The NBA Pre-Draft Training Business

April 7, 2010

John Wall

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).

Read the rest of the article at TheRookieWall.com


Virginia Tech Lands Marquis Rankin

April 6, 2010

Although a few days ago we posted about Marquis Rankin (PG, , 2011) and his schools, we did not list Virginia Tech as an option for the talented point guard. But the Hokies have landed Rankin, beating out Wake Forest and Clemson. Rankin, a player from Charlotte, is a pure point guard who will definitely see minutes in Blacksburg.

It was thought that Rankin might be waiting on an offer from UNC, who he listed as his leader last summer. Whether the Tar Heels intended to offer or were looking elsewhere is a moot point now, since he’s going to another ACC school.

Rankin is a solid ballhandler and can run the offense effectively. He also can be aggressive and push the ball into the lane, is an instinctual passer and has offensive skills.


Virginia Basketball Recruiting: James Johnson

April 5, 2010

Virginia added some interior size when they landed James Johnson (C, 6’8″, 2010) a mobile post player with shooting range. Johnson is a pure post player who will need to develop a bit more into a banger in order to play the lane in the ACC, bit his ability to move his feet, spin and get off shots is going to make him tough for ACC big men to defend.

Johnson is a pure post player, although at his size he would be considered undersized for the pro game, he will be a solid collegiate paint player and should see some court time in his first season, especially with the offense he can add. He can play facing the basket but may need to develop his post up game when he’s faced with players his own size.


Wolfpack Pressing For C.J. Leslie

April 4, 2010

Do the NC State Wolfpack have a shot at C.J. Leslie (SF, 6’9″, 2010)? Recently it seemed that Leslie had trimmed his list to just two schools, NC State and Kentucky, but at the McDonald’s All American game this week he said that he still is considering Florida as well and has no leaders.

Current Pack star post player Tracy Smith is doing his best to bring Leslie into the ACC, though:

Smith was asked if he is putting a press to keep CJ Leslie in Raleigh, “That’s what I am trying to do right now, I’m trying to get CJ. If we get CJ, we are going to have an all-star team. I mean Ryan (Harrow) and Lorenzo (Brown) we’re going to have a good team next year.”

Leslie says he will decide after the Jordan Brand all star game, and he may not be done with his visits.


ACC Basketball Recruiting: Marquis Rankin

April 3, 2010

Marquis Rankin (PG, 6’0″, 2011) is a Charlotte area player with interest and offers from several ACC schools. His offers include Virginia, Wake Forest and Clemson, and UNC has also contacted Rankin and is keeping up with him. The UNC contact is significant, in that last summer Rankin listed the Tar Heels and Wake Forest as his leaders at that time, and with an offer from the Demon Deacons on the table, it would seem he’s at least got some great options.

Rankin is a pure point guard who can penetrate the defense and dish to the open man, and his ability to shoot the three means teams can’t really play back to stop him. It’s unclear if Rankin would push the ball as hard as Roy Williams wants, but the Deacons aren’t a grind it out team either, and over the past season Rankin has worked to show his aggressive abilities and as he’s gotten stronger, shown how can finish. A sure handed ball handler, Rankin also moves his feet well on defense and has a solid understanding of what it takes to play and defend the point.

Marquis Rankin video:


Miami Recruiting: Rion Brown

April 2, 2010

Miami has three players joining them from the 2010 class, with the most notable in the class being Rion Brown (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2010), whose fast paced play should complement Durand Scott and give Miami more offensive firepower next season.

Brown has a nice mid range game and explosive moves to the basket, a strong leaper who can blast up and down the court in the transition game. With his size, it’s likely he’ll see some time at the SG spot, but he is athletic enough to play the SF in college. He also has a quick first step and should be able to continue to develop his ballhandling skills into a super guard.

The question for Brown is whether he’ll be able to consistently be a shooting threat once he gets to college. He’ll still be able to get to the rim, but it won’t be as often as high school, so he’ll need to prove to teams that they can’t play off of him. If he can do that, he’ll be a force.


Florida State Recruiting: Okaro White

April 1, 2010

Florida State has three incoming players for the class of 2010, including Okaro White (SF/PF, 6’8″, 2010), who they managed to grab while recruiting against Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami.

Okaro is moving from the post to the wing, where his size will be more of an asset and he can use his outstanding athleticism to a greater degree. In order for that to happen, he’ll need to develop his small forward skills, but he’s already the kind of player who understands the concept of a team game. He rebounds, works to make himself available to passers and finishes above the rim.

Okaro will need to improve his ballhandling, and he will need to develop a consistent mid range and perimeter shot to be effective on the wing.

He’s a work in progress, but he’s got the skill set and size that could make him into an extremely solid ACC player for the Noles.

Okaro White Video (Okaro is #10 in white):