Thursday, April 26, 2012
That date was mandated by the NCAA because college coaches complained of being unable to replace those prospects who waited sometimes as late as June to make their decision whether to leave school. So kids are now blindly entering the draft, hoping that they will land in the lottery or first round where they will receive a guaranteed contract. So players such as Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Meyers Leonard (Illinois), Austin Rivers (Duke) and Tony Wroten (Washington) have already thrown their names into the pool, hoping to entice teams to consider them a potential cornerstone.
But potential is the key word here. There have been countless of players who submitted their names, truly believing they were destined for stardom and now they are barely hanging on or missed their sliver of opportunity to succeed. Xavier Henry, Willie Warren and Josh Selby are names from the past two drafts that were supposed to make an impact. Henry and Selby are clinging on to NBA rosters while Warren is in the NBADL.
Unless the goal of leaving college early was to experience the lavish life of the NBADL, Warren made a mistake leaving Oklahoma three years early and is in the NBADL while Selby and Henry are just guys on rosters, hardly considered building blocks for the future. They are in league survival mode.
The NBA admittedly does not want unprepared players in their league but they have to scout and evaluate those prospects who may be entering the draft prematurely. Unfortunately, the NCAA rules has eliminated the NBA's chance to look at potential draftees before offering suggestions about staying in the draft or returning to school. By the time teams will have a chance to look at players, the decision-making process is over and we'll welcome a new slew of youngsters entering the NBA without much chance to succeed because they are unprepared.
The NBA and NCAA have to collaborate for one uniform rule on draft entry, hopefully one that allows the 19-year-old to avoid the chances of making a decision he will regret for his entire life. There are countless examples of those players who lament their decisions decades later.