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Chad Ford has updated his top-30 NBA draft prospects today on ESPN.
Nerlens is down to #3.
Alex is down to #13.
Archie is down to #17.
Interestingly, WCS has skyrocketed to #11 given his new opportunity to showcase his skills over the last month of the season. According to Ford, "If Cauley-Stein shines over the course of the next month, he looks like a sure-fire lottery pick."
If NBA people were in regular types of business they would shut down. Risking Multi millions of dollars on a player who is rehabbing a serious injury, with no guarantee he will be back to normal is crazy. And its even more crazy to draft kids at 13 and 17 who have shown absolutely no propensity to flourish at the college level, much less the pros. I know they are projecting to the future, but please....
What are the GMs of the NBA teams risking by drafting a player like Noel? They risk a high draft pick and perhaps a rookies salary of maybe 3 million $. When your dealing with player contracts of hundreds of millions of $ you can take a chance that you may be getting the next superstar. Noel will come back and make a name for himself and prove that the risk was well worth it. As far as Goodwin and Poythress goes I just dont know about Fords draft predictions being so high. Im glad for them but I just dont see it. Im not a scout so Im not obviously qualified to know these things but if they remain close to those projected draft spots they are gone for sure. WCS IMO will play well since he has been thrust into the spotlight b/c of Nerlens injury and he will probably go pretty high as well. But not to worry UK will be just fine next year with at least 5 McDonalds All Americans moving to Lexington.
There is no risk involved. They have the draft picks and have to either use them or trade them. There's nobody else really to draft. I'm actually a bit surprised we don't see more European draft picks so that the teams aren't on the hook quite as much.
But they aren't. This is how the NBA operates. Heck, MLB does far more of this than any other sport out there. They draft high school kids all the time, the percentage of which ever become something at the pro level being miniscule.
For better or worse (and it's probably both), sports ain't the real world. You can't put normal, every day common sense into it. I'm actually surprised people are still so incredulous that it will, and does, happen every single year. It's the way it is.
What I don't understand is that Alex and Archie were all world 5 star recruits that have not yet even been able to adapt to the college game. Archie has no jump shot and is a terrible ft shooter for a guard, while Alex has not shown much physical or mental toughness at all to be a force at the college level. My point being, I think they would be better off to improve their game in college instead of the NBDL. The NBDL is obviously a notch or 2 athletically above the college level. I just can't believe a team would keep them around long enough to properly develop or to give the type of individual instruction that they are receiving at UK from CJC and the assistant coaches. With that being said, it is still hard to turn down money now, especilly if they remain that high up on the draft board. I hope whatever decision they make turns out to be the right decision for the right reasons. They are the ones that will have to live with the decision they choose. CJC will likely have a pretty good idea of where they are going to fit in the draft order. I assume they have the same type insurance in place as did Nerlens for a catastrophic injury that would prevent them from being able to play basketball in the pros. Once they get to the pros, I do not believe this insurance is still available to them in the D League.Therefore, they may be better off developing their game in college instead of going all out in a D League game and getting injured. Does anyone know for sure if a professional player is allowed to purchase catastrophic injury insurance after they have already made it to the pros? I don't see how they could get insurance for not being able to play in the pros as a result of a catastrophic injury if they are already playing in the pros. TIA. Good Luck to all of the guys regarding whatever decision they make. They will always be Cats and will always be welcome to come back and visit regardless of when they decide to leave. GO CATS!!!
I'm starting to think that Alex and Archie would be better off coming back. They just simply aren't ready to go. They need time to work through their weaknesses. Neither player has shown any kind of commitment to doing the right things consistently. They aren't even in the same category as MKG, Davis, Cuz or Wall. I'd put them at least 1 notch below Bledsoe, Teague, Jones and Lamb. Its just the right decision to come back and learn to given consistent effort. Next year they'll learn quickly or their asses will be glued to the bench.
And what I say has nothing to do with these kids as people. I love them as kids. They are both great kids. Its pretty simple, they just have some maturing to do on the court. No big deal. Just pay your dues and put in the work and it will happen.
This yr's draft is so thin, Alex is gone for sure but Archie could come back, But who knows. Stein will prob go depends on his play from now on out.
That's the thing though, they'll have far more time to develop in a professional setting because there are no time constraints put on them. College coaches get about 2 hours a day to work with them. They have class, tutors, etc. they have to go to. In the pros, whether it be NBA or NBDL, they can go work out 12 hours a day if they want and have coaches at their disposal to do so.
Add to that, if the pro teams wait to draft them until they have developed to their potential then that team is not likely to have a chance at drafting them. But if you can draft a guy like Poythress in the 13-15 range and place him in the D-League for a year or two you have the potential for a star that you would never have the chance to get if you are consistently drafting around that spot in the draft.
The other option at that spot in the draft is to draft a 3-4 year college player who is solid but has essentially reached their ceiling in terms of development. They may become a solid role player but those guys are always available through free agency.
As for the rise of WCS up the draft board, I'd say it has less to do with the opportunity currently in front of him than his play since returning from the surgery. While still raw he has shown flashes of what makes a big guy a lottery pick.
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