The NBA Draft, what is it? Remedial lessons for beginners

This Thursday will be the 76th NBA Draft in history. Nothing new for the old wolves of basketball, whose operation this evening is already acquired. But for the others – with more measured knowledge – the editorial staff of TrashTalk contacted Professor Sebastiano Drafto, a 57-year-old Chilean who does not exist, holder of a doctorate in synthetic explanations from the University of Boulogne. Maintenance.

Hello teacher.

Sebastiano Drafto: Hello.

Thank you very much for granting us this interview. Zoom. You are in New York, in your living room, why this place?

As you know, this year will be the 76th NBA Draft in history. However, it has only been held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn since 2013. Since the beginning of the XXIe century, she went to the Prudential Center in Newark, Madison Square Garden in New York and the Target Center in Minneapolis. If the NBA has kept Barclays Center as its host venue for nearly a decade, it’s at my personal request. I live on Bedford Avenue, it’s only a seven minute jog.

You’re lying ?


What is so special about this evening?

On draft night, 60 prospects — ages 19 to 22 — are scattered among the 30 NBA franchises. It is a two-round selection process: the first, from the 1st to the 30th choice, and the second, from the 31st to the 60th choice. A player selected in 7th position is more or less considered the 7th most attractive prospect of the vintage. A player selected in 58th position passes the head ric-rac, and will not be offered as many guarantees by his team as the 57 players chosen before him.

But why two towers and not just one?

A player whose name comes out in the first round signs a guaranteed contract of at least two years with the team that selected him. The others, more commonly called “second round losers”sign an unsecured contract and constantly play with a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

So if I’m selected 31st, I clearly have the…

Balls ! That’s it. But we must also put things into perspective, some expect their name to come out in the middle/end of the second round, and if it comes out at the start of the second, then the joy outweighs the disappointment. On the contrarya player announced in the top 20 of his vintage and who falls in the second round – Bol Bol in 44th position in the 2019 Draft – will necessarily have it bad.

But can we still succeed in the NBA if we are selected in the second round?

Nikola Jokic, Draymond Green or even Marc Gasol will tell you yes. If it were necessary to go further, I would even say that it is the principle. It was in 1989 that the draft went to two rounds. Before 1985 – gradual reduction from 85 to 89 – there were ten. I won’t detail the profiles of the Zouaves selected at the end of the tenth round, but at that time, Mister V probably wouldn’t have needed to start on YouTube.

Ah teacher, your daughter is passing behind you!

She’s not my daughter, she’s my wife.

I’m close to cutting here.

And how are the choices divided between the teams? Why this year the Magic have the « first pick » ?

The distribution of the first fourteen choices is done by lottery, between the fourteen teams that do not play the Playoffs. Odds are influenced by team standings at the end of the regular season. The worse a team is, the more likely it is to draft high. This year, the three worst NBA records each had a 14% chance of getting the first pick and 52% chance of acquiring a choice from the top 4. The better the record, the more these probabilities decrease. With an awful record of 22 wins for 60 losses, the Magic rather logically obtained the 1st choice. If you are still lost, I advise Tankathona site that perfectly details this system of probabilities.

And so when we draw the 1st choice like Orlando on May 17, it’s a feast in all the offices of the institution, isn’t it?

Unless your favorite pastime is to butt heads with gypsies in a disused shed while drinking beers and listening to rock music – in which case your intellectual capacity is reduced – you have understood that a 1st choice allows you to draft before everyone else. Barring a big joke from GM – or excessive intervention by a shareholder in the decision-making process, a kiss to Vivek – the most coveted prospect of the vintage will land in your team. Yes, so it’s a feast in all the offices of the institution.

Except big nonsense from GM?

It happens that despite what all the mocks announced (evolving classification of prospects according to the different media/scouts over the season preceding the draft), a team creates a surprise. We remember the selection of Anthony Bennett as the 1st choice of the 2013 Draft by the Cavaliers. He was only expected as a 4th choice by most observers. And to give you an idea of ​​the magnitude of the bullshit, just nine years later, Bennett comes off the bench at Hapoel Jerusalem. He only stayed four seasons in the NBA, for 151 games played, including only four as a starter. A boy selected so high and who disappoints so much, we call that a « bust ».

And the other choices, from 15th to 60th, how are they distributed?

For once there is no lottery, it is fixed. With the 2nd best regular season record, the Grizzlies draft this year in 29th and 57th position. With the 12th best regular season record, the Bulls draft in 18th and 49th position. Do you get it?


It’s good.

But this year, there are only… 58 choices?

Yep, the Heat and Bulls are stripped of their second-round picks for « tampering » on the arrivals of Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball. Do « tampering »it is to negotiate between franchise and player before the opening of the Free Agency.

We followed everything and one thing continues to elude us: why are the Pelicans drafting in 8th position tonight? They did play the playoffs though…

A draft pick can be redeemed for cash. The 8th choice actually comes from the transfer of Anthony Davis to Los Angeles in 2019. In the deal, the Lakers had included their first round draft 2022, sure to be competitive at this time. Their excellent regular record would only give them a choice at the end of the second round. But with their terrible season, the Lakers have dug up the 8th choice in the lottery, thus returning to New Orleans.

Ah, so we can set up trades ahead of the draft to…

And during ! It happens that in the middle of the draft evening, the commissioner – today Adam Silver – intervenes to announce a trade between two teams. This trade must of course influence the progress of the draft. An example ? Let’s imagine that tonight the Rockets send their 3rd pick to Brooklyn in exchange for Kyrie Irving. This transfer will then be announced by the agent.

Last question, can we be drafted?

If you are in your 22nd year – the last to be drafted – yes, because you are automatically eligible. If you have less, you must apply.

You know everything teacher.

Except how to get custody of my children from my ex girlfriend *slanted laugh*.


Thank you.



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