Earlier this year
Is "Next Star" a bust?
I think a different version/concept might work well.
Obviously it was an epic fail this season. We got ONE player, and only got him because he was suspended.
My understanding is that they are basically chasing the "one and done" type players. Young stars who will only do one or two seasons at college, treading water until they can nominate for the draft.
The logic being, that rather than playing for free, and worrying about academic progress in a useless degree that they won't even finish, they can make some money, open themselves for endorsements, and get experience in a men's league.
I understand the logic, but I think it ignores a few flaws.
I don't think the American Basketball Industry will, as a whole, look favourably on us pinching their stars. They want the hype, they want the college highlights, they want the fans already following these kids.
How highly regarded is our league? WE know that our league is a lot tougher than college, and a kid who would be an All Star at college will be a bench player here. And WE know he'll be better for the experience. But is that going to help his draft prospects? There's a lot of money and prestige attached to being drafted early, and being "out of sight & out of mind" could harm that.
It's a gamble. If a kid is thinking he'll by O&D, but for whatever reason doesn't shine as a freshman, he can simply delay and try again as a sophomore. Not sure that's an option if he's already turned professional.
Ferguson was a good proof of concept, and it seems to have worked out ok for him. Have to wait and see how it works for Bowen.
But mostly what I seriously question is our ability to regularly attract 9 or 10 players of similar quality.
I'm also not sure why they should be a free extra player. Unless the league can guarantee every club a high quality Next Star, then there has to be some penalty for those clubs that get them. Otherwise we just make the strong teams even stronger.