In the game of basketball organizations on the college and professional level employ individuals who elevate talent. These people who elevate talent called scouts play a critical role in the future of the athletes, based on the scout’s analysis a play draft position is determined or the offer letters he or she receives can be affected by the scout. These scouts are paid handsomely for their work, they use all type of statistics to influence or support their opinion about a player but there is one thing that scouts cannot analyze and that is heart.

I am making the statement because I was recently thinking about two players who have defied the analysis of them by the experts. Those players are Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell. Donovan Mitchell was selected 13th in the last NBA draft, most scouts thought he would go around this pick but their idea of him was that he would be a second unit player. The scouts believed he would be able to score in the NBA, but he is not a lead guard and too small to be an effective two guard. The scouts did not think he had a high ceiling, I never understood that high ceiling remark because who are you to determine how far a person can go. Anyway, Donovan, in my opinion, is the best rookie of this season. Some will say Ben Simmons, but Simmons is not really a rookie and Mitchell has had more impactful games than Simmons. Mitchell is averaging more points a game while playing fewer minutes than Simmons. There are not any NBA scouts who would have predicted Mitchell being this good this early in his career. Now onto Trae Young, Trae was ranked 23rd on the ESPN Top 100 and 16th on Rivals Ranking. Trae was not as highly recruited as his counterparts, he was a five-star player, but no one expected him to lead the country in scoring and be compared to Steph Curry. Looking at it now it is hard to believe that there were 20 players better than Trae coming out of high school. Trae is projected to be the number one pick in this year’s draft. Again, the scouts, who analyze talent for a living, did not see Trae Young being this good this earlier.

There are a couple of scouts I will give credit to and those are the scouts who targeted these two players and the foresight in believing they would exceed expectation. One other thing that does affect their production and this is being in the right situation. Donovan Mitchell had no choice in where he would play in the NBA, so my hats off to the coaching staff for creating an environment for Donovan to excel in. I really impressed with Trae Young decision to stay home an attend Oklahoma, Trae could have easily gone to one of the other schools five-star players usually go to, but he didn’t. Instead, Trae went to a school that has a system that allows him to showcase his best attributes, this may be the smartest decision he has ever made.

I guess my point to all of this that basketball is an emotional game, because of this emotion stats and analytics will never provide an accurate picture of who a player is and who he or she will be with regards to basketball. Some people become great when put in good situations.




Could this be the greatest rookie class ever? I know it is early in the season but most of these rookies are starting to look like they are worth their weight in goals. Normally rookies look at to be work in progress, most teams draft rookies with expectations that it will be a few years before they can become good NBA players.

Most rookies struggle with the speed of the NBA game, the traveling, a number of games each week, length of the season and the minimal amount of time to prepare for a game. All these things are the reason why it takes rookies sometime before they can become consistent contributors. Most fans understand this and are patient with the development of the rookies. There are only so many LeBron James, now speaking of LeBron James his draft class may be one the best NBA Draft classes. 2003 NBA Draft class produced 9 players to appear in an All-Star game, 11 NBA championship winners, and easily 4 Hall of Famers. It will be hard to beat the draft class of 2003 but I think the class that might have the best chance of being just as good or better is the draft class of 2017. Again, I know the season just started but these rookies are playing great basketball, I will admit they are not doing it on a night to night basis, but they are contributing in a major way each game. Lonzo Ball, De ’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, TJ Leaf, Jayson Tatum, Lauri Markkanen, Dennis Smith, Jr, Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Sindarius Thornwell have been playing valuable minutes for their teams. These players have been a factor in the success of their teams usually, there are two or three rookies making this type of impact.

Will this draft produce 9 all-stars and 11 NBA championship winners, I do not know, maybe not but I will enjoy watching. This may be the passing of the torch, LeBron, Wade, and Melo are getting older they have to leave the league in the hands of great players and the draft class might be it. The NBA is lucky just as the lights are starting to dim on some of their stars the NBA gets an influx of new bright baby stars.