How Does The NBA Draft Work?

Drafting is an important procedure in the NBA, posing long term effects on a team’s performance. Interested to know more about NBA drafts? Read the following article!

A trophy of success comes with a team of passionate players.

Being a basketball, especially an NBA fan, you must have witnessed how the wealthiest of franchises fall if they lack efficient teams and players. Good players are imperative for every team to have a shot at winning. No team wants players that are inept on the grounds and drafting procedure is important for all teams to be able to get the players which they think would be a valuable asset in the future.

In this article, you will find out how the NBA draft works and why does it even exists.

What is the NBA draft?

The NBA drafts take place every year, it is when the different franchises in the National Basketball Association choose players for their teams, from candidates who have not played in the NBA before.

These candidate players can be from American colleges and/or international professional leagues.

The players that a team selects during the drafting procedure are then not permitted to sign contracts with any other franchise in the NBA.

Those players can only sign contracts with the team which selects them.

However, a franchise may trade their players to another if the deal suits its interests.

What are the reasons for holding the NBA draft?

Since the drafts seem to hold considerable importance in the NBA world, they must have a greater purpose.

What is it?

Actually, the drafts help the NBA to maintain balance in all their teams, which means that it is an effort to make sure that good and efficient players are fairly distributed between all 30 teams.

The drafts also help the franchises select players which they presume to be most viable for their teams, and who could help fill in the gaps within their teams.

Often new players are of great potential, and lead to the betterment of the teams, consequently aiding the teams in gaining more victories. New national and international talent is included in the drafts, providing a chance for the hidden stars to prove themselves in the future.

So basically the purpose of drafting does not only serve for the teams to get their hands on the best players out there, but it also gives new talent the opportunity to prove themselves and climb the stairs to success.

How does the NBA draft actually work?

Of course, since the drafts hold such great importance, there is a proper methodology to go about the process as well.

All thirty teams have to take turns in choosing the eligible players, which is known as a pick.

The picking takes place in two rounds, 30 picks are made in each round, which means there are 60 picks in total. All teams are allowed to pick one player in each round, however the teams have the optiom of skipping the picking process if they will to do so.

The franchises can even take more than one player, as they can trade draft picks for money, previously owned players, and for other draft picks too.

The weaker teams, the ones that didn’t reach the playoffs in the previous season, get to make the first fourteen picks, giving them a chance at better players, and therefore a chance to improve their performance in the coming seasons.

The order of selection for these 14 teams is decided through NBA lottery. The rest of the 16 teams make their picks in reverse order of performance rankings in the previous regular season, so the best team gets the last pick.

The draft lottery doesn’t take place in the second round, now all the teams get to pick their players in reverse order of their previous season’s standings.

Something good for all, basically.

Order of events during the NBA draft:

The first thing that takes place during a drafting ceremony is the NBA draft lottery, and after that, the draft combine follows.

In the end, all of the draft members gather on the draft night, and the teams make their picks from amongst the eligible candidates.

The NBA draft lottery:

If we say that the draft lottery is the most important part of the whole event, then it would not be an overstatement.

The draft lottery determines the picks NBA teams would be able to make on the big night.

They directly affect the order of picks the fourteen lottery teams are allowed to proceed with. Lottery teams are the 14 teams that couldn’t make it to the previous season’s playoffs, they get to make the first fourteen picks on the draft night.

The lottery system has been going on since 1985, and the procedure has gone through several changes with the passage of time.

Now, the NBA uses 14 ping pong balls with numbers written from 1-14 upon them. These balls are put into the lottery machine and mixed for twenty seconds, and four balls are taken out with gaps of ten seconds between each pick.

It is important to mention that there are 1001 one possible combinations of the 14 numbers, and these combinations are assigned to different teams.

The team with the worst record is assigned the most combinations, giving them a higher chance at first pick, and hence at the best available players. The number combination of the four balls is matched with the preexisting combinations, and with the team which was assigned that combination, that team gets the first pick on the draft night.

The same process is repeated with the balls until the fourth pick is decided. The other ten lottery teams get their picks depending on how bad their records for the previous season are, e.g. the worst team will get the 5th pick.

