The following excerpt is republished with permission from TheRookieWall.com, and it gives excellent insight into the “business” of the NBA draft and the people surrounding players who want to cash a big NBA paycheck. Remember, once a player gets any time in the NBA, even if he doesn’t last, he gets more money when he goes overseas and is in higher demand just because he has NBA experience.
Each year roughly one hundred young men place their names in the pool of players who will be eligible for the NBA Draft. From anywhere between one and four years these players have worked at perfecting their skills in college, and now they think they’re good enough to play in the best league in the world, the NBA. As soon as their eligibility is up they’ll sign an agent, hopefully after asking the right questions and being advised by someone they trust. Once all that happens the real work beings; players start going through some form of pre-draft training.
Pre-draft training is a part of any agents pitch, and it has taken on an insane amount of importance for draft eligible players. In the recruitment of a top player, an agent will typically spend anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 in flights, meals, and hotels for he and others to see just one player throughout a season. Then, if the agent is lucky enough to land that player, he will have to empty the piggy bank again, this time probably spending in the neighborhood of $25,000, most of which isn’t reimbursable mind you. Of that $25,000, at least $10,000 of it will go towards a pre-draft training program for the client, and the rest will cover anything from meals, travel, to new gear (every soon-to-be NBA player needs to look fly).