NBA draft

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The NBA draft is an annual event dating back to 1947 in which the teams from the National Basketball Association (NBA) can draft players who are eligible and wish to join the league. These are typically college basketball players, but international players are also eligible to be drafted. College players who have finished their four-year college eligibility are automatically eligible for selection, while the underclassmen have to declare their eligibility and give up their remaining college eligibility. International players who are at least 22 years old are automatically eligible for selection, while the players younger than 22 have to declare their eligibility. Players who are not automatically eligible but have declared their eligibility are often called "early-entrants" or "early-entry candidates". The draft usually takes place near the end of June, during the NBA offseason. Since 1989, the draft has consisted of two rounds; this is much shorter than the entry drafts of the other major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, all of which run at least seven rounds. Sixty players are selected in each draft. No player may sign with the NBA until he has been eligible for at least one draft. [1]

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In the past, high school players were also eligible to be selected. However, starting in the 2006 draft, high school players were not eligible to enter the draft directly after graduating from high school. The rules now state that high school players will gain eligibility for draft selection one year after their high school graduation, and they must also be at least 19 years old as of the end of the calendar year of the draft. Some players have chosen to use that year to play professionally overseas for example, such as Brandon Jennings (Italy), Emmanuel Mudiay (China), and Terrance Ferguson (Australia). Thon Maker was eligible for the 2016 draft despite not going to college because he chose to undertake a postgraduate year, so he was technically one year removed from graduation.

Draft selection process

Some players must be at least 19 years of age during the calendar year of the draft, and a player who completed basketball eligibility at an American high school must also be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class. Restrictions exist on players signing with sports agents and on declaring for, then withdrawing from, drafts—although most of them are enforced by the NCAA rather than the NBA. There had been only 44 draftees from high school to college to play in the NBA throughout this process. Any players who are not an "international player" must be at least one year out of the graduation of his high school class in order for them to qualify for the upcoming draft. Not many high school players went directly to the NBA draft for almost 20 years after Darryl Dawkins in 1975 because of the exposure of the college games.

In the early years of the draft, teams would select players until they ran out of prospects. The 1960 and 1968 drafts went 21 rounds. By 1974, it had stabilized to 10 rounds (except 1977, when the rounds were eight), which held up until 1985, when the draft was shortened to seven rounds. By agreement with the National Basketball Players Association, the drafts from 1989 onward have been limited to two rounds, which gives undrafted players the chance to try out for any team. [2]

From 2009 through 2015, the college underclassmen had until the day before the April signing period to withdraw their name from the draft and retain NCAA eligibility. Since 2016, players could enter the draft and participate in the NBA Draft Combine multiple times and retain NCAA eligibility by withdrawing from the draft within 10 days after the end of the mid-May NBA draft combine. [3]

Draft lottery

The NBA Draft Lottery is an annual event held by the NBA, where the teams who did not make the playoffs in the past year participate in a state-lottery style process in order to determine the first three picks of the draft, until 2018. [4] The team with the worst record receives the best odds of receiving the first pick. The NBA introduced the lottery process in 1985. The league was attempting to counter accusations that certain teams were purposefully losing in order to gain a chance to participate in the annual coin flip, where the worst team in each division flips a coin to see who will receive the first pick in the upcoming draft. [5] Since 2019, the first four picks have been determined by the lottery.

In the lottery system, the league uses "a lottery-style ping-pong ball machine with 14 balls numbered 1–14, and 1,000 four-digit combinations are assigned to the 14 lottery teams." [4] Until 2018, the worst team received 250 combinations, the second worst getting 199, the third worst team 156, and so on. [4] The first three draft picks were determined. Starting in 2019, the three worst teams receive 140 combinations each, the fourth worst 125, and so on. Those three teams will have an equal chance of winning the top overall pick. After the first four picks are determined, the rest of the teams are ordered in reverse order based on their record in the previous season, like in the previous system.

