Evaluating 2012 class from NBA standpoint
June, 24, 2011
By Adam Finkelstein, ESPN Recruiting
I admit it. I used to be the 12-year old glued to the T.V. on NBA draft night, mock draft in hand, ready to compare my picks to those announced by David Stern and even jotting down trade scenarios as if I was on the brink of a Doogie Howser-type general manager job. My affinity for the draft continued as I grew older and eventually began to coach, ultimately culminating in an opportunity to work for the NBA's director of scouting, Marty Blake, for three years. Now that my profession has become the world of recruiting, it's almost taboo to discuss a high school player's NBA potential. With all of the coddling and enabling that goes on with today's athletes, the last thing anybody wants to be accused of is perpetuating a cycle of complacency or sense of entitlement that already exists among too many top young players. However, the reality of the situation is that NBA personnel and executives are already evaluating high school prospects. They may not be allowed to be in the gym on most nights, but they're accessing every other piece of information they can, not only to learn about a prospect's game and athleticism but also about their personal and family background, their character and that of the company they keep.