Zags – Meantime, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, speaking generally, said here that he doesn’t think players make decisions on the NBA Draft based on how their college teams finish their seasons.
“I think guys make those decisions based on where they are in the draft,” he told SNY.tv. “This year there’s probably about 30 guys thinking they’re going to be in the Top 10 picks, so it’s crazy. More than 30 probably that think they’re going to be in the Top 10.”
Boeheim said he didn’t think losing early in the tournament would impact a player’s decision to come out or not.
“I don’t think it would,” he said. “I don’t think it would. I’m not going to be specific about anybody but my experience is guys look and if they see they fall where they’re favorable [they leave]…If you go 15th in the draft, you’re nothing. You might be out of the league in two years. It used to be a first-round draft pick you had a chance. That’s nothing. Those guys are out of the league. Half the guys taken in the first round the last three years are not even in the league.
“You gotta be in the top seven, eight, 10 picks to make sure you’re going to be playing in the NBA.”
Research time! Let’s take a peek at Boeheim’s 2 claims here.
1) “If you go 15th in the draft, you’re nothing.”
Steve Nash, two time MVP of the NBA. Al Jefferson, arguably best big man in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard, killing it on the Spurs the past 2 years. Moe Harkless playing 40 minutes a game for the Magic, Rodney Stuckey 6th man for the Pistons, Robin Lopez starting center for the Blazers, Larry Sanders becoming a beast before an eye injury, Giannis The Alphabet a super talented 19 year old. So basically 6 of the past 7 15th picks have found success in the NBA, 2004′s became a top 3 center and 1996′s became one of the best point guards in NBA history. BUT I will give Boeheim credit, Bostjan Nachbar did not pan out as expected.
2) “Half the guys taken in the first round the last 3 years are not even in the league.”
The actual answer here is three. (3). Out of 90 players taken 3 of them are not with the NBA anymore – Nolan Smith, JaJuan Johnson and Jared Cunningham. Some are European guys whose rights have been drafted but haven’t come over yet and some are in the D-League waiting for call ups, but only those 3 have been drafted into the NBA, not had success and completely left. Doing a quick calculation that is 3.333% of first round picks not being in the league, jussttt a tad shy of Boeheim’s 50% mark. Maybe he was just rounding? (And PS, even if you’re going the “D-League doesn’t count” route, it’s still significantly better than 50%.)
I used to think Boeheim was like the “grumpy old curmudgeon but in a fun way” dude who just lived for winning basketball games and providing blog material. Now he’s just fucking annoying.
PS – That 2012 first round produced 22 impact players out of 30. Not too shabby.