A 2011 NBA lockout could be on the horizon, and that could kill the 2011 NBA Draft. The reason an NBA lockout affects the NBA Draft, is that uncertainty about contracts, game schedules, and the future of the NBA could make it unappealing for underclassmen to declare themselves eligible for the NBA Draft. In basketball, players have to declare themselves for the draft in order to make the draft list.
From there players are selected by teams looking to add new talent, and each season 60 new rookies make their way into the NBA through the draft. With a potential lockout, it could re-shape how teams approach the 2011 NBA Draft, and could punish the teams that are terrible right now.
According to ESPN, Player’s Union director Billy Hunter feels that a lockout is very possible, but that the owners are “off base” with their claims of how much money the league is losing. The NBA owners and NBA commissioner David Stern reportedly stated that the league lost $370 million during the 2009-10 season, and need to restructure everything from contracts to the rookie contract scale in order to get things back under control.
That right there is a huge number to be in the red, and if it is true, you might be able to understand why the players are going to get locked out by the owners.
What does a lockout mean? It means that the owners will refuse to let anyone in the Player’s Union into any facilities or to pay their contracts during the process. It’s a hard stance in the bargaining process, and one in which the owners will lose a lot of money while they force the players to go through a more restrictive collective bargaining session. The owners are at the same time hoping that the players will simply cave to demands in order to keep a lockout from ever happening.
The worst case scenario for an NBA lockout would be if it lasted an extensive amount of time. If the lockout happened at the very end of the 2010-11 NBA season, the 2011 NBA Draft would become risky for underclassmen that could go back to college. The best of the best will probably still decide to go into the draft, but it will suddenly become a senior rich endeavor. Seniors coming out of college will have a lot more value in a lockout year, but even they would have the risk of just not getting signed in time for the 2011-12 season.
The danger to the 2011 NBA Draft is not the only thing that a lockout would negatively impact though, as fans were pretty upset when the last NBA lockout took place. Another lockout may drive even more fans away from the NBA, and that would hurt the league even more.