The 2014 NBA Draft is finally here. After a stellar collegiate career and enduring grueling workouts for numerous NBA teams, you’re in the Big Apple on the brink of learning which city your professional basketball career will start in.
Adding to the excitement of draft night is that you are a projected mid to late 1st round pick, so the NBA has decided to invite you to the green room. That’s right, teams in the Association think highly enough of your draft stock that League office has invited you to share the waiting area with the elite prospects in your class.
From your fresh new haircut, to your fly suit, to your expensive shoes, you’re finally ready to get the night started.
Then the drama starts.
Picks 1-10 go by, but you’re still confident that Adam Silver will call your name in the next couple selections, because the next batch of NBA front offices on the clock are from teams you worked out for this month. A couple more picks go by. Now you’re beginning to somewhat panic. The once full green room is suddenly down to a select few.
All of the cameras are suddenly on you, as you continuously look down towards your phone for “the call.” Jameer Nelson’s 2004 green room experience is being mentioned on television right now. What you thought was going to be the greatest night of your life has suddenly become a nightmare. Family and friends are telling you to hang in there. The teams you been told for sure would grab you if you were still available are now passing on you. Every time Silver steps to the podium and calls someone else’s name, a little piece of you dies. How do you handle the pressure?
That’s where a prospect’s mentality is truly tested.
In my opinion, sliding prospects can take this situation two different ways. They can let their draft night slide get the best of them and ruin their psyche, or it can ultimately motivate them to be better than the names called ahead of them. Every year, one prospect seems to slide past projections and has to decide how handle this traumatic event.
This year, I think Shabazz Napier will have to wait a little longer than the other prospects to hear his name called. Napier was long considered a 2nd round prospect, but thanks to his outstanding play in the NCAA Tournament and reports of excellent workouts this month; the NBA made Napier a late addition to the NBA green room prospect list.
I know this invite means that some team in the League has indicated to Silver’s office that they might be interested in selecting Napier in the 1st round and I believe Napier’s name will be called in the 1st round. However, it will be late in the 1st round and I think he’ll be the last prospect waiting in the green room.
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Rich Iacuzio is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twiiter @richiacuzio.