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Commentary: A New Approach to the NBA Draft

 

Austin Darrow

 

I listened to The Herd today and Colin Cowherd came up with an interesting idea on spicing up the NBA draft.

His idea was to allow these college players choose where they want to go play, as opposed to getting picked by the team. It’s interesting, it’s like a free agency for college athletes.

Lonzo Ball said he wants to play for the Lakers, because his family is closer and he wants them to be able to see him play. Going number one isn’t a big deal to him.

Number one overall is a great feat, but the last ten haven’t been that special. Greg Oden, Derrick Rose, and Anthony Bennett have been nobodies. Rose had a few good seasons, but that’s not a number one pick career. Andrew Wiggins and John Wall are still waiting to break out. Ben Simmons hasn’t played a game yet.

So the number one pick isn’t always a hit. You can go even further down the line of number one picks and see a few busts or guys who didn’t have that legendary career.

Imagine these players from college get to choose where they want to play. You may be sitting there and saying every kid would go to San Antonio, Cleveland, or Golden State. You would be wrong.

Think about it when you played college sports, if you played college sports, how did you choose your school?

You took into account the money, location, and roster. Markelle Fultz is the most likely number one pick, and he’d go to Boston. Boston already has a PG in Isiah Thomas, so Fultz shouldn’t have to go there.

Suppose he wants to play in Philly, because they need a PG. The top players don’t even go to the same college.

Not all five star football players go to Alabama or Clemson. Not all top baseball players go to Vanderbilt. Not all top basketball players go to UNC, Duke or Kentucky.

When you play baseball and you are looking at colleges and you see Team A with seven returning pitchers and Team B has two returners; which team are you going to choose? You’re going with Team B, because you’re going to play more than you would with Team A.

So De’Aaron Fox isn’t going to choose Golden State, he could go to Houston and bolster them up. These players would make the games more exciting. Malik Monk can go sit the bench and make $3 million with Cleveland or go to Brooklyn and make $15 million and play right away.

Here’s how it would go, scouts, executives, coaches, and GM’s would rank the top 60 players from college. Than each player would visit and the teams would have a salary cap still. So New York or New Orleans can’t hoard five of the top players.

There’s still a salary cap set for these players. The big market teams are New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Dallas, Brooklyn, and Chicago, and look at how those teams are doing right now.

The small market teams, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Cleveland, those three are running the NBA right now. So why not let these kids choose to go play where they want to play?

Location, money and roster is what kids look at when choosing college, so all that would go through their heads when choosing a team. A ping pong ball chooses the fate of a player. The worst teams get to choose first in the NFL and MLB.

No NBA team would be tanking anymore, which is a problem in the NBA. The Sixers wouldn’t be losing these games for a top five pick anymore or the Lakers wouldn’t be losing to keep their pick. The teams would actually compete more and spark interest in these players.

I think it’s definitely an interesting idea for these college kids, and it would definitely be exciting to see where they’d go. The league could possibly become better.

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