Choosing Players With the NBA Draft

Who is Eligible for the NBA Draft?

If you are a fan of the NBA and the many great professional basketball players in that league, you may have asked yourself at some point how your favorite players made it to that level. Simply put, players initially have to be chosen to play in the NBA as part of an annual draft process. This article covers who is eligible for the NBA draft, the process of the NBA draft, and when the draft begins.

The NBA draft is an annual event in which the thirty teams from the National Basketball Assocation draft players who are eligible and wish to join the league. Some requirements to be eligible include finishing four years of college eligibility, or declaring professional eligibility and giving up remaining college eligibility. International players who are at least 22 years old are eligible, but international players under 22 must declare eligibility. High school players used to be eligible, but since the 2006 draft, these players must wait a full year and be at least 19 years old to be eligible.

The Lottery System for the NBA Draft

Getting the Best NBA Draft Picks

So how does the draft itself actually work? The first thing that must be done is the NBA Draft Lottery. This lottery is for the teams that missed the playoffs in the previous season. The win-loss records for the teams are put in reverse order, from last to first. Next, they take ping-pong balls, writing the numbers 1 through 14 on them and mixing them up bingo-style. The team whose number is drawn receives the first pick in the draft.

Just to be fair, the lottery is weighted so that the team with the worst record has the best chance of winning or obtaining a higher draft pick. The lottery continues like this for the first three picks of the draft. The rest of the first round is in reverse order of the win-loss records of the ramining teams. The lottery does not determine the order for the other rounds. There are technially two rounds in the draft. The first round picks are guaranteed a contract with their team, the other rounds they are guaranteed a work-out with the team, but must try out to get a contract. The first round is picks 1-30 and the second round is picks 31-60.

When Does the NBA Draft Take Place?

Making a Basket

So when does all of this take place? The NBA lottery happens the second or third week of May, when they will start determining the order of the selections. The actual NBA Draft occurs in 2012 on June 28, and will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Now you know who is eligible for the NBA draft, the actual process of the draft, and when the whole thing takes place. That sort of knowledge should make following the NBA Draft as it happens much more interesting, as will participating with your friends in any form of mock NBA draft for any fantasy leagues.