Sunday, April 20, 2008

UNC's class and the draft

For those of you concerned with my knowledge of the NBA draft and salaries, I invite you to read this. I am well aware of how the draft works. And I'm also aware of how negotiations work. Though the salaries aren't adjustable, a player like Lawson's draft value is. What I meant by the leverage argument is that there are multiple teams that are looking for an impact point guard. And this year, you should be able to still find one in the mid to late first round.

Let's just throw the New Jersey Nets out there for the sake of argument. The Nets have the 21st selection and are the last team that will offer up a million plus in guaranteed money for the next three years. But just because the salaries are fixed, doesn't mean that there is no bargaining taking place. The Nets may or may not want a point guard given that they have Devin Harris. Maybe they think that if they wait until next year, they can do better. But they also could be thinking that if they can grab Lawson, they better go ahead and act now. The fact that Lawson still holds NCAA eligibility over the heads of NBA teams makes them more likely to increase their interest, so they don't miss out on a good opportunity. The more teams that have the same type of interest in a player the more likely that player gets drafted higher, and even one pick higher will get him and increase in the neighborhood of $30K, $50K and $75K in the first three seasons, respectively. The higher you go, the more those numbers increase. Thus, the leverage attained by being able to go back to school can drive a prospects salary up, even though those salaries are fixed. For an illustration of how this works, think back to last year's draft and Roy Hibbert. Projected as a lottery pick prior to last season's draft, Hibbert decided to return to Georgetown. Now he's barely hanging on to the first round.

Sorry this didn't come yesterday. I was on the road.


Anonymous said...

Actually I think you are wrong. It is well known that players who enter the draft process without an agent and with the idea of "testing the waters" or hold out the possibility of return do not get as much attention from teams as players who jump into the draft full bore. Holding out NCAA eligibility goes not get you anywhere with these teams. They are not going to rate a kid higher because he might return to school and it is not like "playing hard to get" scores you extra points with these teams. Just the opposite, they tend to focus more on the guys who have agents they can work with because they do not want to waste time working a player out who could head back to school. At this point in the process, Roy is talking to teams who all know that these guys are in the decision making process so I am not sure the fact he still might return to school has any bearing on what teams and scouts are saying at this point.

And Hibbert just made the wrong decision not to exploit his raised stock coming from an extended NCAA Tournament run and the fact he was 7-2.

Brandon Staton said...

You raise a very good point, but I still feel that teams, especially with selections late in the round, won't want to miss on that sort of opportunity. Most of my personal experience lies in baseball and how that draft works. I know that that is a completely different format, but some parallels still exist.

That said, you're argument makes just as much sense as mine, in my opinion. And I agree with you 100 percent about Hibbert. He made the wrong decision as it turns out. But I don't think he realized how difficult it is to look ahead. Being a hot commodity one year, doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be even hotter the next year, even if your performance doesn't drop. It all just depends on the collective needs each year.

Bleez said...

What everyone seems to be leaving out of this equation is the endorsement deals, and while NBA salaries may be fixed, Nike contracts aren't. Lawson was the much-hyped starting PG at UNC, the most popular program in college basketball, and has already had a shitload of TV exposure. You can bet he's trying to at least get a feel for how many zeros will be in that first check with the swoosh on it before making a decision one way or the other. For that, I can't fault the kid.

Anonymous said...

what Ty gonna endorse? Ankle braces?