Time to Change the NBA Draft

If you have any sense of compassion you had to feel for Darrel Arthur during Thursday night's NBA Draft. The former Kansas Jayhawk suffered pick after pick as he slid from a projected top 12 pick all the way to No.27.

The slide itself was embarrassing enough for Arthur, but it was exacerbated by the efforts to explain why while he and his family listened in. Apparently there was a rumored kidney problem that one team had been able to disprove, but the medical information wasn't shared. So instead of getting a first year salary in the $1.5 million range he'll get about half that.

I'm not saying that $750K is chump change, but imagine yourself losing that amount of money in 90 minutes while America looked on.

The worst part for Arthur however wasn't even the drop in opening pay. The 6-9 forward was chosen just four spots from dropping into round two where there is no guarantee of any financial reward. That's just too much for any kid (i.e. Chris Douglas Roberts) to have on the line.

The draft itself is preposterous because of the NBA's outdated rules that prohibit trades until after picks are made. Therefore we have all these goofy pictures of number one picks wearing the hats of teams they are no longer with. That just doesn't serve any purpose.

Therefore I'm suggesting a few changes for the NBA to implement in time for June 2009.

All Draft picks get money ----- The NBA can certainly afford to guarantee every draft pick one year of salary at the league minimum. If the kid is tied to you, you should be tied to the kid. Either eliminate round two, or take care of the kid(s) you choose. By the way, the NFL Players should insist on guaranteed first year pay for all their draft picks, too.

Let players drop out after round one ----- If the NBA won't guarantee money for all draft picks, than the NCAA should allow players to decline the NBA if selected in round two. A kid like Douglas Roberts could be a middle of the first round guy next year and should have that option. Obviously this only applies to guys who do not sign with an agent.

No cameras in the green room ----- Well, no cameras might be too much, but no live shots after the 15th pick. Let the poor bastard suffer in private.

Eliminate rule against trading picks on draft day ----- There may be no greater moment for a young man than when he hears his name called in the draft. Many of those moments are ruined and/or wasted by this inane policy. If they have a deal in place, make it before the selection and let the moment(s) be that much more special.

Eliminate rule against trading No. 1 picks in consecutive years ----- The whole idea of legislating first round picks started with former Cleveland owner Ted Stepien who trades all of his picks five, six, even seven years into the future. Those deals mortgaged the Cavs franchise and doomed them to being less than mediocre for a decade. Still, I think this rule does more harm than good because it ties the hands of new management whenever there's a transition. Besides that, it is the inalienable right of owners to screw up their franchises. I know this, because I'm a Knicks fan.

Now I'm already looking forward to the 2009 draft, aren't you?

Actually I'm not. My idiot Knicks already traded next year's No. 1.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel

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