You would think that being included in the NBA Draft is the dream of all basketball players when they are making their way into the game. This is probably the case but the NBA Draft, much like the game of basketball itself, is often all about the timing. If time is on your side, you may feel that it is best to hold your horses and develop your skills in the hope of achieving a better placement in the following season. This is the decision that has been made by Kristaps Porzingis and it is a decision that shows maturity, even if some people will be incredulous at this decision.
The player, a 7 foot highly regarded basketball player from Latvia, has decided to pull out of the 2014 NBA Draft, even though many experts were tipping the player to break into the Top 20 of draft picks. This is a position that many players would give a lot for but it is believed that Porzingis believes he can achieve an even better placing next season.
There has been a great level of interest in Porzingis from teams who are around the middle section of the first round of the draft and some people were tipping him to make the rise to the back section of the lottery. However, with Monday’s deadline looming, international players don’t have long left to remove themselves from the draft and Kristaps clearly felt that this was the best decision to make at this time. This means that the player will make his way back to Sevilla where he will perform in the ACB League in Spain, which is unlikely to do any damage to his long-term NBA prospects. In fact, it may provide the 18 year old with tremendous experience which will make him an even more attractive proposition for next year. The fact that Porzingis can combine length, size and an inside-out game has ensured that he has caught the eye of scouts and fans alike.
Basketball players need time to develop and grow
While some basketball fans will struggle to believe that anyone would pass up the chance of becoming an NBA player, it can be best to develop your skills away from the media focus. Porzingis will have a lot of eyes and attention on him when he plays in Spain but the intensity will be lower, allowing him to develop. Many NBA Draft picks have found the pressure and the step-up to be too much, and you wonder how many players would do things differently if they had their time again?
A lot can happen in a year and while the additional year of European basketball may provide Porzingis with the time to grow and develop, the threat of injury, illness or even a loss of form must be at the back of a player’s mind. If Porzingis continues his development, there will be nothing to worry about but there will be plenty of people involved with basketball hoping that Porzingis hasn’t passed up his best chance of NBA success.