The NBA Draft Explained

The NBA Draft Explained


The NBA Draft is an annual process held to
decide which recently eligible players join which teams. Unlike many US sports, the NBA
draft is only two rounds long; the NFL and NHL, for example, both have seven round drafts. When a team selects, or drafts, a player,
they are then exclusively able to sign that player to a contract; that does not prevent
that player being traded immediately, though, in exchange for another or for further draft
picks. Famously, for example, Andrew Wiggins was drafted first overall by the Cleveland
Cavaliers in 2014 and immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team
deal that took Kevin Love to Cleveland to team up with LeBron James and ultimately win
the championship in 2016. The point of a draft is to even the playing
field between teams, ensuring that deep pockets do not always win over the best talent. This
is further encouraged by the NBA’s draft lottery. The draft lottery is a means by which the
14 teams who do not make the play-offs are assigned an order for the first four picks
of the first round – it was introduced in 1985 to see off accusations that some teams
were deliberately bombing in order to secure early picks in the next draft and begin a
roster overhaul. 2019 is the first year that the lottery will assign four picks; prior
to this year, only the first three picks were assigned by lottery. The lottery happens in the third or fourth
week of May, just before the draft combine. The lottery uses a machine containing ping-pong
balls that are numbered one to 14 and 1000 four-digit combinations are assigned to each
team, with teams getting a number of combinations depending on where they finished in the preceding
season. The lottery has changed for 2019 – prior
to 2019, the teams were weighted according to their performance with the worst team in
the season most likely to get first pick by virtue of receiving more combinations than
the other sides, though of course this wasn’t guaranteed. From 2019, the three worst teams will each
get the same weighting, 140 combinations each, with the next worst side getting 125 and so
on. This will then determine the first four picks, instead of three, and then the rest
of the order will be decided based on where the teams finished last season, with worse
teams picking earlier as before. After the top 14 picks are taken by the lottery-eligible
teams, the remaining first round picks, from 15-30, and the remaining picks, from 31-60,
will be determined by the reverse order of the preceding season’s finishing places.
This guarantees that every NBA team will get one first round and one second round pick. The combine, which comes after the lottery,
is a series of athletic and interview-based tests for invited college athletes, and any
others who are eligible for the draft. It’s a sporting, physical, and psychological assessment
by which teams can further hone their thinking around who to draft and where. The combine
is invitation-only, and the list is decided by the NBA teams themselves. Any player who is 19 years old or over, or
has completed one year of college, is eligible for the NBA draft. In addition, players are
automatically eligible if any of the following apply: they have completed four years of college
eligibility, are four years removed from high school graduation, or have played professional
basketball anywhere in the world under contract, but that contract has expired. In addition, if a player is deemed ‘international’,
that is they’ve lived outside the U.S. for three years before the draft, have never attended
college or university in the U.S., and were not at high school in the U.S., are eligible
if they are at least 22 years old during the draft’s calendar year, or have played under
contract in the U.S but outside the NBA. The only two international players without any
competitive experience in the U.S. to be drafted first overall were Yao Ming to the Houston
Rockets in 2002, and Andrea Bargnani to the Toronto Raptors in 2006. This eligibility has seen various changes
over the years and the criteria are determined by collective bargaining agreements between
the NBA (the commissioner and the 30 teams), and the players themselves. For example, prior
to 2006, players could be drafted directly from high school. Between the NBA’s first season, 1946/47,
and 1994, though, only three players were drafted straight from high school into the
NBA: Reggie Harding by the Detroit Pistons in 1962; Darryl Dawkins by the Philadelphia
76ers in 1975; and Bill Willoughby by the Atlanta Hawks in 1977. However, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, in
1995 and ’96 respectively, were both first round draft picks straight from high school
and this shifted the dynamic – while Harding, Dawkins, and Willoughby’s careers petered
out, Garnett and Bryant showed the possibility that high school players really could make
the jump without intervening time in college. After this, Kwame Brown (Washington Wizard,
2001), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers, 2003), and Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic, 2004)
weren’t just drafted straight from high school, they were drafted first round, first
pick. While only three players were drafted straight
from high school between 46/47 and ’94, between ’95 and ’05, forty players made
the jump; thirty of those were drafted in the first round. This changed in 2006, when a new collective
bargaining agreement created the ‘One and Done’ rule, ensuring that players either
had to be 19 years old or have completed at least one year of college basketball before
being eligible for the draft. In addition, even if a player is 19, they must be one year
removed from high school education. This *may* change in 2022, though, after a 2018 repot
from the Commission on College Basketball. High draft picks do not guarantee success.
While certain drafts, like 2003, which saw LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony
drafted, are very deep in terms of talent, the 2000 draft was called “a horrible group
of players” by Sports Illustrated. Some first picks have gone on to enormous success,
like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and LeBron James, while others,
like Anthony Bennett, Greg Ogden, and the aforementioned Bargnani, failed to deliver. Drafts are ultimately a mix of luck, scouting
and assessment, and guesswork. Teams will try to work out where players they want may
be drafted based on what other teams are looking for, or who other teams may wish to secure
in order to trade. It’s a complex, compelling process that can be almost as interesting
as the season itself.

