For years, the NBA Draft has been one of my favorite nights of the year and that isn’t changing in the foreseeable future.
As a kid as a college student and as somebody fresh into the professional world, it was a night to get together with my closest friends and see where our favorite players went and who our favorite teams picked. To this day, getting together with my closest friends to watch the Draft is almost as much a holiday to me as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Twenty years ago, I began working in the recruiting business. Ever since then, the Draft has taken on a new meaning for me. For the most part, the players who will get their names called are guys that I have covered closely throughout their high school careers. Often times, I’ve gotten to know them and their families pretty well. Seeing them live out their dreams, well it is awesome.
While the night is filled with lots of joy for those who are being taken. There are also some mixed feelings. I feel bad for those who don’t get picked and each year I’m reminded of some of the mistakes I have made during the evaluation process.
I’ve always said that I would rather underrate a player than overrate him. I also know that projecting the career path of teenagers isn’t easy and there are going to be mistakes. Each year, though, I love to take a look at some of the players who have exceeded expectations. It could be a fringe five-star who becomes a one and done, or a player that didn’t even make the top 150 who is now a top 10 Draft pick.
Whatever the case, I feel it is important to take a look back at some players that myself or the industry missed on in way or another. What did I see? What did I miss? Is there a lesson to be learned moving forward?