The 2021 NBA Draft took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and for the most part there weren’t many surprises.
But one thing for sure and two things for certain, the youth infused movement is stronger than ever.
There were only six seniors (10%) drafted in the sixty selections, the least ever in the modern draft era.
With the one and done, G-League or NBL (Australia) options for incoming freshmen, this movement is continuing to gain steam and dominate draft night.
The consensus in this draft after the top four picks, was teams would still be able to get top end talent.
Those top four picks were all one-and-done or G-League players. You know it’s a youth movement anytime they refer to Davion Mitchell, Corey Kispert and Chris Daurte as old because they didn’t leave after one season.
To be fair, Duarte is 24, which is legitimately “older” for a player getting drafted into the league.
With the youth movement comes ups and downs for players.
Folks see basketball potential in a teenage body that has trumped the production of a more seasoned college player.
The seasoned player, once given credit for his experience, is now seen as being close to reaching his basketball peak in comparison to a still-developing teen who is often described as having “tremendous upside.”
Take for instance Evan Mobley the third overall pick who played one season of college basketball and Luka Garza the senior who was National Player of the Year.
Garza went 52nd overall, becoming the lowest drafted reigning player of the year in modern draft history.
As much as teams talk about adding impactful talent throughout the draft, there’s far more interest paid to what a player might be down the road as opposed to what they can do right now.
With that youth comes the ups and downs that every player experiences when they come to the NBA, whether their college basketball career consisted of five months or five years.
But on the flip side, potential is the main reason why the top of most draft boards in recent years are so heavy on talent but also extreme inexperience.
Everyone isn’t going to make the immediate splash of a Kobe or LeBron, and that’s understood.
However, because the league is continuing to become younger, players are having an opportunity to make an impact much sooner.
In many ways their talent level is relative to the league, and that allows for adequate playing time much earlier in their career.
For just the second time (2017), the top five picks in this draft were all from the same McDonald’s All-American game (2020).
The reality of it is teams are just more focused on drafting and locking up that young elite level talent in the college and international ranks and trying to build around that much sooner than in the past.
“The Continuous Youth Movement In The NBA Is Here To Stay.”