Jim Boeheim, why do you keep talking out of your ass when it comes to the NBA? Easy answer: He’s praying/begging/hoping that Jerami Grant and Tyler Ennis stay in school. If they don’t, Syracuse won’t be a Top 25 team next year, and it’s far from a lock they’ll make the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year.
"If you go 15th in the draft, you’re nothing. You might be out of the league in two years. It used to be a first-round draft pick you had a chance. That’s nothing. Those guys are out of the league. Half the guys taken in the first round the last three years are not even in the league."
He’s hopelessly misinformed.
You know who went 15th last year, Jim? The Greek Freak, Giannis Adetokunbo. He’s promising. And 19.
Know who went 15th in 2011? Kawhi Leonard. When the Spurs had the Heat on the ropes in the finals, Leonard was a series MVP candidate.
In 2010, Larry Sanders went 15th. Started slowly, turned into a shot-blocking force, signed a 4-year, $44 million extension last summer.
Going back to 2004, Al Jefferson, straight of high school, went 15th. He’s had a solid career so far. He signed a 3-year, $40.5 million deal last summer.
Of course there were some misses in there – Simmons, Nachbar, Weis, etc. But there are misses at every spot in the draft. Boeheim’s “nothing” assertion is woefully inaccurate. Guess who went 15th in 1996? Steve Nash. Two-time NBA MVP.
Now, to his other laughable point: “Half the guys taken in the first round the last three years are not even in the league.” That’s false. By my count, three of the 90 players selected in the first round over the last three years are “out of the league.” Of course, Boeheim has a hedge here – if a player was in the NBA, and sent down to the NBDL, is he out of the NBA? Technically no. NBDL call-ups happen all the time. Check the roster of the 76ers, Lakers, and many others.
Boeheim probably had one of his players – Fab Melo? – in mind with that comment. Melo was taken 22nd in 2012 and is currently in the NBDL.
The three players I could find who were taken in the 1st round within the last three years and are no longer affiliated with an NBA team are Duke’s Nolan Smith (21st in 2011; currently in Croatia); Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson ((27th in 2011; currently in Italy); and Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham (24th in 2012; unclear what his next step is).
There are several foreign players who were selected in the 1st round, but kept overseas for whatever reason. Plenty of teams do this, and some, like the Spurs, are excellent at it. I didn’t count these players as “out of the league” because they haven’t had a shot yet. For instance, Livio Jean-Charles (San Antonio, 2013) and Nikola Mirotić (Chicago, 2011) fall into this category.