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Friday, July 15, 2005
 
2005 NBA Draft High School Players Impressive So Far

In what may prove to be the last group of high school players to skip college and directly enter the NBA, early reports suggest that it is a very impressive group of players, many of whom will immediately contribute to NBA teams. Marty Burns of Sports Illustrated has the story. Most notable appears to be the Celtics' Gerald Green, who has wowed scouts and NBA personnel with an explosive game that resembles that of Tracy McGrady, and the Trailblazers' Martell Webster, who has shown an uncannily mature game (for any draft pick, of any age). These early reports are not terribly surprising, since players who have skipped college have proven to be the best group of players in the NBA, a phenomenon that I argue is the result of economic incentives and deterrences that foster a small, self-selected group to bypass college all-together. Nevertheless, the NBA and the National Basketball Players' Association recently agreed to institute an age floor of 19 (or one year out of high school)--a move that will likely trigger litigation in the not-to-distant future.

Update
: On the well-worth-the-$5-a-month ESPN Insider, Chad Ford has a similar piece praising this year's group of high schoolers. Here is an excerpt:
David Stern and the NBPA shut the door on high school players making the jump straight to the NBA in the new collective bargaining agreement.

And once again, the high school kids are showing Stern and Co. that the NBA may be making a big mistake . . .

Let's start with the Lakers' [Andrew] Bynum . . . While no one is predicting he's fighting his way into the starting lineup anytime soon, every scout Insider talked to conceded he's further along than they thought . . . [according to one scout], "This kid seems to have his act together both on and off the court. He's got the chance to be really good. On draft night, I thought they really reached. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe he should've gone higher." . . .

The Blazers have a trifecta of former prep stars making some noise at the Las Vegas Summer League. The Blazers have selected a high school player in the last three drafts, and all of them look promising . . . No wonder Nate McMillan bolted Seattle for Portland.






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