The lottery is generally held in the third or fourth week of May. The NBA goes to great lengths in order to keep the selection process both fair and not tampered with in any way. "The actual Lottery procedure will take place in a separate room just prior to the national broadcast on ESPN. Select media members, NBA officials and representatives of the participating teams and the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will be in attendance for the drawing." [6] Attendees are not allowed cell phone or any other electronic access until the number one pick is revealed on the television broadcast. [4]

Globalization of the draft

The NBA draft was initially dominated by collegiate players after the draft began in 1950, but in recent years high school seniors were having larger impacts on the draft, players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady and Amar'e Stoudemire. To counteract this, the NBA implemented an age requirement in 2005 that made it so high school seniors were no longer eligible for the draft, unless they were declared as postgraduates by the league. This would not happen until 2015 with Indian prospect Satnam Singh Bhamara in the second round and again in 2016 with South Sudanese–Australian prospect Thon Maker in the first round.

Selecting foreign players

Foreign players have made a large impact on how teams are now drafting. When the draft began, foreign players were not selected. As the years progressed, things began to change and a few international players were selected. The first foreign player, in the sense of being a national of a country other than the U.S., to be chosen first overall in the draft was Bahamian Mychal Thompson in 1978. However, Thompson's selection was not a true harbinger of the game's globalization, as he had spent much of his childhood in Florida, and had played college basketball at Minnesota. One of the first foreign players selected in the draft to play in the NBA was Manute Bol out of the Sudan in 1983 in the 5th round by the San Diego Clippers. Bol's selection was later deemed ineligible by the NBA. Two years later Bol was drafted again by the NBA this time out of Division II University of Bridgeport in 1985 as the 31st pick overall in the second round. Although Bol did not have a stellar career, he is known for being one of the tallest players ever to play the game at 7 feet and 7 inches. He holds the record for being the tallest player ever to hit a 3-point field goal. The following two years saw two players born outside the U.S. selected first overall—Nigerian Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984 and Jamaica-born American Patrick Ewing in 1985.[ citation needed ]

By the 1999 draft, the number of foreign players being drafted dramatically increased. The top pick in the 1997 NBA draft, Tim Duncan, became the third international player picked number 1 overall—although his designation as "international" is a matter of semantics, as he is a native of the United States Virgin Islands and, like all USVI natives, is a U.S. citizen by birth. He also had played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest. Including Duncan, 12 international players were selected in the two rounds of the draft—although half of them, including Duncan and the next two such players picked, had played college basketball. The 1998 draft saw another foreign player picked first overall, Nigerian Michael Olowokandi, but like Duncan he had played college basketball, in his case at Pacific. In 2001 the highest drafted foreign player, Pau Gasol, was selected 3rd overall by the Atlanta Hawks. That would all change the following season when Yao Ming became the first foreign player without U.S. college experience to be selected number 1 overall. Not only was the first overall pick an international player, but five more picks in the first round alone were also from overseas. In total, the 2002 draft produced 17 international players, with only three of them (all second-round picks) having U.S. college experience.

International players selected number 1 overall

As noted earlier, four international players had gone first overall before 2002, although all had played college basketball in the U.S., and one of them was in fact a U.S. citizen by birth. It was not until 2002 that an international player without college experience went first overall—Yao Ming. His selection was not only a watershed moment for the NBA, but it also had a large impact in Yao's homeland of China. Hannah Beech (2003) wrote "Yao has single-handedly transformed his countrymen from nameless, faceless millions into mighty men who can jam with the very best". [7] Yao has helped the NBA grow into a worldwide product. Beech (2003) goes on to write "Ratings for NBA games broadcast on Chinese TV have never been higher than this year as the nation keeps track of its new favorite team, Yao's Houston Rockets". [7] For his career Yao averaged a solid 19.0 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, 1.89 blocks per game, and shot 82.6 percent from the free throw line. It had later gotten to a point where the last four drafts from 2013–2016 all held international prospects as No. 1 selections in their respective drafts before ending the run in 2017.

