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View Full Version : Should the NBA Take a Page Out of What the MLB Does?



Spacolie716
04-08-2014, 03:01 PM
What I mean by this is the idea of when a player gets drafted, they should be put into the minor leagues, (or the NBA Development League in this case), right away and earn their way up to the NBA.

Practically everyone in the MLB came up through the minor league system except for a handful of players in the times that these minor league teams have existed for.

I feel that this would give prospects a better idea of how to develop themselves in the NBA against higher quality players because the D-League is made up of the higher quality talents of the NCAA. And giving these players starter quality minutes can help more in finding their flaws and being able to capitalize on their strengths.

Yes I know that the Summer League exists, but they only play what, 10-12 games at most? (I can't remember the exact number of games they play). Players like Hasheem Thabeet for example, should of been in the D-League as soon as he got drafted, instead of being thrown into the fire like he did. Even playing in the pre-season, rookies don't usually get as many minutes as they would need to be able to develop on the court because the veterans use the pre-season to get themselves into form, and the rookies may only play bulk minutes in garbage time.

It shouldn't matter if you were the #1 pick because guess what? Even #1 picks have flaws in their games that might not be address if they're only getting limited minutes in the NBA.

So what do you guys think of this idea? It's been floating in my mind lately.

Spacolie716
04-08-2014, 03:04 PM
Could this also be something that the NFL could do too in terms of having their own minor league system?

Hawkeye15
04-08-2014, 03:20 PM
not really. The fastest way to develop an NBA player is to have them playing against NBA players, and being coached/trained by NBA staffs.

torocan
04-08-2014, 03:20 PM
Could this also be something that the NFL could do too in terms of having their own minor league system?

The NFL has debated starting a minor league for some time. Goodell has raised the possibility on multiple occasions. Probably what complicates it the most is the presence of the CFL, UFL and AFL.

Starting a minor league from scratch isn't simple. You need the owners to buy in, and not every owner thinks long term.

As for the NBA, a proper minor league ala the MLB is probably one of the smartest things they can do in terms of improving the quality of the play on the floor. They already have the foundation in the creation of the D-league.

Once established, teams wouldn't have to choose between skilled veterans that can help a team "win now" vs developing lottery players. They could have both. Imagine if your team only put lottery players on the roster who were ready? Players who already had a year or more to develop strength, learn NBA rules, and become familiar with team offensive and defensive schemes. A place you can also develop assistant coaches and FO management?

Some teams are already doing this. They decided NOT to wait for the NBA to get off their butts, and most of them are starting to show good results in the form of assistant coaches, assistant GM's, and better developed players who are more ready to hit the hard court running. This is in addition to using it as a rehab tool for injured players who they can ease back into the game against actual competition vs the practice gym.

Personally I think it's a question of time for the NBA. The NFL.. not so much. Sometimes it seems like they're still a bit behind the times.

Goose17
04-08-2014, 03:25 PM
I suggested something similar a few months back for one and done or high school drafted players, play in the D-league until you're of a certain age (21?)

I think there is some merit to it, it would increase revenue for the D-league if next year they had Anthony Davis, Sullinger, MCW, Wiggins, Randle etc etc all there, balling out of their minds.

But like somebody mentioned, you get better by playing guys who are better than you, not by playing guys who are worse.

slaker619
04-08-2014, 03:37 PM
Wouldn't really work especially with NBA being anyone game depending on how hard you play and plays

ewing
04-08-2014, 03:40 PM
no

beyourself
04-08-2014, 03:43 PM
It's not necessary in the NBA because it's more of a speed, agility sport rather than a power sport.

Also don't forget that baseball is a more technically challenging sport than basketball is. You need more practice to get good. I mean, you do.

Spacolie716
04-08-2014, 03:43 PM
I suggested something similar a few months back for one and done or high school drafted players, play in the D-league until you're of a certain age (21?)

I think there is some merit to it, it would increase revenue for the D-league if next year they had Anthony Davis, Sullinger, MCW, Wiggins, Randle etc etc all there, balling out of their minds.

But like somebody mentioned, you get better by playing guys who are better than you, not by playing guys who are worse.

Your first two points are dead on and I completely agree with you. I feel that if you want to come out of college as a freshman, you should be forced to play in the D-League for at least 1 full year, no matter where you get drafted, or play till you're 21 like you mentioned. Because then at least staying in college would look to be a better idea and then you could get your degree like what you should actually do.

But with the last point, I feel some players that get drafted need to understand the basics of the game and the techniques that go along with it before playing against the best. And that's where the D-League would come in.

Spacolie716
04-08-2014, 03:49 PM
It's not necessary in the NBA because it's more of a speed, agility sport rather than a power sport.