100 thoughts on “The NBA Draft Explained”

  1. Please do a video about Dirk Nowitzki's unguardable and beautiful fadeaway jumper and how he won his only championship and cause major upset on the heavy favourites of the Heat's "Big 3"

  2. 6:31 It's Greg "Oden", not "Ogden". But otherwise thank you for the concise introduction to the NBA draft! 🙂

  3. I don't get how then Porzingis or Doncic were able to go to NBA at age younger than 22? Didn't they qualify as international?

  4. Can you do a video around the upcoming draft picks, not necessarily in order but more around what they could bring to an NBA team and maybe suggest teams that would benefit most by picking them.

  5. Wigggins wasn't immediately traded, he was traded like 1 or 2 months after the draft.

    Glad you're active in this channel tho. I'm waiting for a new Tifo channel, either Tifo Giridion or Tifo Combat

  6. Draft lottery is rigged Cleveland had the number 1 pick 3 time when James was in Miami. The NBA draft is a hit or miss. Teams can rebuild through free agency and trades faster

  7. Please do a video explaining the Max Contract in the NBA another area totally different from European Soccer

  8. What about Jokic and Porzingis, Giannis ,Doncic and many other Europeans ….They all played pro in Europe and were younger then 22 when drafted ?

  9. Honestly for any fans of small to mid table teams like Southampton or a Leicester outside their now EPL title season, would you guys want some sort of draft to make things a bit better for small time clubs. Problem with NBA and American sports right now is tanking because of these drafts. I like the draft but wish we didn't reward all the and teams all the time.

  10. What would Billy Beane say 🤷🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️ What would Jack Welch say 🤷🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️
    #Winning

  11. Imagine being such a draft bust that people can’t even spell your name right. We should’ve taken KD…

  12. Why don’t college/high school players skip the draft entirely so they can negotiate contracts with teams they actually want to be part of?

  13. Samshing it on the basketball theme now. Very informative as always! A dilemma I now got figured thanks to this vid. Cheers TifoBasketball!

  14. A player can be 18 and still declar for the draft out of college as long as their 19th birthday falls on the calendar year of the draft

  15. If International players need to be 22 or older according to 3:49 but Luka Doncic is 20, i take it he didn't get an invite to the Combine last year?

  16. You explained it really well… And yet I still don't understand how the draft works. I'm just gonna say this… the NBA made the draft complex and complicated for no reason.

    It should be as simple as the team with the worst record should have the No. 1 pick and teams with better records should have the last picks. Simple. As all things should be.

  17. Do a video on all of the little rules when trading. Like the salary cap and luxury tax. I never understood that but you make things easy to understand.

  18. Great Video. Respect to americans who care to keep the game competitive. Compare this to the European champions league in football or Euroleague in basketball and you understand how unfair the competitions are

  19. Why do they have to make it so difficult, I would just give the 14 worst teams in the league two ping pong balls, and the next 15-30 one ball then start randomly selecting the picks

  20. Only in the nba can a team like the hawks have 2 top ten picks in a draft and still have been seen a failure

  21. So the teams pick their wanted players based on their position in the draft? Like if you're 1st you get to pick the best player? Or are the players assigned? Also how many players are they in the Combine?

  22. I never knew this was a thing. I always heard the name draft but this was a perfect breakdown. The concept is dope maybe we should adopt this in football in UK.

    The idea of making teams fair makes the game more competitive.

  23. Being in this channel is like being in a new social circle where you only know one friend(tifo) so you just hang with that friend to feel comfortable.

  24. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I love your video. Can a create a Korean subtitle of this video and post it on my account?

    Thanks,

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