The 2002, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 NBA drafts saw international players picked first overall. In 2002, the Houston Rockets selected Yao Ming from China first in the draft, the first Asian number 1 selection. In 2005, the Milwaukee Bucks picked Andrew Bogut, from Australia by way of the University of Utah, No. 1. The next year, the Toronto Raptors drafted Andrea Bargnani from Italy, making him the second foreign player without U.S. college experience and the first European to be selected number 1 overall. In 2011, Australian born Kyrie Irving was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers after having played one year at Duke. In 2013, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Anthony Bennett, who played at UNLV, first overall and making Bennett the first Canadian to be drafted at No. 1. In the 2014 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers, again picking No. 1, selected Canadian shooting guard/small forward Andrew Wiggins. During the 2015 NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected U.S.-born center Karl-Anthony Towns, also born with Dominican Republic citizenship by way of his mother, as the first player from the latter country and therefore the first Latin American to become the No. 1 selection, teaming up with Andrew Wiggins in the process. During the 2016 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Australian forward Ben Simmons to be the No. 1 selection, the first time the franchise got one in 20 years since the 1996 NBA draft when they selected the first overall pick Allen Iverson, a sophomore from Georgetown. In the 2018 NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns selected Bahamian center Deandre Ayton as their first ever No. 1 selection, with Ayton being the second Bahamian taken at No. 1 behind Mychal Thompson, and the third Caribbean-born player after Patrick Ewing and Thompson.

Notable past NBA drafts

Some of the most noted NBA draft years are 1984, 1996, and 2003: each of those is often referred to as one of, if not the, best NBA draft ever. The 2003 NBA draft is now considered the best draft in the last 20 years, with superstars such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh headlined.

The 2000 NBA draft has been regarded as the worst in history, with Sports Illustrated calling its first round "a horrible group of players". [8] The 1986 Draft was notable for the number of solid and even outstanding players selected in later rounds, partly because of drug problems that claimed the life of second overall pick Len Bias and affected the careers of several other first-round picks. [9] [10]

NBA draft on television

The NBA draft has been televised since 1980, the same year the NFL and NHL televised (or publicized) theirs. USA Network broadcast the draft as part of its contract with the NBA until 1984; starting in 1985, TBS did so as part of its NBA on TBS package. From 1990 to 2002, TNT took over the draft as more NBA properties moved to the network (the NBA on TNT ). When ESPN acquired the rights to the NBA from NBC in 2002, ESPN began broadcasting the draft (starting in 2003) with the NBA on ESPN , which it continues to do today. NBA TV has also produced its own coverage since coming under the purview of Turner Sports since 2008.

See also

Related Research Articles

A draft is a process used in some countries and sports to allocate certain players to teams. In a draft, teams take turns selecting from a pool of eligible players. When a team selects a player, the team receives exclusive rights to sign that player to a contract, and no other team in the league may sign the player. The process is similar to round-robin item allocation.

The 2002 NBA draft was held on June 26, 2002, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting 57 amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, such as players from non-North American leagues. The draft was broadcast on TNT at 7:30 PM (EDT).This was the last time a draft was broadcast on TNT When ESPN got the license to air the NBA draft for the 2003 draft after ESPN picked up the NBA Licence from NBC before the 2002–03 season. The NBA announced that about 42 college and high school players, and five international players, had filed as early-entry candidates for the draft. The Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors both had a 22.5 percent probability of acquiring the first overall pick, but the Houston Rockets, with an 8.9 percent probability, won the NBA draft lottery on May 19. The Bulls and Warriors were second and third, respectively. As punishment for salary-cap violations during the 2000–01 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves forfeited their first-round draft pick.

The 2000 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2000 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. It was the last draft held at the home arena of an NBA team until 2011; the following and subsequent drafts all took place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. As of 2020, it is also the last NBA draft where a college senior was the number one overall selection.

