a team can expect to fully knows its needs before players begin coming and going is a good question. Will the Cleveland Cavaliers draft to supplement LeBron James or rebuild? Will the San Antonio Spurs need a forward to replace Kawhi Leonard, who wants to be traded? We just don’t know.
All of those mysteries unfold on Thursday night. It may be interesting, but it hardly seems compelling.
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