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.
(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.