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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

NBA Draft Update

The past few days have been full of decisions about the future of certain high-profile collegiate underclassmen. The recent string of announcements culminated Wednesday with a second Georgia Tech freshman declaring early and a couple of UCLA Bruins announcing their official return to school for their junior seasons. Great news for UCLA, bad news for NBA teams looking to draft a point guard this year. With Darren Collison's return, the potentially loaded point guard draft became 2008, not 2007. Among stellar freshmen, only Mike Conley Jr. declared, while UNC's Ty Lawson and Texas' D.J. Augustine stayed put. Acie Law IV appears to be the only solid lead guard left at the top of the board, but his stock is slipping.

All the activity makes for some bad decisions. You really have to feel for kids who get bad advice and go full speed ahead with the draft only to be left on the cutting room floor. ESPN's resident NBA Draft guru Chad Ford has posted a great, up-to-date list of early entry declarations. For a more in-depth look at such players, swing on by DraftExpress.

The early entry eligibility deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET on April 29. A large number of players who have already declared are waiting to hire an agent this year, indicating a trend to test one's marketability at the earliest sign of success. As long as the player does not hire an agent and can pay his own way to workouts/camps, he has until June 18 to withdraw from the draft without repercussions.

To refresh on the schedule of events facing guys like Oden, Durant, Tucker ... even Bucks GM Larry Harris ... visit's draft coverage online. There you will find a breakdown of each team's odds of landing the top prize in this year's draft lottery. The ping-pong magic happens May 22, usually at halftime of an NBA Playoff game. Careers will be made and hearts will be broken that day. I hope Danny Ainge is kept away from sharp objects during the proceedings. Then, finally, the 2007 NBA Draft will take place way down the road on June 28. Just two months away, kids.

Sorry Iowa fans -- from the sound of things at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament earlier this month, Adam Haluska won't be getting his name called by the Association. Time to learn Italian!

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