The 1970 NBA draft was the 24th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on March 23, 1970, before the 1970–71 season. In this draft, 17 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each division, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Detroit Pistons won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the San Diego Rockets were awarded the second pick. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. Three expansion franchises, the Buffalo Braves, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers, took part in the NBA Draft for the first time and were assigned the seventh, the eighth and the ninth pick in each round. In the first round, the Cavaliers had the seventh pick, while the Blazers and the Braves had the eighth and the ninth pick respectively. In the subsequent rounds, the Cavaliers and the Braves exchanged their order of selection, while the Blazers had the eighth pick throughout the draft. The draft consisted of 19 rounds comprising the selection of 239 players; it holds the record for the most prospects selected in any NBA draft.

The NBA draft lottery is an annual event held by the National Basketball Association (NBA), in which the teams who had missed the playoffs the previous year participate in a lottery process to determine the draft order in the NBA draft. The NBA Draft lottery started in 1985. In the NBA draft, the teams obtain the rights to amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The lottery winner would get the first selection in the draft. A lottery pick denotes a draft pick whose position is determined through the lottery, while a non-playoff team involved in the process is often called a lottery team.

The 1985 NBA draft took place on June 18, 1985. It was also the first NBA draft of the "lottery" era. It was also around this time where the league decreased the amount of rounds the draft spent, with the previous few years lasting up to 10 rounds total. A total of 162 players were selected over seven rounds by the league's 23 teams. The New York Knicks were awarded the first overall pick by winning the first-ever NBA draft lottery, which was held in May of that year. The Knicks used it on Georgetown's Patrick Ewing. In addition to Ewing, this draft also resulted in several Hall of Famers, including Karl Malone taken by the Utah Jazz at pick 13.

The 1978 NBA draft was the 32nd annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on June 9, 1978, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York, before the 1978–79 season. In this draft, 22 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Indiana Pacers won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Kansas City Kings, who obtained the New Jersey Nets' first-round pick in a trade, were awarded the second pick. The Pacers then traded the first pick to the Portland Trail Blazers before the draft. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. Before the draft, five college underclassmen were declared eligible for selection under the "hardship" rule. These players had applied and gave evidence of financial hardship to the league, which granted them the right to start earning their living by starting their professional careers earlier. Prior to the start of the season, the Buffalo Braves relocated to San Diego and became the San Diego Clippers. The draft consisted of 10 rounds comprising the selection of 202 players.

2006 NBA draft Basketball player selection

The 2006 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2006, at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This was also the only time the New Orleans Hornets would draft under the temporary name of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets as the city of New Orleans was still recovering from the events of Hurricane Katrina after the 2005-06 NBA season.

The 1969 NBA draft was the 23rd annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on April 7, 1969, and May 7, 1969, before the 1969–70 season. In this draft, 14 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each division, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Milwaukee Bucks won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Phoenix Suns were awarded the second pick. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. The Los Angeles Lakers were awarded an extra first-round draft pick as settlement of the Rudy LaRusso trade to the San Francisco Warriors. The draft consisted of 20 rounds comprising the selection of 218 players.

The 1963 NBA draft was the 17th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on April 30 and May 7, 1963, before the 1963–64 season. In this draft, nine NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. In each round, the teams select in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. Before the draft, a team could forfeit its first-round draft pick and then select any player from within a 50-mile radius of its home arena as their territorial pick. The Chicago Zephyrs relocated to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets prior to the draft. The Syracuse Nationals participated in the draft, but relocated to Philadelphia and became the Philadelphia 76ers prior to the start of the season. The draft consisted of 15 rounds comprising 84 players selected.
This draft holds the record for the fewest non-territorial picks who later debuted in the NBA, with 17.

The 1961 NBA draft was the 15th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on March 27, 1961, before the 1961–62 season. In this draft, nine NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. In each round, the teams select in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. Before the draft, a team could forfeit its first-round draft pick and then select any player from within a 50-mile radius of its home arena as their territorial pick. An expansion franchise, the Chicago Packers, were assigned the first pick of the first round and the last pick of each subsequent round, along with five extra picks at the end of the second round. The draft consisted of 15 rounds comprising 107 players selected.

The 2007 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2007 at the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. It was broadcast on television in 115 countries. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players.

The 2009 NBA draft was held on June 25, 2009, at the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In this draft, the National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players.

