Boeheim cautioned Lydon about jumping into the NBA Draft now, knowing he lacked the “monster year” it would’ve taken for him to get lottery pick consideration.
“He didn’t demonstrate this year that he can be a lottery pick,” Boeheim said, “but next year I know he can be. That’s what I told him. I think he can come back here and demonstrate that he can be a lottery pick.
“I think it’s a better way to go to the NBA. You make money, they draft you high, they play you. Half the picks between 20-30 are out of the league within three years.”
We don’t yet know whether anyone drafted in 2014 or later will last more than three years in the NBA. So, let’s examine the prior 10-year period: 2004-2013. I exempted Nikola Mirotic, who jumped late to the NBA and is in his third season right now (even though I’d be shocked if he’s not in the NBA next season).
In that span, 22% of players picked between 20-30 were out of the league within in three years.
That’s not even half of Boeheim’s stated figure.
A third of those picks who washed out so quickly were international players. NBA teams are pretty good at scouting and developing college players, who face fewer hurdles in translating to the league. So, Lydon being projected to go in the first round means something.
The most recent college player picked in this range to fall out of the league, Perry Jones, got paid for a fourth season. Even the cases that count for Boeheim are poor examples.
And who’s to say Lydon would develop into a lottery pick if he stayed another year at Syracuse? The only guarantee would be missing an opportunity at a year of NBA earnings. Lydon’s stock could fall, a precarious possibility for someone who doesn’t excel at creating shots. Lydon can develop with an NBA team, maybe even spending time in the D-League – while earning far more than the college-sports cartel allows.
Boeheim’s self-serving approach is painfully evident. He enriches himself on the backs of young college players, and when the most talented among them leave early, that hurts his stature. So, he makes up bogus figures in attempt to get what he wants.