NBA Draft: Will all the drafted players actually play?
I spent the evening at the NBA Draft out in Newark last night. As I was heading home, I had a thought about the night: As many of you surely know, there were a number of foreign-born players in this year's draft, and many of them were taken in the first round. Bismack Biyombo, Jan Vesely, Enes Kanter, and Jonas Valaciunas were all taken as lottery picks. My opinion about foreign-born players is that of course they’re good (otherwise they would not have been picked in the NBA Draft), but at the same time, they’re HUGE wild cards. We’ve all seen it before: a foreign-born player gets picked in the first round, but he decides to stay where he is because of any number of reasons. This is the problem. The teams could be wasting picks on guys who won’t come stateside for 5 years or maybe even won’t come at all. We’re past the point at which anyone in sports can be xenophobic (xenophobia = dislike of foreigners), but obviously a picked player that does not join his team crowds out a spot for another qualified player. So it raises the question of whether or not the NBA should change the rules about player eligibility. To be considered for the draft, should a player have to commit to play if drafted? In any case, it is another reminder the culture of basketball has gone way beyond that of an American sport.