How Well Does NBA Draft Order Predict Player Careers?

The Los Angeles Lakers have two first-overall NBA draft picks on their roster—LeBron James (2003) and Anthony Davis (2012)—who have so far had careers that make LeBron an absolute lock for the Hall of Fame and quite possibly make Davis one should the Lakers win the title even if Davis suffers a career-ending injury during the offseason and never plays another game. Meanwhile, the “curse of the No. 2 pick” haunts guys like Sam Bowie (1984), Darko Milicic (2003), Hasheem Thabeet (2009), and Lonzo Ball (2017), while the No. 3 pick in those drafts? How about Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony, …

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The NBA Draft Rules Are Stupid And Bad

The worst place to be in the NBA draft is picking late in the first round, after the lottery picks and the mid-first-round steals are off the board. What you’re going to be stuck with is a guy on a guaranteed contract who may never play a game at the NBA level and who is just as likely going to be a garbage time staple who maybe, somewhere down the road, might crack your rotation. Now imagine picking early in the second round, like picks 31 through 35 overall. All of a sudden, the risk is gone; you are playing …

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