Satnam Singh may become the first Indian to play in the NBA. The 19-year-old, who is in the draft, is hoping to be picked by one of the 30 NBA franchises. The Indian Express takes a look at how the NBA draft process works and what are his options if he fails to get picked during the draft.
What is the NBA draft?
The idea behind the NBA draft is to allow each team a chance to pick budding players to include in their respective squads. There are two rounds of the draft, giving each of the 30 teams the opportunity to pick two players from the available pool. 60 players get drafted among the more than 100 that feature in the draft.
Team ranks are based on their win-loss record in the group stages in the previous season. Subsequently, giving the lowest rank team the chance to pick first narrows the gap between the better ranked teams, maintaining a high level of competition between each franchise in the process. The teams that did not make it to the playoffs (rank 17 to 30) are offered a chance to participate in the draft lottery to decide the first three teams to make their picks on the day of the draft. Meanwhile, the 16 teams that do make it to the playoffs are placed on the draft board in descending order based on their win-loss record.
How is the draft different from a player auction?
In an auction, each player’s name is produced individually and then a bidding process follows. In the draft, all the candidates’ entries are present and each team is called individually – in a pre-determined order – to pick any player they deem a best fit for their franchise. In the auction, the team with a bigger budget wins the services of the player.
In the draft though, an order for the 30 NBA franchises is drawn out at least a month before the date and the team that is first on the list gets the first pick. In other words, a player is selected to a team that picks him first, not by the team willing to pay the highest sum for him.
Satnam Singh Bhamara will be available to any of the 30 teams and will be drafted to the first team that picks him.
What is the draft lottery?
The draft lottery only involves the 14 teams that do not make the playoffs. The lottery itself is like a lucky dip with names put in a bowl. However, the team with the worst record in the previous season is given a higher chance of winning the lottery through extra chits. For example, the team that finished last is given 250 chits in the bowl, 29th has 199 chits, 28th has 156, 27th has119 and so on. Once the first three teams are determined through the draft, the remaining 11 are placed in descending order based on their ranking in the previous season.
What kind of stats are considered before selecting a player?
Personal information. Body information – knee and ankle information. Athleticism, and fitness and of course the skills. There are plenty of things teams look to get. Then some teams also invite players for pre-draft workouts.
Is there a screening process players go through before the drafts?
It’s called a combine. All players that are going to the draft, go to a specific location to do exercises. They do measurements, shooting, play games, with scouts e and franchise general managers watching them during the combine. The combine is also used by NBA as their first meeting with the players and to prepare the players for their first job in the NBA. Every team has international scouts. If there is a new player that shows up in the world, there will be an NBA scout who will be there looking him up. It’s all very open now.
How often can a player apply if he doesn’t get drafted in the first year?
A player cannot re-apply if he doesn’t withdraw his name. But it’s not the end of the world if a player isn’t picked. Some players go abroad to play again. You can have a chance again as a free agent. Many players go abroad and establish a career over there .
But then they start getting better and then NBA scouts see him, and teams will directly hire them. The same holds true for Satnam Singh Bhamara. There are lots of options for him. He has his chances in the draft. If he withdraws, he will have a chance to come back again next year. If he doesn’t, he can go out and look for chances. Or tryout for a D-League team.