How do players get drafted in the NBA? It’s a fairly straight forward process that involves a lottery. There are three rounds of the draft, with each team getting one pick in the first round and one pick in the second round. But this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, before 1988, the draft was extended indefinitely, with 21 rounds and 228 players drafted.
To enter the NBA draft, players must be at least 19 years old, and their birthdate must occur during the draft year. Players from the United States must have graduated high school a year prior to the draft. However, some star players choose to play college basketball first. If they don’t play college basketball, they can still enter the NBA draft. Others may enter the NBA draft after two or three years. Some are even drafted after four years.
Despite the lottery system, the order in which teams are selected in the NBA draft is inversely proportional to their age. Teams choose players with the intention of developing them into franchise players. Only a handful of NBA rookies have achieved instant success, like LeBron James in 2003. And while the top picks last year and tonight are all freshmen, the second-round talent is typically a junior or senior.