Drafting Potential vs Production?

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    Drafting Potential vs Production?

    Why do most teams in the NBA draft potential instead of production? Rookie contracts are a maximum of 3 years. Why would you draft potential that may not be maximized until year 3 and then they leave. Why donít you draft a known quantity and get 3 years maximum production. A perfect example of this is Bluett from Xavier. He is a great player that will produce solid numbers in NBA. However, there will be many players drafted ahead of him based on potential.
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    Jumper_Dad's Avatar
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    Because you never know who is going to turn into Kobe Bryant. Teams draft on potential hoping to strike gold!

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    I'll start by saying I've been calling Bluiett a 1st Team All American candidate since the summer. What he can do to a defense in college is devastating as Butler found out in OT last night.

    However, when you project him to the NBA, where does he fit? Mack has adjusted the Xavier line up to get him back to playing a small ball four, which he is perfectly suited to do at the college level. In the NBA, he's going t be giving up anywhere from 3 to 6 inches as a four and the reality is he doesn't have the length or athleticism to accommodate for either.

    If you push him out to the 3 in the NBA, he can't guard pretty much anyone he's facing and will no longer have Chris Mack dialing up every set to get him a clean look in critical game situations.

    I think Bluiett has a place in the NBA as a bench rotation type, but he isn't getting drafted any earlier than the mid 2nd round at best because he doesn't do the things required of a high level NBA wing in most areas. If he did, he'd be playing on the wing at X much more frequently than we've seen...

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    I was just using Bluett as an example. I know someone mentioned Kobe Bryant. How many players have been drafted since Kobe that have failed st the NBA level? That is an extreme case. Wouldn’t it be better to draft a known commodity instead of potential? Especially if you could lose that commodity in 3 years?

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    bugatti's Avatar
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    I get what you saying, but even in your example you are drafting on the potential that Bluett will be a solid contributor in the NBA. Bluett is just as likely to spend time in the G league as the next guy. There are very few known commodities of an NBA draft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bugatti View Post
    I get what you saying, but even in your example you are drafting on the potential that Bluett will be a solid contributor in the NBA. Bluett is just as likely to spend time in the G league as the next guy. There are very few known commodities of an NBA draft.
    I agree. College production has never been an accurate predictor of NBA success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantNKY View Post
    I agree. College production has never been an accurate predictor of NBA success.
    That is a good point. I just have a hard time drafting someone early in the draft that I have not seen produce at the college level.

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    Voice of Reason's Avatar
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    I looked at a couple mock drafts and Bluiett is not listed as being drafted at all.

    Meanwhile, four of UK's players are listed as first-rounders.

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    UKMustangFan's Avatar
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    Bluiett is a great college player, but he doesn't translate well to the NBA. He's the dreaded tweener.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UKMustangFan View Post
    Bluiett is a great college player, but he doesn't translate well to the NBA. He's the dreaded tweener.
    People forget that key word...”translate”. It all comes down to how a players game translates to the next level of play. Same reason many good high school players don’t pan out at college level.

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    Do we sometimes over analyze the game? You can call him a tweaner and that certain players games don’t translate to the next level, but how do you really know? I love Calipari and UK basketball, but why would you draft any of the players on this years team in the 1st rd? We have had 2 players (Knox and Gilgeous Alexander) dominate a game or 2. They can’t consistently dominate. Why draft them? If they stayed in college, we would determine there games don’t translate too. The longer we evaluate the more we find wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsmaniac View Post
    Do we sometimes over analyze the game? You can call him a tweaner and that certain players games don’t translate to the next level, but how do you really know? I love Calipari and UK basketball, but why would you draft any of the players on this years team in the 1st rd? We have had 2 players (Knox and Gilgeous Alexander) dominate a game or 2. They can’t consistently dominate. Why draft them? If they stayed in college, we would determine there games don’t translate too. The longer we evaluate the more we find wrong.
    Much based on that dirty word.....Potential. Evaluating talent can be a crapshoot at times. So many variables that can’t be physically or visually measured. As I like to say, players are not robots or puppets, and the athletic landscape is littered with overlooked kids that end up proving people wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsmaniac View Post
    Do we sometimes over analyze the game? You can call him a tweaner and that certain players games don’t translate to the next level, but how do you really know? I love Calipari and UK basketball, but why would you draft any of the players on this years team in the 1st rd? We have had 2 players (Knox and Gilgeous Alexander) dominate a game or 2. They can’t consistently dominate. Why draft them? If they stayed in college, we would determine there games don’t translate too. The longer we evaluate the more we find wrong.
    I've had this same conversation multiple times. Obviously this is not an exact science, but all I can say is the college and pro games are so different from one another in how they are played and the speed at which they are played. We react to how they are playing in college, the NBA is looking at how their skill set will translate to the NBA game where it is much more about spacing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsmaniac View Post
    Do we sometimes over analyze the game? You can call him a tweaner and that certain players games don’t translate to the next level, but how do you really know? I love Calipari and UK basketball, but why would you draft any of the players on this years team in the 1st rd? We have had 2 players (Knox and Gilgeous Alexander) dominate a game or 2. They can’t consistently dominate. Why draft them? If they stayed in college, we would determine there games don’t translate too. The longer we evaluate the more we find wrong.
    All good points. However take Alexander and Knox for example. This year you possibly could get them in the middle or late 1st round. If you wait and say they do start consistently dominating as you say their sophomore or junior years. Then they are no longer going mid to late 1st. They are now top 10 or top 5. So now they would be out of reach for most teams. Hence why teams may draft on potential and hope that player develops into that player they possibly could become.

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