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ESPN draft expert Jay Bilas said NBA should copy NFL's draft eligibility system

Bilas says the draft, despite having few consensus picks, should be deep.
by Mel Bracht Published: June 26, 2013

The NBA Draft often leaves viewers scratching their heads after selections: Who are these picks?

Although some are unknown international players, many are young college players who have yet to make a name for themselves.

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, who will be part of the network's draft coverage, said the league would be wise to follow the NFL in its draft eligibility policy and not select players until after their junior year.

“I think it hurts the NBA product, it hurts the college game and it's created an interesting culture and it also has made it more difficult on the fan.” Bilas said in a conference call Wednesday. “The names that are coming out are not as recognized as they used to be.

“You still are looking for immediate help, but there is not as much immediate help available because the players are younger, there are more question marks, there is more of a developmental component in basketball than there used to be.”

Bilas disagrees with some analysts who call it a weak draft. Although there are no consensus top picks, he said there is plenty of depth.

“We don't have a lot of traditional one through four, one through five picks, but we still got a lot of really good players,” he said. “You get into the 20s, there is a lot of good value there, which will be solid players.”

Bilas rated Kansas guard Ben McLemore as his top draft prospect.

“I'm not projecting McLemore is going to be the first pick,” Bilas said. “What I'm saying is he's the best prospect. I think he's the most talented player in the draft. I think he's got the most potential to be an All-Star caliber player.”

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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