How Much Can a NBA Draft Pick Help a Struggling Team?

The NBA Draft is held on the third week of June. Unlike the NFL Draft where there can be a dozen or more difference makers, there are fewer premium players in the NBA Draft. Usually there are one or two huge talents coming into the league and then, two to three more players who will usually see important minutes. With 15-men signed and practicing and 12 designated to play on each club and a total of 450 players in the league, the NBA has very little room for new talent that doesn’t possess the ability to excel or at least contribute very quickly.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to evaluating the impact of a player who has just been drafted into the NBA. The fact is you will know who the top players are well before the NBA draft occurs. Still, some players never live up to their potential, while others seem to come out of nowhere to become important role players and forces on the court.

NCAA College Play

What NCAA college did he play for and did that team go deep into March Madness? Along with the basic stats, you want to consider his leadership role on the court and tenacity. He’s going from the amateurs to the pros and the pros are bigger, meaner, tougher and more competitive.

Physical Stature

Is he big enough and solid enough to withstand the beating he’s going to take in the NBA and if he’s not, then is he willing to beef himself up so that he can pound the boards and grind it out on the floor. Also, consider his health. Was he injury prone in college and how did he deal with his injuries?

Basketball Skills

Start with the basics—ball control, passing, running the court and scoring. Does he possess speed or quickness or both? How solid are his defensive abilities? Is he adept at stealing the ball, blocking shots or pulling down rebounds? How well does he position his body when playing against others?

Basketball Player Maturity

He may be 18, 19, 20 or 21 years old. He could be a bit older. It takes a lot of maturity to play in a league like the NBA where he’ll be under the microscope. How many people are mature at that young age? In order to sustain a career and perform at his peak, the player will need to carry himself with incredible maturity. If he does, that will go a long way to a productive rookie season and a career filled with achievement. How will he work with his teammates?

Work Ethic

Is this a player who is going to put in the effort to improve, refine and challenge himself year in, year out? A player may enter the league with talent and a skill set but he’s going to have to improve. Additionally, he’s going from playing about 30 games a season to about triple that amount. He’ll have to work hard at conditioning amongst other things.

Basketball Player Character

Is he a person of character and not one who is a character? Does he seem to do things to excess? Did he get into trouble when in school? Does he have a reputation as a troublemaker? How well does he get along with team members, coaches and officials? Some guys may be fine players but the wheelbarrow of misfortune and bad karma they bring with them can simply make them not worth it.

Basketball Team Fit

If he’s going to make a difference with elevated play and take his club up a notch, the rookie is going to have to fit into the scheme, style and strategy created and espoused by the coaches. Does it look like he’s going to be asked to play a key role early in his career?

Dig Deep

When it comes to successful sports betting, it’s important that gamblers dig deep and do more than just a cursory review of the information available on new players. Read as much as you can, do some stat crunching and consider the team for which the new teammate is going to play.