A new article by the Wall Street Journal takes a closer look at the short and unspectacular career of Josh Selby by placing him amid a “special subspecies” of NBA draft prospect: “the early entrant who hasn’t really done all that much.” It’s an interesting table they’ve created given that the impact of players within their parameters have yet to make a true impact.
What are those parameters? Darren Everson writes, “In the five years since the NBA started barring players from entering the draft straight out of high school, 17 players have left college early for the draft despite averaging under 10 points per game in their final season… Only 8 were drafted.”
The best example is Jrue Holiday, the young and surprisingly productive point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers drafted at No. 17 overall in 2009. In his second season, Holiday saw a significant increase in minutes and responsibility and responded well with 14 points, 6.5 assists and 4 rebounds per game. He shot better from the floor overall and looks like a long-term answer at the position.
Yet Holiday is outlier. The reality is other players like DeAndre Jordan, Daequan Cook, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Daniel Orton have yet to make any meaningful impact on their teams despite the high potential coming out of high school. It seems that the lack of a collegiate impact is a telling sign after all.
Perhaps Selby can make the larger splash that Holiday has been able to. Certainly, the hype was there for a player of his high school stature. Yet the NBA has seen such hype before and watched it go unfulfilled. Only time can tell for Selby’s case.