For everyone not named Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, the NBA Draft is nothing but nerve-wracking. Sometimes, you fall one or two spots behind where you thought you would go, like Providence’s Kris Dunn.
Sometimes, however, you flat-out plummet.
Players like Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis, Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis, Maryland’s Diamond Stone and Notre Dame’s Demetrius Jackson were all expected to go in the mid-to-late first round.
In Davis’ case, the lottery.
What ended up happening was a whole different story.
All four players were taken in the second round, which doesn’t seem like much of a difference at first glance, but when it comes to the loss in contract negotiating ability really manifests itself.
As usual, though, ESPN’s college basketball analyst Jay Bilas came to the defense of college kids, arguing NBA teams should “draft and stash” their players back in college instead of in Europe, much like the NHL and, to an extent, the MLB allow.
Here’s his tweet:
A response to Bilas’ tweet pointed out the unfortunate circumstances college athletes face as compared to the plight of European players.
Bilas responded with the following:
The NCAA has been, and always will be, put under intense scrutiny for the apparent prioritization of profits over the futures and best interests of their student-athletes.
European players are drafted by teams to stay in Europe and further hone their skills, all while getting paid handsomely by their clubs, whereas out-of-college draftees are expected to be NBA-ready or else they’re not seen as a risk worth it to NBA teams.
Bilas’ option allows the NCAA and NBA to put the best interests of college, and future NBA, athletes first while contributing to the quality and pool of talent in the game by allowing student-athletes to return to college to perfect their game.