2010 NBA draft Basketball player selection

The 2010 NBA draft was held on June 24, 2010, at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The draft, which started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This draft set a record with five players being drafted from the same school in the first round. The players were John Wall (first), DeMarcus Cousins (fifth), Patrick Patterson (fourteenth), Eric Bledsoe (eighteenth), and Daniel Orton (twenty-ninth), all from the University of Kentucky. This draft also marked the second time an NBA D-League player was drafted, with the first case coming in 2008.

2012 NBA draft Basketball player selection

The 2012 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2012, at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The draft started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This draft marked the first time that the first two players selected were from the same school. It also set a record of having six players from one school (Kentucky) being selected in the two rounds of the draft and was the first draft to have the first three selections be college freshmen all from the same conference, the Southeastern Conference. Not only that, but it also featured the oldest player to ever get selected in an NBA draft, with Bernard James being 27 years old at the time of the draft. Of the players drafted, 30 are forwards, 21 are guards, and 9 are centers.

2014 NBA draft Basketball player selection

The 2014 NBA draft was held on June 26, 2014, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The draft lottery took place on May 20, 2014. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the draft lottery to earn the first overall pick in the draft; this is the fourth number-one pick for Cleveland since 2003 and third number-one pick over a four-year span from 2011–2014. This draft would also be the first for the reborn Charlotte Hornets, who played as the Bobcats from 2004–2014, since 2001, when the original Charlotte Hornets last selected as the Charlotte Hornets before moving to New Orleans and eventually becoming the current New Orleans Pelicans.

2013 NBA draft Basketball player selection

The 2013 NBA draft was held on June 27, 2013, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. State Farm was the presenting sponsor. The lottery took place on May 21, 2013. This was the first draft for New Orleans under their new Pelicans name after playing as the New Orleans Hornets previously. It would also be the last draft for the Charlotte Bobcats under their old name, as they went back to playing under their old Hornets moniker that they last used in 2002 once the 2013–14 NBA season was over. Anthony Bennett, the first pick, bounced around the league, and then was finally released by the Brooklyn Nets after averaging just 5.2 PPG. He is considered the most recent candidate of being named the worst #1 draft pick in recent memory, with next to no major media outlets even considering him a potential #1 pick up until the day of the draft.

2015 NBA draft Basketball player selection

The 2015 NBA draft was held on June 25, 2015, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It was televised nationally in the U.S. by ESPN. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The draft lottery took place on May 19, 2015.

2018 NBA draft

The 2018 NBA Draft was held on June 21, 2018, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur United States college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. It was televised nationally by ESPN. State Farm was the presenting sponsor of the NBA draft for the seventh consecutive year. This draft was the last to use the original weighted lottery system that gave teams near the bottom of the NBA draft better odds at the top three picks of the draft while teams higher up had worse odds in the process; the rule was agreed upon by the NBA on September 28, 2017, but would not be implemented until the 2019 draft. It was also considered the final year where undrafted college underclassmen were forced to begin their professional careers early; on August 8, 2018, the NCAA announced that players who declared for the NBA draft and were not selected would have the opportunity to return to their school for at least another year. With the last year of what was, at the time, the most recent lottery system, the Phoenix Suns won the first overall pick on May 15, 2018, with the Sacramento Kings at the second overall pick and the Atlanta Hawks at third overall pick. The Suns' selection was their first No. 1 overall selection in franchise history. They used the selection on the Bahamian center Deandre Ayton from the nearby University of Arizona.

2020 NBA draft Basketball player selection

The 2020 NBA draft was held on November 18, 2020. The draft was originally scheduled to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 25, but was instead conducted at ESPN's facilities in Bristol, Connecticut, with the event held via videoconferencing. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur United States college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. It was televised nationally on ESPN. The draft lottery was originally scheduled to take place on May 19, 2020, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was instead held on August 20, 2020. This draft was the first since 1975 to be held not in June and was also the second to be done later than that month after the inaugural 1947 draft, which was conducted in July by the NBA's predecessor, the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The first pick was made by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who selected Anthony Edwards out of Georgia.

References

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