Also don't forget that baseball is a more technically challenging sport than basketball is. You need more practice to get good. I mean, you do.

Yes there's more technicality in baseball, but the NBA can be just as technical. There's techniques that players need to have down to be able to maximize their agility and speed that they have. But someone like Andre Drummond should of been in the D-League starting out to work on his free throws and his offensive game, rather than being on the NBA court in my opinion.

Hawkeye15
04-08-2014, 04:06 PM
It's not necessary in the NBA because it's more of a speed, agility sport rather than a power sport.

Also don't forget that baseball is a more technically challenging sport than basketball is. You need more practice to get good. I mean, you do.

yep, exactly. Baseball is so specialized, that you just can't send a kid up to the majors without developing him against lesser competition, or it would destroy their confidence and get them injured.

You basically go from seeing an 82 mph fastball with minimal movement in high school, to seeing a 93 mph fastball with a cut on it. Good luck, no matter how talented you are. And vice versa. You might be dominating with your 85 mph fastball in high school, but a big leaguer will destroy you.

Different sports all together.

Hawkeye15
04-08-2014, 04:07 PM
Yes there's more technicality in baseball, but the NBA can be just as technical. There's techniques that players need to have down to be able to maximize their agility and speed that they have. But someone like Andre Drummond should of been in the D-League starting out to work on his free throws and his offensive game, rather than being on the NBA court in my opinion.

the problem is, there are studies that show development is much faster by just letting them sink or swim in the NBA. Kids staying in college doesn't help them at all, and the D-League has produced how many stars now?

Hawkeye15
04-08-2014, 04:08 PM
basketball is no where near as technical of a sport as baseball.

slashsnake
04-08-2014, 04:08 PM
just put some of this thought elsewhere, but here's my thought.

1. NBA players are more ready. That is why for so long they had the highschool straight to the NBA. Look at the highschool players of the year and when it comes to basketball, you see stars left and right. The last pro football star from the highschool player of the year was Emmitt Smith. Or Joe Mauer (other sport). You can see who is going to be an NBA player earlier on because they are closer to being ready as it is.

2. Teamwork. It's there in baseball sure, but not like the NBA. Pitch a no hitter, and it doesn't matter how good you are working with your left fielder. Hit a home run as a short stop and it doesn't matter how well you are meshing with your catcher. But what about being a young player playing point next to Lebron, or feeding Dwight in the post, or playing defense with Hibbert behind you? Takes the knowledge of where they are going to be, where they want the ball, what they like to do in each situation, which you only get in NBA practices and games, not from the D league.

3. You can talk and try schemes all you want, but can you execute them? Can you teach any semblance of how to run the triangle offense for next year when you are playing with Kobe if your D league SG can't score? Can you teach your point guard how to throw a backdoor lob to Blake Griffin if your D league PF has no athleticism? Can you teach that young center how to play off of an offense where his role is to support scorers like Durant and Westbrook when he is the best offensive weapon on a D league team?

4. The investment. 13-25k a year isn't going to get NBA D leaguers willing to develop that star, but rather ones looking for that 10 day contract and 60k payday of their own. You need to invest heavily in your team to bring up a team willing to put the team and development of others first. You don't need team buy in in the MLB. Like I said, all you need are your plate appearances and positional time.

Lets say you pay your D leaguers not under NBA contract $80k a year (about what they'd get overseas) to try and build a team rather than play for themselves. I don't think that would do it, but I will say they are cheap and lets say they go for it. You also build out the league so it has 30 teams (some teams share 3 D league teams to break up the financial support). Right now 17 teams, 14 players a team, 20k a year gives you 4.7 million you as a league are investing on your rosters. 30 teams (each gets his own) times 12 players a team (two of your young guys also there on NBA contracts to fill out 14) @ $80k is 29 million. Now you also need to pay two League minimum salaries to fill your NBA team roster for the two players on rookie contracts you have in the D league. So there you add in a couple 3 year vets, so you are at another 1.8 mil per team... or another 54 million in money. Plus the expenses of more transportation, watered down experience, D league markets already covered so you are finding worse and worse ones to fill in, more refs, coaches, uniforms, facilities, trainers, etc. to pay on a league that doesn't earn, just helps your players develop.

We are talking about a 80 million dollar per year investment at a minimum to really pull this one off here for the league. Figure about 2.5 mil per team in a league where 22 teams made less than 15 mil in profit. That is a sizeable chunk to get the development side in.

5. Rehab is one thing, but that also gives the team a chance to continue to practice with the players that will be playing in the rotation that week rather than break it up by trying to give Amare Stoudemire rehab minutes then change things up before the game knowing he won't be playing.