We promise you that it is not as complicated as it seems.

The NBA draft combine:

Think of the NBA draft combine as a college interview, where the players have to prove their worth to the potential employers.

They try their best to impress the potential suitors by showcasing their talent, going through several physical tests, and of course by playing basketball as best as possible.

Physical measurements of the players are taken and presented to the suitors, including their weights, body fat percentage, height, basically every possible measurement.

Also on top of that, the players and potential employers get to meet each other, allowing them to make their deals.

In the end, interviews with franchises are conducted, introducing the players and franchises to each other.

The BIG night:

As it sounds, the draft night is the most anticipated time of the NBA drafts, the final hour of the show.

It is the time when sixty players are chosen by the franchises, thirty in the first round, and thirty in the second round.

In the first round, the franchises are given five minutes to make their picks, or to formulate a deal with another franchise in need of their pick.

Trades are not an anomaly, because many franchises want positions on the draft in accordance with what their rosters requires, and they are ready to give and take player for mutual benefits, so anything is possible during the draft night. Almost, anything. Two minutes are allocated to the teams in the second round, and the draft is completed as the last and 60th player is picked.

It is indeed an important time for both the teams and the players, with players full of hope and excitement, and franchises on the hunt for best available talent.

The lottery picks are usually pre-decided and well known, and the rest of the franchises choose the most prominent and promising talents, in accordance with what suits them. In the end, some players must return home without a position in the NBA, with their hopes a little cracked. While the victors party hard with all their hearts, souls, and bills.

Eligibility criteria for NBA draft:

It is without any doubt that making it into the world’s biggest basketball league comes at certain conditions. And for players, it is the eligibility criteria for the draft.

The players chosen must be 19 years of age or should turn 19 within the year of the drafts, and a minimum of one year must have passed since they got out of their high school.

Completing four years of college or being four years forward of high-school completion, automatically makes a person eligible for drafts, players also receive automatic eligibility if they have previously played for an international, non-US team, under a formal contract.

The US players can declare themselves eligible even if they have not completed college, however they must have played basketball for one year in their colleges (one-and-done rule), and these players are called ‘early entry’ players.

Early entry players have to declare their eligibility 60 days before the draft is held.

Any player who has stayed out of the US for 3 years, prior to the draft, while playing basketball comes under the category of international players.

The international players must not have enrolled themselves in US colleges, nor should they have completed high-school in the US.

NBA franchises can no longer draft high-school players, as now the players have to be one year forward of their high-school completion in order to make it into the league.

However, this rule did not exist before 2006, and legendary players such as Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant were drafted during their high-school years.

Legends who were selected through NBA draft:

NBA drafts have been a great gateway for uprising basketball players to enter the basketball world of NBA. The process has given NBA some of its biggest stars and unforgettable legends.

In the 1984 draft, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan were picked-the players that are still remembered as the best basketball players of their time.

The 1996 draft included the league’s MVP award winners, the legendary Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, and Steve Nash.

However, the 2003 draft left both of the aforementioned drafts behind, it had the sensational Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron.

The Conclusion:

When is the NBA draft held?

The NBA draft usually takes place in the third week of June, about a month after the draft lottery and a week or two after a regular season ends.

Where is the NBA draft held?

Before 2013 the NBA draft used to be held at Madison Square Garden, New York and Prudential Center in New Jersey. However, since 2013, the draft is being held in Barclays Center, New York.

Ending Note:

Now that we have gone through all the details, you must have found out what NBA draft is and how it works. The NBA draft is an important clog in the machine of NBA, maintaining the inflow of new talent and future legends in the league, since it started, and will hopefully keep doing the same in the future.

Drafts are a massive opportunity for young players to make their way into the world of basketball.

If it wasn’t for these drafts, we could have missed the chance to see the legends like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant in action, taking basketball games to another level.

Many legends are part of NBA’s history, and many, a part of its present, these players entered at their own times and through different drafts, and hence no draft alone can be talked of as ‘as the best one of all time’.