High school to the NBAComments
[One thing I’ve never seen explained is why, after what was actually a very promising start, the NBA didn’t draft any high school players for 20 years. The three players who went straight from high school in the mid-70s included one all-time great, one guy who had a 15-year-career, and an eight-year journeyman]. Anyway from 1995 to 2006, until the one and done rule got negotiated, a total of 38 players got drafted straight out of high school. (This list omits players who declared for the draft but weren’t drafted. This is a problematic subgroup dominated by players for whom college wasn’t a realistic option, such as Lloyd Daniels). I speculated below that the batting average for these draft picks was probably quite high, and in fact it is.
The complete list is here, and it includes:
FIVE NO-QUESTIONS ASKED SUPERSTARS
Amar’e Stoudemire (OK maybe a question could be asked)
SIX STARS OF VARIOUS MAGNITUDES
Andrew Bynum (potential superstar status pending)
Several minor stars/solid career starters/sixth men
Various role players of variable but real utility.
Kwame Brown (Hey, laugh all you want. He’s made $60 million and counting).
Then you’ve got a couple of special cases in Darius Miles and Eddie Curry — guys who were on the way to at least minor stardom when their careers were derailed by injury.
Genuine busts — guys who didn’t have any kind of real NBA career:
I’m not sure this is precisely the best metric, but that track record kicks the absolute living snot out of any comparably-sized randomly selected list of NBA first round draft choices, let alone a random list of drafted players, or players signed to contracts.
The one and done rule looks very much like pure protectionism for fringe NBA veterans.
Edit: This list should probably also include Brandon Jennings, who is tough to evaluate at this point but is likely to end up in at least the solid starter category.