6. The back 1/3 of your roster. That is where you can put those guys if you don't want them hurting you in games. Those guys don't play your time when you are looking to win games. That is where they can get the hundreds or thousands of hours of practice with their NBA teammates, film time on their NBA opponents, and coaching from their NBA level basketball, strength and nutritional coaches. That's where they can develop as a PG going against CP3 every day in practice.

So you need the buy in, which means a big financial investment off of your half of the money in the CBA. And what do you get? This is surely what's holding back the NFL, and why they have decided instead to shutter their developmental leagues and just increase roster sizes. You need to pay 700 more players at the NFL level if you want to built a true developmental league. Plus the hundreds of coaches, refs, trainers, etc. For a product that doesn't sell (ask the Lakers what their D league team gets in attendance).


Personally I think I just saw why NBA teams don't send their guys down for development. The league minimums to replace them. Say you've got your two players currently on your roster you want to send down. That could cost you up to 3 mil right there. If you are the 76ers and want to do that with your young guys, you are an owner who hasn't really made any profit off his team the past 7+ years (up and down) and you would instead be looking at a 12-21 million dollar debt you just added on in that time.

Spacolie716
04-08-2014, 04:16 PM
yep, exactly. Baseball is so specialized, that you just can't send a kid up to the majors without developing him against lesser competition, or it would destroy their confidence and get them injured.

You basically go from seeing an 82 mph fastball with minimal movement in high school, to seeing a 93 mph fastball with a cut on it. Good luck, no matter how talented you are. And vice versa. You might be dominating with your 85 mph fastball in high school, but a big leaguer will destroy you.

Different sports all together.

You have a valid point, but what about someone like Isaiah Austin, or Nerlens Noel who are sticks and will have to go against people who are 60-80 lbs bigger than them? And then having to adjust your game based on all the weight you gained to even have a chance against these guys. Granted you could have them at PF, but they're still getting outweighed by about 35 to 40 lbs though. Those types of adjustments take time and I would rather have someone trying to work those kinks out on someone of equal skill, rather than someone who's way better than him. Confidence in your game and confidence in your development can also take an effect on how you develop as a player. If you don't feel like you're developing and you feel like you're going no where, that in itself can completely ruin your career as a player.

beyourself
04-08-2014, 04:24 PM
You have a valid point, but what about someone like Isaiah Austin, or Nerlens Noel who are sticks and will have to go against people who are 60-80 lbs bigger than them? And then having to adjust your game based on all the weight you gained to even have a chance against these guys. Granted you could have them at PF, but they're still getting outweighed by about 35 to 40 lbs though. Those types of adjustments take time and I would rather have someone trying to work those kinks out on someone of equal skill, rather than someone who's way better than him. Confidence in your game and confidence in your development can also take an effect on how you develop as a player. If you don't feel like you're developing and you feel like you're going no where, that in itself can completely ruin your career as a player.

Honestly, basketball is just a non contact sport. It simply does not put a premium on strength and power. I mean it doesn't. Baseball does, you need to fill out your frame to withstand pitching 200 innings a year. And you need to fill out your frame to hit the ball harder. Plus like it's been said in this thread it's a more technical sport.

Basketball is instinctual. And you have it or you don't. You don't just figure it out.

It's apples and oranges.

slashsnake
04-08-2014, 04:41 PM
Honestly, basketball is just a non contact sport. It simply does not put a premium on strength and power. I mean it doesn't. Baseball does, you need to fill out your frame to withstand pitching 200 innings a year. And you need to fill out your frame to hit the ball harder. Plus like it's been said in this thread it's a more technical sport.

Basketball is instinctual. And you have it or you don't. You don't just figure it out.

It's apples and oranges.

Kind of like Kevin Durant not being able to bench 185.

beyourself
04-08-2014, 04:46 PM
Kind of like Kevin Durant not being able to bench 185.

I remember when that happened and everybody flipped out. I was just sitting there watching my TV thinking who cares.

Goose17
04-08-2014, 04:48 PM
you have it or you don't. You don't just figure it out.


I disagree with that. Plenty of youngsters seem like they don;t have it but become more intelligent in terms of basketball and go on to become very solid role players.

With enough effort, focus, attitude and coaching, anyone can turn it around.

ManRam
04-08-2014, 04:48 PM
baseball is so wildly different than basketball and to a slightly lesser extent football when it comes to player development. i really don't think it's necessary. the thread recently made about increasing the rounds in the draft got my same sentiments. i don't think each team having their own developmental league team would hurt, at all...but i don't think it's going to change things drastically. if you're good enough to play in the NBA you'll find your way there.