NBA Draft is a Roller Coaster
The NBA Draft takes place tonight.
By J.J. Buck
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The NBA Draft is a 60-pick roller coaster with rookies and veterans finding new homes.
For teams in the draft lottery the pressure is on to make the right selection of a player who can become the cornerstone of your franchise or maybe even the next sixth man of the year.
What factors play into the selection of a top NBA pick?
“Long term projection, chemistry and filling team needs,” said John Coffino, current head coach of the IBL Albany Legends and NBA scout.
Outside of junior Thomas Robinson, the projected top five picks all could be freshman or sophomores which equal youth and long term upside.
Many experts have said the draft lacks a superstar prospect outside of Kentucky forward Anthony Davis but the overall depth of the talent pool is deep.
“The draft is deep at the center and power forward positions, where it is thin at the point guard position,” said Coffino.
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Weber State point guard Damian Lillard has shot up draft boards to become a potential top 10 pick with is scoring ability.
The junior averaged 24.5 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists last season for the Wildcats.
Two players that stand out to Coffino as potential floor leaders at point guard are Kentucky freshman Marcus Teague and Iona senior Scott Machado.
Teague, who has not received as much hype as his fellow Wildcats, has a good foundation of skill which can only grow from here.
Machado could be the drafts second best passer behind Kendall Marshall from North Carolina.
Iona lost in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to BYU in which Machado scored 15 points and added 10 assists. He averaged 13.6 points and 9.9 assists as a senior.
A term that basketball fans have come to know, combo guard, used to mean a player stuck between two positions with no true position.
“A scorer who can handle or a scoring point is what the NBA is all about right now,” said Coffino.
This could explain the meteoric rise of Lillard.
There are always the gems that slide into the second round of the draft that end up having solid NBA careers.
One that stands out to Coffino is Will Barton.
The Memphis sophomore is your classic scoring wing standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 174 pounds.
Barton averaged 18 points and shoot 50.9 percent from the floor last season for the Tigers.
For players like Barton it is a battle to get noticed on draft night as not only are you trying to prove yourself against the top college players, your also now in competition with international prospects.
“It’s frustrating when teams are only looking at upside and not what you can do on the court,” said New Mexico State senior forward Wendell Mckines.
McKines is one of only two players in the history of the Aggies program to score over 1,000 points and grab over 1,000 rebounds.
That is what makes the NBA draft exciting, from the superstar prospects to solid college contributors all fighting for the few coveted NBA roster spots.