I predict that the NBA D-League eventually will become a legitimate system for NBA teams to develop talent. For now, it primarily caters to players who just can’t let go of their dreams or teams which need somewhere to stash marginal players for a few days. I’m not saying that the players don’t have any talent. Instead, they likely won’t have a meaningful career in the NBA. If the league intends to keep better players from going overseas, it’ll have to pay a lot more than the current salaries of approximately $20,000 per year. Until NBA owners commit to subsidizing the league properly, the D-League will be the basketball equivalent of Major League Lacrosse.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Dumb and Dumber (versus the new release of the far inferior Dumb and Dumber To), this post simplifies the previous one regarding the distribution of win shares for 1st round NBA draft picks. There still are a lot of numbers, but the takeaways should be easier to understand. Just to be sure, here they are.
1. Generally, draft order is a good predictor of future success in the NBA. As such, the higher the pick, the better the player should be to avoid being labeled a bust.
2. Starting with the 11th overall pick, the probability of being a flame-out exceeds the probability of becoming an All-Star by a margin of 2:1 (40% to 20%). For that reason, players taken outside of the first ten overall picks have been excluded as potential Top 10 Busts.
3. NBA legends are rare, but not as rare as you might think.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterbacks went with four of the top 10 overall picks for the first time in history. As a result, draft pundits will evaluate this year’s draft class based on the success or failure of QBs Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen. Running back Shaquon Barkley certainly will be part of the conversation, but likely in reference to how he performs relative to the three QBs taken after him. Hopefully, linebacker Shaquem Griffin is not just a footnote and gets remembered for having a successful NFL career despite missing his left hand. It’ll be at least five years before I can definitively declare any Top 10 Busts. In the meantime, I’ll offer my assessment of the early favorites.