In studying NBA history, one would be hard-pressed to find a championship team that didn’t draft and develop at least one star player who eventually led them to the Larry O’Brien trophy. As far as recent history is concerned, the 2003/04 Pistons appear to be an exception and Kobe Bryant technically wasn’t selected by the Lakers (he was traded for on draft night), but for the most part, fostering homegrown talent has been an undeniable component of the title equation.
Although not every team finds their future franchise cornerstone in every draft, the possibility of finding a young prospect who shows promise or presents a skill set that fills a need is enough to make the event an important one for the development of every NBA franchise. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News passes along the latest of what he’s heard regarding the 2014 Draft, and you can find it below:
- Kentucky coach John Calipari has been telling people from around the NBA that his twin recruits, Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison, won’t be entering the 2014 NBA Draft. Deveney adds that many of the mock drafts worth reading have already moved the two to their 2015 projection.
- With that being said, a source with knowledge of the situation doesn’t think the Harrison twins should be counted out of this year’s draft just yet. Both are still reportedly giving strong consideration to entering their names for 2014, and while Calipari will be influential, their family – who played a big part in their commitment to Kentucky last year – will help make the final decision.
- Although there are restrictions against college players accepting anything from agents, there is no rule prohibiting them from forming relationships, even during the college season. According to Deveney, it’s no secret that potential number one pick Andrew Wiggins has been tied with Rich Paul of LRMR Marketing, the same agency that represents LeBron James. Most fellow agents expect the Kansas star to sign with Paul once he declares for the draft.
- Paul is also believed to be a candidate to represent Duke’s Jabari Parker, although Deveney writes that former Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong – an associate of reputable longtime NBA agent Arm Tellem – is also in the mix, especially since Parker is a Chicago native.
- Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State – currently projected to be a top five pick – has been linked to Aaron Mintz of the CAA, who represents Pacers star Paul George among others.