The professional baseball and football drafts go on for days. In contrast, the NBA draft is only two rounds. As far as guaranteed money, only the first rounders get to cash in. If guys are drafted in the second round, they can still make the team - just as free agents can - but many times they get caught up in a numbers game and are forced to play in another professional league.
Since there are only twelve players per team allowed to dress for an NBA game (and three additional on a reserve list), it means there are a maximum of 450 players in the NBA. Each year fifteen of those spots are taken up by guys drafted in the first round. Usually a few others go to second rounders and other persistent, hard-working souls. Which means that exact number of players who were employed the previous season are forced to look for work elsewhere.
When the draft finally starts (not the show, the actual draft), each team gets five minutes to make a selection once their team’s named is called. That’s when Jay Bilas, Jeff Van Gundy, Chris Broussard, Fran Franscilla and Rece Davis jump in with their roundtable discussion. At the beginning it’s interesting insight.
After extolling the virtues of the best players in the nation (in some cases, the world), the chatter becomes repetitive. When guys get selected in the second round, comments like, “He might be a little undersized, but he is talented,” “He’s got a big heart,” “He’ll be a good locker room guy” and the one that’s the game-winner: “I really like this pick.” At 55. The 25th pick of the second round.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my number one pet redundancy regarding people discussing basketball players and their offensive skills: “He can really score the ball.” I’ve been retired from coaching for seven years so I might have missed something but . . . what else is there to score than the ball?
When all is said and done, final decisions on evaluating players are usually based on:
“Don’t tell me how good you are; let me find out.”