NBA general managers prioritize natural talent over just about everything else. But the NBA folks also take a look at where the player came from -- the college program and, specifically, the coach. Some guys prepare their players for the transition to the NBA while others don’t arm their kids with enough to make a seamless adjustment.
Here are 12 coaches who NBA personnel feel are superior when it comes to preparing their players for the next level:
1) Billy Donovan, Florida Gators: Donovan has churned out plenty of pros lately, and many of them are excelling in the NBA (Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Chandler Parsons, Bradley Beal). There’s a reason he’s as highly sought after in NBA circles as any college coach in the country. “He runs a lot of pro stuff and integrates a lot of wrinkles,” one NBA exec said. “He has an innovative playbook. … He just gets it.”
2) Ben Howland, TBD: I know Howland isn’t actively coaching in the college ranks, but NBA guys love his ability to prepare his players for their league. He helped develop Russell Westbrook and Darren Collison -- a pair of unknowns coming into college. He also coached Kevin Love, Jrue Holiday, Arron Afflalo, Luc Mbah a Moute, Jordan Farmar and Shabazz Muhammad.