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The NBA Draft Problem

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The Issue

There are many issues that people have with the NBA Draft process. The problems range from the fairness of the one and done rule (which many forget is an NBA rule, so everyone that hates the NCAA and points to this as a reason why, needs to relax), to the lack of depth once the draft gets past the fifth or sixth pick.

The problem that many don’t think about is that of the underclassmen, who have spent their entire lives being told how great they are and that they are the best, who go undrafted and don’t get invited to an NBA training camp. These players aren’t allowed back into the NCAA, they have very little college education under their belts, and they have little to no real world experience that can help them in the future.

The Numbers

This year, the numbers are simple. There are sixty spots open in the NBA draft, two rounds of thirty picks. There were sixty college early entry players and thirteen foreign players that were considered early entry players. This already puts the number at seventy-three players for sixty spots, without taking into consideration players that have completed four years of NCAA play.

The NBA has tried to limit this problem by allowing players to explore their draft options and remove their names if it appears they won’t go where they think they should. In fact, the original early entry candidate list was comprised of 162 players, 117 from college and forty-five foreign players, so the NBA and NCAA offer to allow the players to withdraw their names did work to a certain point.

There were fifteen seniors chosen in the two rounds of the draft. This means that, of the seventy-three early entry players available, twenty-eight didn’t get drafted. That means that there are twenty-eight players out there who have little to no opportunity of making enough money to survive after leaving college early.

Other Options

Some of the players will be invited to summer workouts with NBA teams and may make their summer league teams or D-League teams. However, with the D-League salary structure, players can only make one of three tiers of pay: $25,000, $19,000 or $13,000 per year. The teams can, however, offer a player a training camp deal to help alleviate the low salaries of the D-League.

If a player decides to go the route of European basketball, he can make more money, but if his dream is to play in the NBA, it may be a more difficult task to do it via the European leagues than it would be to take the lower pay of the D-League, since those teams are direct affiliates of NBA teams. In the Euro-league, the highest level league in Europe, the players can make up to roughly $3 million a year, but the salary caps for the teams are around $16 million a year in 2015-2016, vs. the $70 million the NBA cap was in 2015-2016 (the NBA cap is expected to increase to $94 million for the 2016-2017 season).

Conclusion

It’s easy to judge these kids for leaving college early, despite the fact that they don’t have an immediate path to the NBA. It’s important to understand that these players grow up being told how great they are all the way until college. They even hear it from big-time college coaches who are on the recruiting trail.

The NBA and the NCAA are doing all that they can to help the athletes make the best decisions, but ultimately, it needs to come down to the athletes surrounding themselves with the right people. If the athlete surrounds himself with someone that has his best interest in mind, rather than someone looking to ride his coattails to an easy payday himself, he will be given the opportunity to make the best decision for himself and his and his family’s future, and after all, that’s the most important thing in this entire process.

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I am the owner of a small business, Premier Scouting Service, LLC, that promotes high school athletes that are looking for college playing opportunities. I also have my BBA in sports management and my MSA in sports management with a concentration in high school and college athletics.

Denver Nuggets

Nuggets’ Mike Malone Emotional Following Denver School Shooting

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Mike Malone

Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone became emotional during a press conference discussing a school shooting that left one student dead took place at a Highlands Ranch public charter school in his suburban Denver community.

Malone talked how his two middle school-aged daughters, who attend a different school, had experienced a lockdown for the second time in a three week period due to a shooting threat, as he called for something to change to stop this epidemic.

One student was killed and eight injured during Tuesday’s shooting at the STEM school in Highlands Ranch, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s office. According to their report, two suspects are currently in custody.

“The [STEM] school is literally two minutes away from where I live, right down Broadway in Highlands Ranch,” Malone said, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “My wife and daughters know people. As a coach, I am somewhat of a recluse, but it’s a close community.

“It’s not just Highlands Ranch. It’s not just Colorado. This is an epidemic. And it continues to happen. And that is the frustrating thing. How do you stop it? Again, gun control, laws, whatever it might be. I am not a politician. I don’t want to sit up here on a soapbox. I just want everybody back at Highlands Ranch to know that we’re with you and that is very important for them to know.”

There was a moment of silence prior to Game 5 between the Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Malone said that he was at the Pepsi Center preparing for Game 5 when his wife, Jocelyn, called to inform him about the shooting and to let him know that their daughters were safe but scared.

“The thing that makes you angry is that she’s telling me how scared my daughters are in their schools, texting her, because they don’t know what’s going on — it’s a lockout,” Malone said.

“Where’s this shooter? Is it at our school? Some other school? The kids go to school, they should be going to school to learn, have fun, be with their friends. Not worry about an active shooter. … It’s just frustrating, and it gets you angry because it hits home. And that’s how I felt today.”

While Malone stated that he would likely wouldn’t bring up the shooting with his team prior to Game 5, he did discuss how he would address the topic with his daughters.

“That’s a great question, and you know, that’s something I haven’t even really thought about,” Malone said emotionally. “I’m texting my daughter, telling her she’s going to be OK. I don’t even know if she will be OK.

“This is every parent’s worst nightmare, and it’s something that when you see your kids go to school in the morning, it’s ‘Have a great day’ and just assume everything is going to be all right. And as we all know, it’s not. So you figure it out.”

The STEM Highlands Ranch campus is not far from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was where one of the most infamous school mass shootings in American history took place back on April 20th, 1999.

“I know thoughts and prayers are never enough,” Malone continued. “And from myself, our team, our organization, our thoughts and prayers are with all those families, students, school administrators, everybody that was there today. It’s a tragedy.

“I would like to say a thank you to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department that was there, on top of it, in matter of minutes and all the first responders that were there and allowing that to not become worse than it was,” Malone added. “But it’s a shame. My girls have been in a lockout twice in the last month. I’m not a politician, I don’t have the answers, but something must change. So I just want to make sure that I acknowledge what happened today in my backyard and all those families are on my mind.”

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Brooklyn Nets

Nets’ D’Angelo Russell Cited for Marijuana Possession at Airport

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Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell was cited for marijuana possession on Wednesday night at LaGuardia Airport in New York, according to USA Today’s A.J. Perez.

Per the report, during a routine search of a checked bag police found marijuana hidden inside a container, located in Russell’s bag, that was made to look like an Arizona Iced Tea can.

Russell would be forced to enter the league’s marijuana program if he is convicted of possession, however, he won’t face suspension until a third violation.

While Russell received a summons to appear in court following the search, he was allowed to continue on his flight to Louisville, Kentucky.

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Boston Celtics

Celtics’ General Manager Danny Ainge Suffers Mild Heart Attack

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Boston Celtics general manager and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge suffered a mild heart attack on Tuesday in Milwaukee, according to a team press release.

Ainge, 60, was with the team in Milwaukee for the first round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Bucks.

“Been in constant communication with his family,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, according to ESPN. “He’s resting well and feels better. Obviously, always scary, but he’s got a good support network. Obviously, expect a full recovery and he’s feeling good. So that’s all positive. Certainly scary.”

Ainge, who suffered what is described as a mild heart attack back in April 2009, received immediate medical attention and is expected to make a full recovery, and is expected to return to Boston soon.

“Danny is just one of those guys who takes time out of his life, his day when he’s doing his schedule, to make sure you’re all right,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. “He constantly checks in on us, my family, and things like that. Just personally, for me, he’s been another mentor. For me, from when I first got here, Danny was the person I see every day and am talking to, so he means a lot to my life as well. … I just hope he has a speedy recovery.”

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