Draft Day

By Stefan Anderson

Draft night, the moment every aspiring basketball player dreams of. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announces “With the (insert number) pick, the (insert team) selects (insert name) from (insert university).” Hearing that statement validates all the years and hours put into the gym.

In the 2016 NBA Draft, 26 international players were selected. The wave of international players is great for the diversity of the league and the sport spreading worldwide. At the same time it has taken away roster spots from NCAA players.

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(stats courtesy of the NCAA)

This could be detrimental to the league. But it could help in other areas.

The D-League: The NBA’s developmental league, also known as the D-League, was created in 2001-02 to begin a farm system similar to Major League Baseball’s minors, where teams get the chance to bring in talent and groom them into the players they should be. Over the last two seasons there were nearly 90 call-ups from the D-League to NBA.

The incoming stock of un drafted could lead to a more competitive D-League. This could bring in an abundance of talent that comes into the NBA. Hassan Whiteside, of the Miami Heat, for example, had his big payday this summer after going from the D-League to leading the NBA in blocks per game.

One and Dones: After a rule change in 2005, high school players are not allowed to declare for the NBA draft. They needed a year of college. This led to an era of what is called one and done, where they play college ball for a year to prep themselves for the jump to the NBA.

The influx of international players taking their spots in the NBA has forced many to stay in college for an extra year or two to hone their skills. The first three selections in this year’s draft were all NCAA freshmen. But out of the 34 non-international player draftees, 20 were upperclassmen. Hopefully this epidemic of one and dones will come to a halt.

The rise of the talent from overseas has given us some of our favorite players. It has also made it harder for athletes to jump from college hoops to the NBA. But the international players may be forcing the homegrown talent to improve their native sport.

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Buddy vs. Ben — Who’s Going First?

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By Kelsey Miller

Buddy Hield will be the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Why? I do not know any other player who can shoot as accurately as him, who is not already in the NBA. Adding a player with this much consistency will not only increase a future teams shooting percentage, but add to the depth of their bench. Can a player of this stature be compared to LSU’s star Ben Simmons? Absolutely. There are key differences between the two players but both guys would be a huge asset to any NBA team.

“Buddy Buckets” as he is normally called, is a monster behind the three point line. I watched him during a pregame make 30 threes in a row. In. A. Row. The only other person I see making 30 three pointers in a row is Steph Curry and I could not say that about him in college. Not only is Hield the best shooter in the Big 12, but arguably in the country. I’d like to see a three point competition between Hield and a few of the guys on BYU (also a great shooting team behind the arc).

In their last game against LSU, Hield was essential to their second half comeback win over the Tigers. He can deliver in situations where a clutch hand is needed. As a senior, Hield is a great leader. His teammates want to feed him the ball because they know he can make contested shots, let alone if the defense falls asleep and leaves him open.

Simmons is the most versatile 6’10” guy I’ve watched this year. Someone of that stature who can put the ball on the floor and take it to the rim, shoot consistently from midrange and behind the arc and bring the ball up the floor as a point guard is insane. The guy averages a double double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. How great is it for one of your big men to be able to play almost three positions at a time?

During the Oklahoma match up, Simmons made a reverse slam dunk which I see no college player doing anywhere. I’m used to the typical alley oop or fast break dunk down the middle of the lane, but putting the ball on the floor and driving past the defense for the reverse? That kid has NBA skills.

Why do I think Buddy Buckets will go number one over a versatile Simmons?  Hield’s resume is alot better than Simmons for many reasons. It’s about who you play and there are much tougher teams in the Big 12 conference than the latter SEC. I know Simmons will continue on the current one and done treatment and be a top three pick, but he has only spent one year with an unranked team who stands second in their conference at 13-8. As a senior, Hield has had ample time to improve on his jumper and become a leader. He will only become a better shooter as time goes on.