NBA Players Who Could Have Entered the Draft Sooner

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The new rule that was introduced in the NBA has been a center of controversy. It requires that a player who has just completed high school cannot be drafted that following summer.  One has to spend one more year playing in either in college or an overseas league as a professional.

Some players though choose to stay in school longer and thus delay the start of their professional careers.  For most players, it’s a good idea to stay back, get stronger, and improve their game.  But for others, it hurt their draft stock and cost them extra dollars. Here are some players who I think should have declared for the draft a little bit sooner.

Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah now plays for the New York Knicks after starting his career with the Chicago Bulls.  Noah was considered one of the best players in college, but after winning a national title with Florida decided to stay an extra year and defend.  The Gators won again, but Noah’s draft stock didn’t improve at all.  He would have been a top three pick, and instead possibly moved down a few spots.  He also missed out on an extra year of earning multi-million dollars.

Jared Sullinger
Jared averaged 17.2 points and 10.5 rebounds during his time with the Ohio State.  The forward led his Buckeye team to a crazy sweet sixteen NCAA appearance before losing to Kentucky.  He would have been taken in the top ten of that year’s draft, but decided to come back for his sophomore year.  His numbers were nearly the same, but dropped off a little bit.  Thus, he cost himself not only an extra year of money, but possibly dropped several slots after the lack of improvement.

Chris Duhon
Duhon was very successful when he played for the Duke Blue Devils. Despite coming off the bench for two seasons, he built a strong synergy with other players. The point guard proved vital to the team and earned a spot in the starting five.  Like most Blue Devil players at the time, he finished out his four years at Duke before entering the draft.  With his talent and athletic ability he probably could have been drafted higher if he came out after his junior year.

James Michael McAdoo
McAdoo had a nice three year career with the North Carolina Tar Heels.  He came off the bench his freshman year, but his sophomore year saw him put up 7.3 rebounds and 14.4 points per game.  Instead of entering the draft, he decided to come back for his junior year.  His numbers dropped and McAdoo ended up not even being drafted.

Taj Gibson
I’m not even sure what happened with Gibson, but he was one of the oldest freshman in the country during the 2006-07 season when he was 21 years old.  I know I was only 18 my first year at school, so not sure what he did with those three extra years.  Anyway, when you are that old coming into the draft, you aren’t going to be seen as having as much upside as a younger kid.

Michael Redd
Michael Redd stayed in school for three years at Ohio State, but his point averages dropped from 21.9 to 19.5 to finally 17.5.  As a sophomore him and Scoonie Penn led the Buckeyes to a Final Four appearance.  He probably should have entered the draft then, because his stock definitely wasn’t as high after his junior year.  He ended up going to the Milwaukee Bucks with the 43rd pick overall.  He had a solid NBA career, but would have served himself well to have had started it earlier.